Jul 16, 2020

The Great Equalizers

The Great Equalizers

Luke 18:14 ~ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Alexander The Great is one of history’s most successful military commanders. Shortly after he succeeded his father as king, he learned that the weight of life’s deepest lessons are experienced through personal pain. He came upon a great philosopher studying a large pile of human bones. The King became curious and asked him what he was doing. The philosopher replied, “I’m looking for the bones of your father but I cannot distinguish them from those of the slaves.” In that painful moment, Alexander got the point. In death, all are equal. 

The Great Equalizers

Jesus taught of another place where, regardless of community stature or financial prowess, all men are equal and that is at the mighty throne of God. In Luke 18 Jesus shares the story of two men that come to God in prayer. The Pharisee offers a prayer full of pride and self determined righteousness and left unjustified. The Tax Collector stood in humility, begging for mercy, fully admitting his sin condition and left justified before God. 

The Great Equalizers

We can live a life that much like the Pharisees appears good on the exterior. We can do lots of things that appear righteous. Serving the community, donating money and goods to the church or charity, even showing up at church each week can quickly become meaningless based on our heart condition. 

When we come to God in prayer contaminated with pride, we receive nothing. Everyone can receive forgiveness from God when we come with a simple, sincere, and humble heart. 

The Great Equalizers

The common and consistent theme in my early years was the pattern of life lessons learned the hard way, often multiple times over time. The lesson in this parable was one I struggled with for so long. Maybe because of the “flip-the-script” narrative often used by Jesus that revealed new and different ways to follow Him were foreign. His ways did not create division among others or conflict within ourselves. 

If we reflect on current world culture, to say that all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted, can be confusing and seem it’s out of place.  It can create division within ourselves that contradicts the world's narrative that we must consider ourselves first, work hard for what we want or take crafty shortcuts if we can, celebrate loudly our achievements, and never let anyone begin to forget what our rights are and especially how much we deserve them. 

The Great Equalizers

When I lived and believed that happiness was found in money, nice cars, expensive clothes, big houses, and validation from important people, it made no sense that I should shelf my pride for humility. I thought I needed to be proud of my achievements, my possessions and my relationships with important people. The more pride I felt, the harder I tried to achieve it. . After all, this is what leads to success isn’t it?  And success is the goal, isn’t it? The confusion and internal conflict can increase exponentially when we think we’ve arrived and possess the things that we believed would meet our needs to be happy yet for some reason we seem more empty now more than ever. 

One of the greatest challenges for those that choose to follow Jesus can come in a season of transition from the old life into the new.  We grow tired of chasing empty dreams and goals. We reach a pain threshold that pushes us to shed beliefs in old toxic lies and begin to trust in the truths in Jesus’ parables. 

Our Creator who knows us fully, also knows what fills us. As we grow in relationship with Him, we experience significance in our life and in our relationships. Maybe you’ve heard stories or maybe someone in a church said it one time and you overheard them mention the peace from God that surpasses all human understanding. It sounds amazing and we all hope to receive it. That gift of incomprehensible peace came to me when I faithfully approached the great equalizer of God’s throne with a simple, sincere, and humble heart. The great equalizer of death lost its sting. 

I am so thankful for a God that never stops pursuing us. His love for us is so great. The thought of even one of His children being lost is simply unbearable. 

Waking with you. 

Don


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(Hey, thanks for giving my blog a read. I believe in the gift and power of prayer.  Let me know how I can pray for you by sending me a message at knownneededloved@gmail.com)

More encouraging stories here: https://www.awarenow.io/donmann

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