the expression of our flesh; GOD IS BETTER
How would you describe outward expression? Do you define it as showing love? The giving of gifts? Serving? I feel as though these are the definitions my faithful heart desires, but my human flesh is far from.
Closer to reality, it’s often defined as prideful adornment, deceitful flaunting, or a form of blandishment. All for the sake of my own joy.
We don’t even realize it; how caught up we are in our own appearance. Not in the sense of beauty, but in fondness, approval, or “being the best.” We fight for the recognition. So, our expression of love, sometimes, is actually expression of flesh.
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves
This is a command. A way of life. A position of heart. Meaning, this is a mindset that can only be developed through Christ within us. That’s the truth that falls away; that it is through Him working within us, rather than myself building it up. Naturally our mind wants to do the work. We want to control the situation, manage the heart- when we aren’t equipped to do so. Through the study of His word, the renewing of our spirit, and the constant presence of Him in us, softens our heart to reflect His character.
Through following Him we see the glory in serving His kingdom. We see the beauty in loving over fighting. We see the grace in giving of what we have. We submit our whole being, our whole life over to Him, so that His name may be raised above ours. So, you can see the quicksand that is pride. How abruptly we can cross that line of self-righteousness. And quite frankly, how much more we do it without even being aware.
What I’ve realized, though, is when you surround yourself with His people, when you are pursuing His truth, and living in prayer, your pride is always revealed. Your selfishness is always brought to light. Your self-motivation is always shot down. I had to learn to be ok with not being perfect in this area and be ok with the beautiful fact that I am forgiven. Every time. It’s a balance of knowing that the closer we get to God, the more we understand we’re not Him, to then stand within His unconditional grace.
I want nothing more than to be able to naturally put those around me, before me. I want to recognize Jesus’ walk to Calvary happened in the truest form of humility, lowering Himself in worldly standards, in order to relieve us of our inability to be fully humble. I want to remember to not have to remember. I want it to be there, all the time, a part of who I am and the way I think. And this is my prayer. But with that prayer, comes building up; comes training; comes growing. I can never be fully Him the way I wish. But in that, I am overjoyed with the freedom from ultimate and perfect responsibility. I can lay down my flaws, my implications, my shortcomings at His feet and know that He can make me whole. He forgives and loves and teaches us more about why and how HE IS BETTER. He reminds me day after day, trial after trial, and pride after pride, that I am not Him because only God is God. Only He is divine, only He is perfect, only He is love.
I am not, and that in and of itself is beautiful, because I would fail; but God succeeded.
My prideful instincts come from a dark place. A place of wanting to be in control. Of wanting to walk the perfect line without you. Of wanting to do it myself and get the glory. It comes from a place that is so so far from you. And I hate it. Lord soften my heart so that I may more easily remember to live like you. To follow you. To love you. Let it become an instinct, to put others before me. To love first and remain humble. Change my heart, continue your work within me. Don’t give up on me. Let me see the reasons why YOU are better and YOU are the almighty, and why I am not. Let me love that truth. Let me cling to it. Let me pursue it. Lord, bring me closer to you in this form of submission.