Checking Up On Our Modesty

Checking Up On Our Modesty

Sister Miki Terayama - 15 November 2020

Weekend Devotion: Checking Up On Our Modesty

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People all like to leave a good impression on others, and there is nothing entirely wrong with that. If one is doing it to glorify the God in their lives, to help people meet God by witnessing the Lord to others, then, of course, that is delightful in His eyes. However, if we does it just to display a humble and modest exterior, but their hearts are laden with selfish motives and desires, then that is fake humility. Now many of us may be familiar with the story of Gideon. At first, he did not have much qualities or conditions, but the Lord used him greatly nonetheless. Through Gideon, the Lord freed the people of Israel from the clutches of their enemies. We may think that, perhaps, he will be very faithful to the Lord after experiencing such grace and power, but in the end, he loved himself more than the Lord. Let us look at what the Israelites told Gideon in Judges 8:22-27. “The Israelites said to Gideon, “Rule over us—you, your son and your grandson—because you have saved us from the hand of Midian.” But Gideon told them, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The Lord will rule over you.” And he said, “I do have one request, that each of you give me an earring from your share of the plunder.” They answered, “We’ll be glad to give them.” So they spread out a garment, and each of them threw a ring from his plunder onto it. The weight of the gold rings he asked for came to seventeen hundred shekels, not counting the ornaments, the pendants and the purple garments worn by the kings of Midian or the chains that were on their camels’ necks. Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his family.” Then in Judges 8:31, it says “His concubine, who lived in Shechem, also bore him a son, whom he named Abimelek.”

Now let us expound the verses as we talk about humility today.

 

Seemingly humble, but filled with personal intentions 

Over here, we see that Gideon seems modest as he rejected the Israelites’ invitation to be their ruler. On the surface, he seems to revere the Lord when he said that only “the Lord will rule over you”, and those who hear it might deem Gideon as a good servant. However, as we read on, he named his son, Abimelek, which means “My father is king.” So from here, even though Gideon verbally said that he does not want to rule over Israel, his heart desires for the throne as the king. Which is why he named his son this way. Thus, his humility is not genuine. Also, from Gideon’s request of the Israelites’ gold earrings, it has exposed his greed. The truth is, what he wanted was the gold, not the Lord’s heart. He did not exalt the Lord in his heart and what was worse is that he misled God’s people, bringing them into the traps of idol worshipping. Dear brothers and sisters, from this account, we have to truly reflect within ourselves today as well. We may display humility in our words and actions, but is that only an exterior portrayal or do we really revere the Lord in our hearts as we do so? We all have a certain level of greed in us and it can manifest in different ways. For money, for looks, for praises of men, and many more. Now, we may never be able to entirely shed off these fallen natures of ours, but at least we can pray for the Lord to help us not to be easily manipulated or let it occupy our entire mind.

 

Despite how much we are favoured by God, continue to guard our spirits from arrogance

Also, the reason the Lord has shown as the story of Gideon is to teach us, no matter how much we have been favoured by the Lord, we must never cease and continually guard our spirits against arrogance. We, men, are unlike the Lord who has no shifting shadows. Men change and waver through seasons of life. One moment we can be more spiritually guarded, but the next, we could fall into some carnal temptations. When Gideon was right in his calling from the Lord, he personally destroyed the altar of Baal. But towards the end, Gideon himself, made an idol, stumbling the Israelites in worshiping a false god. Therefore, regardless of how much faith we have had in the past, how many spiritual battles we have won and triumphed over, we still have to be needful of the Lord daily, relying on Him, seeking His counsel over all things and thus, guarding our own hearts. Especially when we start to have more spiritual victories and testimonies, we will receive more temptations and attacks as well. This is because, the more successful we are, the easier it is to feel like we do not need God and that we are able in our own might. So the more spiritual we are in our walk of faith, we have to be even more wary of the traps of arrogance and complacency that could sneak into our hearts. Our momentary triumph does not equate to our lasting faithfulness to the Lord. Our past successes does not guarantee that we can stand firmly by faith in the days that follows. And especially those of us who are leaders, pastors, elders, leaders of cell groups, youth groups or the head of the family. We have to be carefully guarded so as not to stumble the faith of those whom we have influence over.

Dear brethren, this is a message that is very close to my heart and I hope that it reminds you as well, that we should not merely show a modest outlook, but in reality, have the spirit that truly reveres the Lord. No matter how glorious and great we were in submitting to the Lord before, we have to keep rebooting in our daily pursuit and reliance on the Lord. Take care and God bless.

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Miki Terayama
miki.terayama@gmail.com

Miki is a full-time ministry staff at The Blessed Run Ministries. She is a sister who shares a natural, God-given affinity with children and youths. She is married to Randy (NET Group Youth Leader) and has two little ones of her own, Liora and Jude. She is involved in the children, youth and social media ministries.

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