Of No Reputation

24 10 2011

It’s currently 4:45 a.m. on Monday morning October 24, 2011. I went to bed just a few short hours ago. I was awakened out of sleep with this thought in my mind and on my heart: A godly leader binds his reputation up in Christ…he becomes of no reputation. Of course that thought comes from Philippians chapter 2, one of the greatest discourses on the humble servant Jesus Christ who made Himself of no reputation and took on the form of a servant and came in the likeness of man.

As I was awakened out of my sleep I slipped off the side of my bed and onto my knees on the floor and began to pray: “Lord this thought is on my heart. Speak to my heart and show me what you’re saying.” To be completely transparent I have been struggling lately in my preaching ministry. I was telling my wife yesterday afternoon after church that I just haven’t felt the freedom in preaching the Word of God that I’ve had before. I feel hindered. This is one of the things the Lord brought to my heart as I prayed…I’m hindered in preaching the Word because I’m too concerned about my reputation among people! That’s hard to admit, but it’s too often true. I am definitely a people pleaser by nature and have a deep seated desire for people to like me. This is my pride and insecurity. This spills over into other areas of my life also…It spills over into my witnessing. This desire to be liked…this concern about what others think…this fear that others won’t like me…it’s all because I value my reputation more than I value living for and pleasing Christ.

Oh Lord, free me from the bondage of my own heart! I confess my self-centered attitude that seeks to save my own soul (in this case my own reputation) rather than to lose it for the sake of Christ. I confess that I seek to save my own reputation before others rather than to become of no reputation. I know this hinders Your work in me, on me, and around me. God release me from this stronghold so that I will live in obedience to You…so that I will truly preach and proclaim Your Word to an audience of One! Jesus did not value His reputation as God. He didn’t cling to it…but instead He humbled Himself by taking on human flesh and becoming a man and by becoming obedient to death at the hands of those whom He created and even the most cruel, miserable, and embarrassing form of death…death on a cross. He did that in amazing obedience to You Father because He loved You more than His own reputation. Help me to love You more than my own reputation. I confess that I haven’t been loving You like this…at least not lately. Please forgive me and restore me to live in complete obedience to Your command. Help me to truly be a conduit of YOUR power for the sake of making much now of the name of Jesus! Amen.

I hesitate to post this blog for anyone to see…oddly as I think about why, it’s not because I’m necessarily ashamed to admit publicly to the contents of what I’ve written. I’m hesitant because I don’t want people to stroke my often prideful ego. This just feeds my people pleasing Pride! That’s Pride with a capital “P”. So I would ask that if anyone reads this please just Pray…for me, for you, for others. That’s Pray with a captial “P”. Thanks and God bless you for reading and for praying!

A Prayer for a Faith that Fights…

6 05 2010

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Eph. 6:10-11

My victorious Father, I recognize today that there can be no great victories in my life unless I first don the great armor provided by my Commander-in-Chief and pick up the weapons of my warfare and like a skilled soldier wield them in the attack against my adversary and enemy, the devil. But Father I confess to You that I am prone to enter into battle without first learning how to use the tools that you’ve given me to combat the enemy of my faith. I confess to you that I am all too prone to take up fleshly weapons of warfare that can never take down my spiritual enemy. That leads me Father to confess as well that I am too prone also to fight the wrong enemy. I am susceptible to fighting flesh and blood rather than principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this age, and the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Oh most Holy Father, grant us grace to fight the good fight of faith. Grant us grace to fight the right enemies of our faith and to not slaughter our own on the spiritual battlefields of this life. And if You be so merciful and gracious to grant this request may we learn to savor the sweet victories, though they may seem far too few to us, so that one day we can cast our crowns before Your holy throne knowing from whence the resources for the battleĀ and the victory itself came. May in the end the Lord Jesus Christ be glorified because we cultivated a faith that knew how to fight! Amen.

%d bloggers like this: