“I will always watch over it, for it is dear to My heart.” 2 Chronicles 7:16
Oh where to start! There are SO many things I want to talk to you about today! I think I’ll start with my awesome praise, I’m writing this from my computer!!! 😀 It feels sooooo good to have these sweet little keys tapping away under my fingers today! I missed them so much! Going without something for a few days certainly makes you realize just how much it means to you!!! My phone is a suitable substitute but it certainly isn’t my computer!
Today I continued reading Chapter 6 A Cocktail of Ego and Culture in So Long, Insecurity You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us. The part of the chapter that I read focused on Pride. Talk about a topic hitting home! Yowzers! If only you could see my copy of the book, there are more words highlighted than not! Almost every sentence she wrote totally hit home. But the section that shook me up the most was this:
“Pride is a slave driver like no other, and if it can’t drive us to destruction, it will drive us to distraction. Think about the madness this one little trait can cause:
If we can’t be the most attractive, at least we can be the best at something.
And if we can’t be the best at something, we can at least be the hardest working.
And if we can’t be the hardest working, we can at least be the most congenial.
And if we can’t be the most congenial, we can at least be the most noticeable.
And if we can’t be the most noticeable, we can at least be the most religious.
And if we can’t be the most religious, we can at least be the most exhausted.
And it never ends, because big egos insist on our being a “the.” Not just an “a.” We’re that desperate for significance. We live our lives screaming, ‘Somebody notice me!’ And do you want to hear something interesting? That’s exactly how God made us.
That very need is built into our human hard drive to send us on a search for our Creator, who can assign us more significance than we can handle. He not only notices us, He never takes His eyes off us.”*
I don’t know about you, but I find that profound. The very thing that plagues me and often times creates my insecurity is connected to something that God put into me. To the very core of my being, almost every single one of my thoughts and actions can be tied to my desperate desire for someone to notice me. Whether it’s my husband, my friends, my parents, my kids, that stranger, even you. I want to be noticed. But often times I find myself desiring something that I can’t always put my finger on, I want GOD’S attention. I want to know that HE notices me. I am so small and insignificant in the scope of the universe. I’m so small that I get lost in a group of elementary students! (And sadly that’s NOT an exaggeration, I really do.) So if I’m going about my day and my boss doesn’t notice me, and my family doesn’t notice me, how on earth am I supposed to feel like GOD notices me? I mean He’s got millions and millions of people to take care of, not to mention, the small matter of keeping the planets all spinning in the right directions. So who am I that the God of the Universe would notice me and my problems and my dreams and my desire to be noticed? And of course Pride is right there to make sure that I feel even smaller and less significant that I really am. He loves to point out all the instances where prayers weren’t answered in the exact way that I wanted them to be answered. Or to put into false perspective a situation where someone had wronged me, when in fact I was the one in the wrong.
We want to feel special and needed and loved. We all want to be noticed for something. And if it’s not something good then at least it can be something negative, just as long as we’re being noticed for something.
It seems to me that the best response to Pride in times like these is to use the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. In today’s Word of the Day Solomon built the temple for the LORD and is dedicating it to Him when God responds to Solomon about the temple. He says, “My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to every prayer made in this place. For I have chosen this Temple and set it apart to be holy – a place where My name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to My heart.” (2 Chronicles 7:15-16)
Now I’m going to set something up for you so bear with me here for a minute as I backtrack in order to set the scene for you.
In Exodus Moses made a tent of meeting they called the Tabernacle. It was a place where people could go to pray and to make sacrifices to the LORD. On the day when they dedicated it, “the cloud covered the Tabernacle, and the glory of the LORD filled the Tabernacle. Moses could no longer enter the Tabernacle because the cloud had settled down over it, and the glory of the LORD filled the Tabernacle.” (40:34-35) The Spirit of the LORD came and filled that place and He made the place His people dedicated to Him, His home.
Years later after the Israelites had completely conquered the Promised Land and taken control of it they left behind their season of wandering and living in tents and began a season of settling and living in more permanent homes. In 2 Chronicles Solomon made a building they called the Temple. It too was a place where people could go to pray and to make sacrifices to the LORD. And on the day when they dedicated it, “fire flashed down from heaven and burned up the burnt offerings and sacrifices, and the glorious presence of the LORD filled the Temple. The priests could not enter the Temple of the LORD because the glorious presence of the LORD filled it.” (7:1-2) The Spirit of the LORD came and filled that place and He made the place His people dedicated to Him, His home.
Many years later Jesus came and sacrificed Himself on a cross to pay for our sins against God. Then He rose from the dead and called His followers to leave behind their season of wandering away from God and begin a season of settling and living in a more permanent relationship with Him. In Acts chapter 2 He provided the means to such a relationship: “On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty wind storm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.” (1-4) The Spirit of the LORD came and filled that place and He made the place – His people dedicated to Him, His home.
And what’s more, just like the wilderness Tabernacle and the Promised Land Temple, His Spirit filled them to the point where no one could enter. When you take a look at the original text of each of these three passages, that word “filled” means to be filled to the point of *almost* overflowing.
The Greek describes it as the kind of filling where if one single drop more were added, the cup would overflow. It’s the kind of full that there is NO ROOM for anything else except for what is filling the cup. And when you’re talking about the Spirit of God coming and filling something, He doesn’t leave any gaps. He’s not like a cup full of rocks, where when it’s full of rocks there’s still room for gravel and sand. The eternally loving Spirit of God is Living Water, it comes in and fills ALL the gaps and ALL the cracks and ALL the empty places so that there is NO ROOM LEFT for Pride or Fear or Doubt or Insecurity. Only Love remains.
Dedicate yourself to God. Allow His Spirit, His loving presence, to come and fill in all your empty places so that there is no room left for Pride. Remember what God said about the temple dedicated to Him?
“My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to every prayer made in this place. For I have chosen this Temple and set it apart to be holy – a place where My name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to My heart.” (2 Chronicles 7:15-16) My friend, YOU ARE THAT TEMPLE! Jesus notices YOU for YOU are dear to His heart.