December 2019 / January 2020 - Vol.107

illustration by Kevin Cardenwalking towards the
                  Cross
Itís Not All About You!.

by Tom Caballes

"But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ďGod opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
James 4:6 ESV
One of lifeís greatest challenges is how to be humble. We all seem to be born self-centred and with an assumption that life is all about me Ė my needs, wants, ambitions, plans, and so on. CS Lewis said that our chief sin is pride. Many people live their lives with a sense of entitlement - as if God and the world owe them so much that they deserve everything good in this life; when problems come, their world crumbles apart. As a disciple of Jesus, Jesus is our Master and Lord, and our goal is to make ourselves lesser as we make God greater in our lives. It is not an easy task, and it would take a lifetime to complete it. Life is all about God Ė His plans and will reign supreme over mine. My goals and ambitions are as nothing compared to fulfilling Godís plan for my life. How about you Ė have you realised yet that life is not all about you? Does God take precedence over your plans and ambitions? Or do you feel you are entitled to everything good? Is life still all about you?  

So How Do We Let God Reign Supreme in Our Lives?     

  1. Surrender your life fully to God; no ifs or buts. Let no area or room in your life remain under Godís Lordship.Surrender to God your past, your memories, your desires, and even your weaknesses. Jesus is your Lord and Master, not you. You are not entitled to everything good, but God does. It isn't all about you!
  2. Seek Godís will for your life. Do not assume that just because you like something, that is already Godís will.Some people decide on something and then ask God to bless their plans. They assume that what they think,like or feel is Godís plan already; this is not a proper submission to God. Discernment is an important part of discipleship. Ask help from trusted people around when making major decisions in life.
  3. Offer your life as a living sacrifice to God. I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2 ESV) Living a sacrificial life means
  4. inconvenience and hardships at times. You do not make the call about your life Ė God does. Donít just look for the easy way Ė look for Godís way. Embrace hardships as a normal part of life.
  5. Practice denying yourself. Let God be first, others second, and yourself last. It is okay if your greatest ambitions and desires are not met in this life. The most important thing is for Godís will be done in your life.
  6. Learn to serve God without expecting anything in return. This is extremely hard to do, but let your greatest joy and consolation in life be doing Godís will and knowing that you have pleased God. Your reward will come in due time either in this life or in the next Ė be patient, for it will surely come. The flesh within seeks attention and quick reward; overcome your flesh.
  7. Let God be your greatest good, and nothing else. Align all your will, desire, ambitions and plans to that of Godís, and then you will live a path hand in hand with God for the rest of your life.
Other Scripture passages:
  1. ďIf anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 16:24-25 ESV)
  2. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. (James 4:10 ESV)
  3. He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8 ESV)
  4. Other Bible verses: Luke 14:11; Colossians 3:12; Ephesians 4:2; Proverbs 11:2 and Proverbs 18:12. 
For personal reflection or group sharing
  • In what ways do you still have a sense of entitlement in life?
  • In what ways does your life still revolve around you first, then God next?
  • How can I align all my lifeís ambitions, goals, and plans to that of Godís?
Tom Caballes is the National Senior Administrator and a National Coordinator of the Lamb of God, a community of the Sword of the Spirit with 7 branches located throughout New Zealand. Tom also leads Kairos New Zealand, an outreach program for high school, university, and post-university aged people. 

Tom and his wife Mhel and their two daughters live in Wellington, New Zealand.

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top illustration (c) by Kevin Carden
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