I’ll admit it. My default is pride. I usually think I’m smarter, more efficient, and more reasonable than a lot of other people. I think my excuses for failure or for not being who I know I should be and want to be are somehow more legitimate than everyone else’s. In short, I’m a first-class sinner. This attitude isn’t pleasing to God and it sure doesn’t do much to attract other people. So now when I see you at church, in a restaurant, in the coffee shop or elsewhere, you’ll see me for who I am. But please, have mercy. it’s not who I want to be.
God reminded me this morning that most of the blessings that often cause me to be prideful aren’t about me. The Lord ultimately has a bigger plan than I can see, and my blessings are part of a much bigger web. It’s not me that’s the point. This is what i read this morning in Deuteronomy 9:
4 “Do not say in your heart, after the Lord your God has thrust them out before you, ‘It is because of my righteousness that the Lord has brought me in to possess this land,’ whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is driving them out before you. 5 Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations the Lordy our God is driving them out from before you, and that he may confirm the word that theLord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
6 “Know, therefore, that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people. 7 Remember and do not forget how you provoked the Lord your God to wrath in the wilderness. From the day you came out of the land of Egypt until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the Lord.
Is it possible that God has given me this land to possess not because I’m the best candidate but because he’s working out a greater purpose? Probably. I am the “stubborn people” here. How often have I provoked the Lord’s discipline in my life because of my rebellion? Many, many times. Yes, the blessings I have are from God, but he didn’t give them because I somehow earned them. He gave them to me because he’s sovereign. He’s dealing with the lives of everyone else on the planet, and I have no idea how his faithfulness to me is being used. His goodness to me confirms his own goodness, not mine.
It’s not me. It’s You, Lord. Teach me to remember it.