Do not exalt yourself in the king’s presence, and do not claim a place among his great men.
Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.
I think I mentioned the allusiveness of humility a day or two ago and I actually demonstrated it yesterday. The Spirit was moving and I was preaching with liberty but then at the end, and it was totally unscripted, I used myself as an example. I am embarrassed to even repeat what I said. Laying in bed last night and totally exhausted from the day and the week, I began recapping the day and thanking the Lord for His blessings and then suddenly my boast came to mind. I felt a sense of shame and thought to myself, “What a hypocrite; you contradicted the very message you had just preached.” Why am I telling you? Garbage like this should be kept private. I tell you for two reasons. If you heard the message, I apologize. I intended to say it is a joy to serve but I went beyond what I intended. The second reason is a lesson can be learned.
The most frightening thing about preaching is getting in the flesh and the flesh is very subtle. Actually sneaky would be a better word. Rooted deeply within our old self is a craving for recognition and if we are not careful, the flesh will toot its own horn. Sometimes we preachers call it an illustration, sometimes we call it a confession, sometimes praise and at other times a prayer request but it is actually our flesh moving itself into the spotlight. Solomon wisely said, Do not exalt yourself in the king’s presence, and do not claim a place among his great men; it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here,” than for him to humiliate you before his nobles. It is always wrong and dangerous to exalt one’s self and when you least expect it, the flesh will slip a promo in for itself.
You would think a man of experience who knows the above truth would never make the mistake again but unfortunately for me, it keeps happening. In spite of my mental lapse the LORD did answer some prayers for me yesterday and I want to thank my prayer partners. I am also hoping that this week will not be as rushed as last week. I am also praying for rain.
I was saddened to hear of Steve Kelsoe’s passing. For me, one of the sad things was my not being able to minister to Steve during his sickness. I think the Governor and health officials were very insensitive in their restrictions. I do believe that ministers and close family should have been allowed in the hospitals. I do not like the idea of people suffering and dying alone. My heart goes out to Lisa, Lindsey and Mrs. Edith. This family has been through a lot of suffering and sorrow. Steve and I got to know each other way back in the day when Holly and Lindsey were playing softball. In memory serves me right: we went to State three years in a row; maybe four. My first conversation with Steve was at the motel in Montgomery during one of those tournaments.