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Key's to Living: The Imagination of Pride = Kingpin
by Jennifer Kelly on January 28th, 2016

"The problem begins when people who know God, do not worship Him as God, but become proud in their imagination." Ravi Zacharias ( Who is Jesus? Part 2 of 2 RZIM Podcast)

My mentor once hypothesized that she could trace each and every one of our sin's root - back to pride. It is an interesting theory, and one that I am slowly beginning to not only understand, but also believe.

Our family moved to Denver, Colorado over Christmastime. My husband, Mike, got a thrilling opportunity to come and be on staff at Colorado Christian University as their Network Administrator. We had prayed and prayed over the last couple years that Mike could find a job that challenged him cognitively, while engaging him spiritually, all the while providing for us financially. This triad is harder to come by then one might think. Mike's brain is gifted in a world that pays handsomely for his technical skills and abilities. Unfortunately, spiritually and morally, his struggle to be away from his family had become a strain. It's a problem that resonates with so many families who love God, want to provide, and be present - all at the same time.

We ended up here as surely as Jesus called Peter to come and walk with Him on the water. It was audible and miraculous and FAST. We picked up our home and traded the desert for snow, the brown for green, and scorpions for geese. And, Just-like-that, we were in Colorado, one wave at a time.

It would be such an awesome thing to be able to write and give you a testimony of my humbleness and grace and patience through this transition. I wish I could tell you that I was this Proverbs 31 wife who said "good-bye" gracefully and supported her husband and family with strength and perseverance, all the while keeping my eyes on Jesus.

I-did-no-such-thing.

Something started brewing underneath. A mound of pressure and change and unknown. What was once a definitive "call" from God, so audible and clear, quickly began to drown in gurgles of anticipation and doubt. I started hanging, cleaning, moving and doing to saturate my uneasiness and jealousy. Here, my husband was blessed with a job that he immediately LOVED, and his passion spilled everywhere. I was still mourning my church and friends and all the areas I was of use, only to find myself in a place where it seemed I was of no use at all. Except laundry and cooking and cleaning. 

Anticipation, doubt, fear, and jealousy can all be traced back to PRIDE.
It all comes back to ME.
Why is this happening? God, are you sure about this? Can't I do something of worth (like tending to a family is not worthy enough)? Why do I have to do the freaking dishes? What about me, Lord? Do you see me here - struggling? And so on. I quickly took the strings back from God and started placing the pins where I wanted them to be. Kingpin.

The great and not-so-great thing about God is He allows us to do these things. Like Jonah or Saul, God allowed my own form of disobedience to swell and run, watching and waiting for my temper tantrum to subside. When it didn't (I've been known to get even more indignant than the best of them), He sets a bowling ball down a greased lane for a perfect strike.

****

All of sudden I am sent spinning, and quickly reminded of His sovereignty and my very fickle existence without regard for His will and His way. I immediately am reminded of what a life looks like without worshiping Him or without even a slight regard toward Him. Because pride takes ME (where God once was), and diminishes everything down to my pleasure. It feels good in the beginning, but leaves you wanting in the end. It is lucrative and destructive. 

Especially when I know better. I know the million little pieces of pain and a shattered mess He has glued back together again. I know of my family torn and sewn, stitch-by-stitch, in the grace and redemption of the cross. I know of mercy and forgiveness and love when I didn't deserve it. 

I was diagnosed with bronchitis recently. The bacterial kind that knocks you off your feet and requires an inhaler, antibiotics, cough syrup, and some other medicinal concoction your body so desperately needs - It also provides a whole heck-of-a-lot-of-time.

Time of quiet.
Time to process.
Time in Scripture.

Spiritual time (with tears and silence and prayer) is one of the best remedies for pride I know of. It places you at Jesus' feet and whispers, "Repent, move on and be thankful".

"My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son" Hebrews 12:5-6

How many times do I have to learn that this life is not about me?
Pride always makes it about me: Kingpin.

One of my favorite hymns is "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing". Robert Robinson penned the lyrics in 1758 so eloquently and truthfully when he wrote,

"O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, O take and seal it, 
Seal it for Thy courts above"

A 'fetter' is a chain used to restrain a prisoner, either tied around the ankles or wrists. Otherwise known as a shackle. Robinson is beckoning (through the goodness of God) that He chain his wandering heart to Him.

They sang this song at church this past Sunday. (Bowling ball down a greased lane).
I asked God to do the same thing Robert Robinson did in 1758. And then I cried. (Strike).

Shackle my prideful heart to you, O God. ‚Äč

I'm feeling better now. Yes, the antibiotics have kicked in and I'm not coughing or hacking or feeling miserable, in the physical sense, but it's more than that. I don't have all the insecurity underneath emotions anymore. The jealousy, the doubt, the PRIDE. The dangerous kind of sickness that eats away at your soul is so much more important than the physical kind. 

Here's some truth - when I get frantic and scared or envious, I'm like an ally cat that hisses and scratches like it's demon possessed (I have suspicions that this has a lot to do with my past and trust issues). When transitions occur, my survival skills (or lack thereof) flare up and I have tendency to go back to past behaviors, but God's love is deeper and wider than my cat-like behavior to transitions ever could be (thank the good Lord) and I'm slowly learning to live differently.

Even at 33. 

And God's mercy and patience to deal with me through all of it is amazing. It's actually the point. His love is new every, single morning. 

"...But God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it" Hebrews 12:10-11

So this transition is training. This move, this job, the cleaning, and finding a new church, and meeting new people and supporting my family is TRAINING. Jen needs training, a better way of living and a heart that is more like Jesus. AMEN SISTER? And the only way I know I'm on par, is to sit at His feet every morning, read His Word, pray, and let Him change my heart. One stubborn wave after another. He always reaches down and pulls me out of the water.

I don't mind the dishes so much, and I am SO proud (finally - in the good way) of my husband. I'm also learning that a heart of thanksgiving starts to cultivate when your life is aligned in the correct posture. It's a wonderful start in the opposite direction of prideful dissatisfaction.

IF Pride = Kingpin
Then Thankfulness = Servant

What a better way to live, in the in-between.


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1 Comments

Leslie - January 29th, 2016 at 3:25 PM
I love it! Deep down words of your heart, so encouraging to me! I've always loved that song and indeed realize how prone I am to wander from the God who loves me and gave His Son that I might have life! Do hope you're well, physically! Appreciate you!
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