In this year, the Year of Sight, one of the key points I think the Lord wants us to see is the absolute necessity of a humble spirit in order to see—actually see—the Lord’s Face, and to see His vision for us and Appalachia unfold into manifested sight.
There are many Scriptures that make this point and point out a particular problem for us human beings: humility comes from pressure, not pleasure; from crushing, not cruising; from poverty, not prosperity. True humility looks like a cross, not a crowd.
True humility does not come easily for humans in our fallen condition. It comes from being broken by the world, or by remaining broken in our hearts before the Lord as we radically resist the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s possessions (1 John 2;16)—to continually humble ourselves in His sight so that He can lift us up…
Jesus hammered this point home in His Sermon on the Mount, which starts with a list we call the beatitudes—a list of people who are broken and despised by the world—yet are the very ones who see God.
In Matthew 6, Jesus continues the sermon by focusing on three practices that help people SEE God—or devolve into practices designed to turn attention upon self. They are:
GIVING (vs. 1-4)
PRAYING (vs. 5-8)
FASTING (vs. 16-18)
Jesus begins the discussion by saying, be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be SEEN by them (Matt. 6:1).
Giving, praying, and fasting are wonderful ways to humble ourselves by letting go of pride in one’s possessions (Giving), the lust of the eyes (Prayer) and the lust of the flesh (Fasting). Father has given us ways to humble ourselves so that He can give us sight; so that He can lift us up!
…Left to human fallenness, they each become ways to show off our “generosity,” to flaunt our “spirituality” or to display our “piety.” From brass plaques to (some) prayer-chains to Fast-flaunting we humans can really put on a show to be seen. Problem is, being seen precludes us from SEEING!
So we need to daily ask ourselves where our heart is: Do we long to be seen and recognized and rewarded for what we do, or are we broken in love before the Lover of our souls, content to spend time with Him in ways that draw zero attention to ourselves? Honestly, it is and will be an ongoing struggle as long as we are “chained to these bodies of death,” but Father is calling us congregationally to a beautifully sweet place of humility at His feet…!