(I have always considered my Freedom Fighters my way of journaling…just in front of all of you. I ran across this in the archives and thought it was worthy of repeat.)
“It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” – Matthew 20:26-28 (ESV)
So as I sat in a stainless steel tank, with what I’ll call a scooper, I thought to myself, “This is humiliating!” The tank is about aj 4’x4’x’4 square with an opening that loses a foot to accommodate various temperature probes. It is used to separate water from metal powder and leaves behind what I’ll call ‘sludge.’ Once a month, this tank has to be cleaned out and apparently the only solution to it is someone getting in it and scooping the sludge out. Then it has to be polished. So there I was with a haz-mat suit on, in a confined space, working around the heating coils, with a scooper saying to myself, “This is humiliating!”
I kept trying to keep a focus on what the Chinese church has to endure, or any other third world Christian church for that matter, but I could only focus on the sludge MY feet were in…”Man, this just plain sucks!!” But as the task went along and I was making progress, my pseudo-humiliation started to leave me. I began to tell myself that this was God’s way of humbling me. “Yeah, that’s the ticket. Then I’ll be stronger for it, yeah.” After all, I was getting a bit carried away with myself this time last year and my pride in ministry work SWELLED . It is only fitting that El Elyon chasten me in such a way…what a load of sludge (that MY feet were in).
So as I sit here and write this to you, I wonder how my pseudo-humiliation was God’s way of humbling me. Being in that tank is what all us regular guys call “Doing your job.” My boss wasn’t being hard on me, it’s just that until a better way is thought of, this is how it goes. AND as far as God humbling me goes…who am I kidding? For me to even think along those lines had no HUMILITY to it. The bottom line here is that Satan uses humiliation, not God, so as far as me feeling humiliated goes that was a load of sludge (that MY feet were in). Our God may do things in painful ways but He is not in the business of making us feel like fools (we do that without His help)…He wants us to understand we’re more than conquers IN Christ Jesus.
In Andrew Murray’s book “Humility” he wrote this concerning humility in our daily lives, “It is easy to think we humble ourselves before God. Yet, humility toward men will be the only sufficient proof that our humility before God is real. It will be the only proof that humility has taken up its abode in us, and become our very nature—that we actually, like Christ, have made ourselves of no reputation. When in the presence of God lowliness of heart has become, not a posture we assume for a time when we think of Him, or pray to Him, but the very spirit of our life, it will manifest itself in all our bearing toward our brethren.”
I’ll be honest with you all, I did not come out of that tank a humble man. On the contrary, I came out with a bitter taste of sludge on my tongue. However, God has saw fit to deal with me on the experience anyway. The lesson I gleaned from it is that humility doesn’t come through humiliation, and forgive me YHVH for even thinking it. The process of humility starts with God’s wisdom prevailing over your wisdom and manifesting itself in your daily life. Yeah I’ll have to go back into that tank in a month, BUT it won’t be outta humiliation…it’ll be my job to do. I just pray that His thoughts be my thoughts that day, because any other thoughts will just be sludge (that is under MY feet). Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Daily Quote: “Many Christians are tempted to downgrade themselves too much. I am not arguing against true humility and my word to you in this: Think as little of yourself as you want to, but always remember that Our Lord Jesus Christ thought very highly of you—enough to give Himself for you in death and sacrifice.”—A.W. Tozer
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
“Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, That we may rejoice and be glad all our days!” Psalm 90:14