“When He calls you out of yourself and into Him, it requires you to walk a path of obedience through which He can develop in you the spirit of meekness and humility so that you can walk closer to Him.
If you have all the gifts and talents and you know it, you are in trouble. Furthermore, you are trouble for the Church. The call may genuinely be there, along with the gifts and talents, but the more self-confidence you have, the less need you will have of Christ and the Church will pay dearly for your self-confidence. This is why He must develop humility and meekness within His servants and this can only be developed through dependence on Him.
He will continue to bring you into situations where you cannot depend on yourself so that you come to the full realization of the truth that without Him you are nothing. When you finally get that down and know it deep within your soul, many of your trials will come to an end because your trust is finally transferred from yourself to Him.
Inner meekness and humility in a person are beautiful – they are the opposite of pride. When you walk around with your chest puffed out and get offended when people do not appreciate your wonderfulness, that is pride. When you finally come to a place where you are broken and no longer depend on yourself, your self-sufficiency has been transformed into dependence on Christ, then you are humble, meek and no longer living for yourself. To create meekness in you, He is going to bring you through trouble; He loves us so much that He is takes us through suffering.
Many years ago there was a group of people who thought that coming out of Egypt was going to end all of their suffering. They were so naïve about this journey and they just knew that once they got rid of Pharaoh, everything was going to be beautiful. The great God that delivered them from the fiery furnace was going to take them to the Promised Land. Never again would they experience any discomfort or suffering and, according to their plans, they would move into their new houses within two weeks.
However, as they went out into the desert, things started going wrong. Their fearless leader went up into the fire and was presumed to have been devoured by the flames, so they decided to create another god
Lesson one: there is going to be suffering in the desert. Because they did not understand this, instead of humbling themselves and waiting for their leader to come back down the mountain and listening to what he had to say, they made themselves a ridiculous golden calf....trouble came and they they got angry, made their own god and swiftly rebelled against God’s constituted authority in their lives.
As a result, they had to go through severe discipline to which, incidentally, Moses was also subjected, even though he did nothing wrong. Everyone was troubled as a result and, as though that was not enough, they also complained about not having the proper diet! They liked the leeks, meat, quail and water in Egypt. They complained and groaned against God and Moses crying out that He only delivered them from Egypt to take them into trouble in the desert.
They were so preoccupied with complaining that they did not even realize that God, the One who brought them out of Egypt, was still there up in the clouds. The people were unhappy with Moses and God, so they rebelled.
Then, we see Israel complaining again at the waters of Marah. They moaned, groaned and rebelled. Did Moses take them to this place without water? No, it was the Lord, visibly leading them by the cloud. He took them to the place of trouble, suffering, hunger and thirst. Their complaining was so relentless that the Lord had to discipline them again. Of course, He provided the food, the water, the leader and everything else they needed because He Himself was with them in the cloud taking them from trial to trial.
As if it was not enough that they had issues with food, water and a disappearing leader, they also had another serious problem: in their weakness, their enemy was closing in, about to devour them. So what does Israel do? They murmured, complained and rebelled while God remained present in the cloud above them. And in their murmuring and complaining it never dawned on them that it was God Himself who was putting them though all of these trials so that He could defeat their enemy in front of their face. They still did not understand God’s ways and instead walked in their own ways and rebelled.
Another example is Kadesh-Barnea. Here, they were given the opportunity to take the Promised Land.
Remember, they had gone through trial after trial, each one designed by God to take them to a place where He could show them where they were walking in their own personal wisdom and sovereignty, and direct them to the mutual relationship of trust to which they were called. Trial after trial, God came through every time.
Finally, when they reached Kadesh-Barnea and God told them to go in and take the Promised Land, they distrusted the Lord and rebelled again, forgetting that the cloud above their heads brought them to this place. They forgot that it was God who had given them the instruction they needed, bringing them to a place where they were fully capable of obeying and accomplishing what they were there to do.
Rather than all the trials producing in them meekness, as God had intended, instead, pride, anger, self-serving, self-righteousness and self-sovereignty continued to grow in them, until it had grown to the point that it became impossible for God to deal with them. Instead of taking their Promised Land and going into Kadesh-Barnea, they rebelled again.
All of the trials and opportunities they had been afforded to learn humility and develop meekness had been lost on them – they failed every time. So when the big test came, they failed once again.
I highlight this particular lesson from the history of Israel because what happened to them happens to us all the time. Trials and tribulations come into our lives. Where’s the cloud? It is above us! Just because we are suffering, do we really believe that God is not there and that He has forsaken us – because things are difficult? Do we think that He is angry with us or has abandoned us because we are now in a world of tribulation?
Meekness bows its knee and after bowing its knee, it bows its head and says to the Lord, “Thank you for my trials. It is not easy Lord, and You already know that. And I know that I am learning through this. It is difficult, but thank You that in Your love we are here together in the midst of my suffering. I will embrace the trial because it is Your hand that has carried me here.”
You might think that you are going through a trial because you disobeyed, but even in your disobedience, God is in the trial with you. He is teaching and training you and He does not abandon you because you disobeyed. If you will allow Him to, He will develop in you meekness and humility.
It is important, however, not to harbor anger or resentment in the process... The best way to get out of the enemy’s territory and stay in God’s territory is to understand that every test is designed to bring you closer to God and develop in you the virtues that He loves so deeply. When you finally get to that place, you stop talking about how everyone has offended or disappointed you. Instead, you bow down before the Lord and thank Him for the trials and acknowledge that His grace is the way through it and out of it.”
— Sis. Nita