Choose You This Day: Walk Humbly

What if I did something wrong?

What if they misjudge my motives?

What if they think poorly of me now?

These “what if” questions have kept me up many a night. They have caused me way more anxiety than I care to admit. They keep my head spinning with confusion and my heart aching for approval.

As a human being (and especially as a teenager), I tend to place an unhealthy level of importance on the opinions of my peers and elders. I ponder whether or not “they” would approve of my clothes, or if “they” would think I did a good job. Do “they” understand me… do “they” appreciate me… do “they” even know I exist.

And then I try to spiritualize my problems by asking: what if “they” reject Jesus because I’m not a good ambassador? What if “they” think I’m a hypocrite? What if instead of letting my light shine before men that others may glorify God, “they” think I’m putting up billboards with flashing lights pointing at me?

I’ve all too often let my life be controlled by the proverbial “them” because I listen to the voices of insecurity and self-doubt that tell me my Christian walk isn’t good enough. I try to earn my way to God and do all these things that make it look like I’m living for Him. Even the tiniest of things, like a simple text message, can make me wonder if I’m “doing it right.” But when was the last time you got a report card from God because your text message wasn’t flawless? Since when was our salvation based on performance? Last I knew, I was saved by grace through faith, not by works so that I can’t boast.

Honestly, it’s exhausting trying to defend myself. I’ve spent way too much time trying to control what others think and worrying about what “they’re” going to say.

God helped me to realize something the other day that I thought was really encouraging:

He is the defender of my reputation.

Jesus says in John 15:18–“If the world hates you, understand that it hated me before it hated you.

The realization that it’s not about me shook me. It’s not my job to control what other people think or say. It’s not my job to protect my name or reputation. And it’s definitely not my job to exalt myself. It is, however, my job to trust God, to follow Him, and to obey Him no matter the cost. Put simply, my job is to surrender. When I submit to Him, He becomes the defender of my reputation because my life is in His hands, not my own.

If I take my cues from God, the world and quite possibly other Christians are going to think I’m crazy. But if God is anointing my steps and making my path straight, then why should I care what other people think? It’s not going to be other people judging me on Judgment Day; it’s going to be God.

My favorite part about quarantine is how quiet the outside voices have become. I’ve lost touch with the outside world for so long that it’s lost its influence in my life. God is no longer being drowned out by people’s opinions of me or what I feel like I have to be (at least not to the same extent as before). When I press into God, He becomes the loudest voice in my life and suddenly His words are the only ones that matter.

“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10, ESV).

I’ve been extremely challenged by the balancing act of staying humble yet staying confident. But I’m starting to realize that when I’m humble enough to yield to the Holy Spirit, that’s actually when I’m most confident. I have to surrender my confidence, my strength, and my comfort zones. But when I lay my abilities down at the feet of Jesus, God gives me His own. And His are far superior to what mine could ever be!

It often seems backwards and counter-intuitive to let go of the very thing we’re trying to hold on to, but that’s the mystery of the Christian life. We have to lay down our lives to truly find them. We have to let go of ourselves and press into God to truly know who we are. We have to stop striving in order to find true success.

It takes real humility to surrender our egos and reputations, not to mention our dreams, plans, and motivations. Let’s just be honest–it’s hard. But realizing that we don’t have to–and can’t–do it on our own can be the most freeing thing in the world if we learn to yield to the Spirit of God. Being endowed with power from on high is like being skyrocketed to cloud nine!

The Bible tells us that we can’t serve two masters. Luke 16:13– “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

We have to make the decision to take our cues from God, to listen to His voice and only His voice, and to submit to His Holy Spirit. “Choose you this day whom you will serve,” Joshua says in the book named after him.

I don’t know about you, but as for me, I will serve the Lord. If I’m judged for my text messages, so be it. If I’m judged for what I post on my blog, so be it. If I’m judged for the books I do or don’t read, the movies I do or don’t watch, or the songs I do or don’t listen to, so be it. I take my cues from El Shaddai (God Almighty) and El Roi (the God who sees me). I am protected by my Father in Heaven, so whom shall I fear? If God be for me, who shall be against me?

I wrote a song/poem called “Walk Humbly” because it’s a life changing principle: walk humbly, and you will be exalted. Surrender your steps to God, and you will never be lost. Let go of your reputation and social status, because God sees and that’s enough!

I pray that you are blessed and encouraged by the lyrics:

You read your texts ten times over
But you’re still scared when you hit send
Give yourself pep talks at night and
Replay the conversations in your head

You’re always editing your life,
trying to find favor with the church
It’s a struggle for attention
Don’t want to admit how failure hurts

He sees all you do to please Him
But please listen when I say
His love isn’t earned
It’s never been performance based

Don’t be afraid of the shadows where the spotlight doesn’t shine
Don’t race through the desert though it looks like wasted time
Don’t think you’ve let Him down when your voice still goes unheard
Just walk humbly with your God
‘Cause success looks like obedience
And you can’t go wrong with love

You compare your walk to others
And some days you’re doing fine
But lies come and tear you down
And suddenly you feel resigned

It’s time to stop measuring success
By the measure this world gives
The only standard is God
He will exalt you when you humbly live

Don’t be afraid of the shadows where the spotlight doesn’t shine
Don’t race through the desert though it looks like wasted time
Don’t think you’ve let Him down when your voice still goes unheard
Just walk humbly with your God
‘Cause success looks like obedience
And you can’t go wrong with love

Walk victoriously, with authority, unashamed of who you are
Walk with humility, vertically, always looking up
(x2)

Don’t be afraid of the shadows where the spotlight doesn’t shine
Don’t race through the desert though it looks like wasted time
Don’t think you’ve let Him down when your voice still goes unheard
Just walk humbly with your God
‘Cause success looks like obedience
And you can’t go wrong with love

Just walk humbly with your God
‘Cause success looks like obedience
And you can’t go wrong with love

All glory to God! Stay safe, stay healthy, abide in His love, and I will see you next time!

In Christ now and always,
~CoCo