SHOWING OFF GOD’S WAY

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SHOWING OFF GOD’S WAY

I know humility is a virtue and we should all be humble because no one likes a show-off. But there are some times when you just want to show off, don’t you? When things are going well, sometimes you just want to strut your stuff and bask in the success that you are enjoying. But as Christians, can we? Is there a proper way to enjoy our success and not offend anyone? Is there such a thing as, dare I say it, showing off in a ‘Godly’ manner?

Well beloved, if that question has ever crossed your mind, I have good news for you. There is a Godly way of showing off, and it is this.

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!” 1 Chronicles 8-9

King David delivered this psalm the day the Ark of the Covenant was brought back into the city of Jerusalem and placed in its rightful place, in the tabernacle. Israel had spent the last few years warring and only recently has there been peace in the land. And now, the people’s lives have returned to normal, the nation’s economy has stabilized, King David’s home has been reconstructed and the tabernacle, God’s house here on earth, has been reconstructed. And finally, the Ark of the Covenant, the symbol of God’s presence with His people, can come back and take up its rightful place in the heart of God’s house. There certainly was cause for celebration.

But pay attention to the way David showed off. He could have praised his own name for surely he must have had a big hand in the military victories. But he didn’t. He could have praised his administration, for surely they must have had a big hand in restoring the economy. But he didn’t. He could have praised his people, for surely they must have had a big hand in making all their policies work. But he didn’t. Instead, he attributed the success to God.

Now, had David praised himself, his administration or even his people, no one would have batted an eyelid. After all, don’t we do that today? Save for celebrity popularity awards and beauty pageants, thanking God has gone out of fashion. Thank you speeches of today usually include the team, the bosses and the subordinates. Remembering God during the celebration of our success is almost never done.

But beloved, remembering God in our success is not about making Him feel good about Himself. He is God after all, and surely He must have a very healthy sense of self-worth. And boasting about our Father’s blessings is not about advertising either; because all you need to do is look around you and realize that He doesn’t need us to make Him look good. Instead, boasting in the Lord during our success has a very direct personal benefit for us. So let’s see why.

“Thus says the Lord, “Let not the one who is wise and skillful boast in his insight; let not the one who is mighty and powerful boast in his strength; let not the one who is rich boast in his [temporal satisfactions and earthly] abundance; but let the one who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me [and acknowledges Me and honors Me as God and recognizes without any doubt], that I am the Lord who practices lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on the earth, for in these things I delight,” says the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:23-24 [AMP]

Our skill, our wisdom, our insight, our strength and our abundance are all temporal. Let’s not even discuss the source of all these good things. But all of us agree that though we made a right call in the markets today, that does not guarantee that we will always make the right call all the time. That’s why the term ‘lucky streak’ is coined. It’s a streak, not a way of life; it’s a streak, not a permanent reality. So when we celebrate and boast in our own abilities, we are really celebrating something that is temporal, and before long, waves of doubt will set in as we start to look around and wonder just how long we can keep this up.

But when we celebrate our Father’s provision during our success, we not only acknowledge His loving kindness; the reason why we were blessed in the first place; we realize and constantly remind ourselves that His loving kindness is a practice, a habit, something our Father does for us on a regular basis, something we can count on, something that is permanent, and not temporal.

And having this perspective is of utmost importance, for which would give you greater peace of mind, something permanent or something temporal? Which would give you a greater sense of hope for the future, something permanent or something temporal? So which would you rather put your trust in, our Father’s unchanging love for you and His habit, His practice of showering loving kindness upon you, or your own temporal abilities, which sometimes can be hit and miss?

That is why Paul said this of him and his team, and which is good advice for us too,

“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” 2 Corinthians 10:12 [NIV]

What’s the point of telling people how great you are when in truth,

“…you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” James 4:14

“Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” James 4:15

For indeed, isn’t it true that

“In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:10 [AMP]
Beloved, the more we make known His deeds to the people, the more we talk of His wondrous works, the more we glory and boast in His name, the more we remind ourselves of just how much He loves us, and the more we entrench our hearts and minds in the knowledge and experience of His love. It’s like we are digging our roots into the nourishing soil of His loving kindness, and we all know what will happen when we do that.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

We are not perfect and our abilities are transient. The world has a knack for constantly reminding us of that. Now when that happens, our confidence is shaken because we built our house on the sandy ground that is our own abilities. So when the waves come, our house falls with a crash. But

“…whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.” Matthew 7:24-25

And what are the sayings of Jesus that we should do them? It is this.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:7-11

Beloved, it is right that we rejoice when things go well. It is right that we talk about them when our hearts are filled with joy. Because it is right that we tell others the wondrous things that our Father has done for us. It is right that we remember that for us, His loving kindness is a practice, a habit, a perpetual reality that we can count on.

So things are going well for you? Great! Go ahead, remember how good our Father has been to you and boast; and

“Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 10:17 [NIV]

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