Vainity Detox

This week I went to a Pastors appreciation conference. It was put together very well. I felt a bit like a spy because I am technically NOT a pastor yet. Either way, I was invited and so I went!

The speaker was Darren Whitehead, formally of Willow Creek. His text was out of Hab 3:2.

Hab 3:2 “O LORD, I have heard the report of you, and your work, O LORD,

do I fear. In the midst of the years revive it;

in the midst of the years make it known;

in wrath remember mercy.” (ESV)

In his message he shared a lot of stories of what  God has done in his life.

He shared stories of how he got to the U.S.

He shared stories of how God has helped his recent church plant in Nashville, TN.

Listening to him share his heart for God to be known and what it means to stand in awe of God there was this painful question that lurked in the back of my mind….

“Do I believe God is big enough to do those things in my life?”

In my heart I exclaimed, “YES!”

However,

Cognitively, (which is where I spend most of my time)

I am not sure how sold I am on the concept. I know I should be shot for such a statement but please give me a moment to explain.

I believe in the power and wonder of God. I believe He can do whatever He so desires. I believe He will see His will fulfilled and it will be done efficiently.

My problem…..

ME!

I have a hard time believing He wants to us me.

I rely too much on myself. I lean too much to the god of my understanding and experience. I trust in my fallible and broken flesh box more the eternal infallible God of the earth.

I tend to pray in weak, open-ended, generic ways. I fear to ask specifics.

I fear God won’t answer. I fear God will answer in a way I don’t like. I fear He just doesn’t  care about my petty prayers.

While listening to Darren share his life experiences something  hit me.

What if I don’t see God move in power because my motive is MY glory and not HIS?!?!?!?

As painful as it may be to consider this question….it needs to be pondered.

I fear in my own life, at times, I am more concerned with my own vain glory rather than seeing God’s glory shine upon the streets of the city I now call home.

Sometimes in ministry I become too mechanical. I become too professional. I become too self reliant. I end up becoming too content with, “ok,” ministry because I do not ask or seek God to move in power.

Truth is:

Vanity is a weight I cant carry, only God is able to bear the weight of glory. Fame will ruin me.

So this week I made a decision. I am going to pray specific prayers. I am going to ask God to answer prayers that are not ambiguous but direct. I am going to pray for things BIGGER than me that only GOD can answer.

I am going to also begin the process of detoxing my pursuit of my glory. (prayer would be welcomed)

It wont be simple but the Christian walk isn’t simple.

Anyways, I hope that gives you something to ponder…….

What do you think? Do you struggle in this area?

Share some thoughts and let’s start a dialogue!

6 thoughts on “Vainity Detox

  1. One of my favorite quotes from an InterVarsity staff worker is, “Pray like a crazy person”. Definitely one of the hardest things for me to do for a lot of the same reasons you mention above!

    1. I honestly believe its fear of failure. I know in my context I have this nagging fear that I am praying into the air. I know that its not true but David I still fear it. It cripples me and my ability to see God do wondrous things.

  2. Hi, you don’t know me, but a friend of mine posted this on Facebook and I read through it. I am just so encouraged by this post, and so relieved that I am not the only one feeling this. I definitely feel like I rely too much on myself rather than God’s power. Thank you so much for sharing this! It is really uplifting and encouraging.

    1. Hey man, thanks for the words. I believe will all my heart that we cannot grow in faith until we are honest. Sadly, I am just coming into a place where I am comfortable to be open about my struggles.

  3. This reminds me of how I feel when I go on job interviews. However, the ones I went on for chaplaincy I felt much more competent than before. Is it merely that I am more skillful or that I am learning to appreciate the person God has made me. I think it is both!

    ~ Daniel B

    1. Daniel, I always struggle with the difference between knowing what I am competent at and not letting that lead to arrogance. Sometimes I think that too much humility can become a form of vanity in itself. Thanks for commenting on my Blog!

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