Below is an Article written by Timothy Johns — if you have joined him in the 21 day fast and are not receiving his devotionals here is the one for Day Seventeen… They have been very inspirational for me. Bobbyg
Dear Loved of God,
It was pride and unbelief that opened the door to separation from God. Every form of suffering we experience on earth originates from these root sins. Therefore, the exact opposite is what opens the door to God’s Presence and Grace. Here are just a few Bible verses that teach us the importance of being broken, contrite, and humble:
This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word. (Is. 66:2)
I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. (Is. 57:15) God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6) All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. I Pet. 5:5-6
Faith, brokenness, and humility are the keys to unlock the promises of God.
Brokenness is the shattering of our self-will. Contrite means that we are repentant and eager to give God what He wants in the way He wants it. Humility is total dependence on God. In light of this, it is crucial that we know what pride and brokenness look like, so that we can avoid the first and cultivate the latter.
Here are some indicators of either pride or brokenness. This list is found in the book “Brokenness: The Heart God Revives” by Nancy Leigh DeMoss (Pages 81-86)
Attitudes toward others
1.Proud people focus on the failures of others and readily point out those faults. Broken people are more conscious of their own spiritual need than of anyone else’s.
2.Proud people have a critical, faultfinding spirit. They look at everyone else’s faults with a microscope but view their own with a telescope. Broken people are compassionate –they have the kind of love that overlooks a multitude of sins; they can forgive much because they know how much they have been forgiven.
3.Proud people are especially prone to criticize those in positions of authority – their pastor, their boss, their husband, wife or parents – and they talk to others about the faults they see. Broken people reverence, encourage, and lift up those that God has placed in positions of authority, and they talk to God in intercession, rather than gossiping about the faults they see in others.
4.Proud people are self-righteous; they think highly of themselves and look down on others. Broken people think the best of others; they esteem others better than themselves.
5.Proud people have an independent, self-sufficient spirit. Broken people have a dependent spirit; they recognize their need for God and others.
Attitudes About Rights
6.Proud people have to prove that they are right –they have to get the last word. Broken people are willing to yield the right to be right.
7.Proud people claim rights and have a demanding spirit. Broken people yield their rights and have a meek spirit.
8.Proud people are self-protective of their time, their rights, and their reputation. Broken people are self-denying and self-sacrificing.
Attitudes About Service and Ministry:
9.Proud people desire to be served – they want life to revolve around them and their own needs. Broken people are motivated to serve others and to be sure others’ needs are met before their own.
10.Proud people desire to be known as a success. Broken people are motivated to be faithful to make others successful.
11.Proud people have a feeling – conscious or subconscious – that this ministry is priviledged to have me and my gifts. They focus on what they can do for God. Broken people have a heart attitude that says, “I don’t deserve to have any part in this ministry”; they know that they have nothing to offer God except the life of Jesus flowing through their broken lives.
Attitudes About Recognition
12.Proud people crave self-advancement. Broken people desire to promote others.
13.Proud people have a drive to be recognized and appreciated for their efforts. Broken people have a sense of their own unworthiness; they are thrilled that God would use them at all.
14.Proud people get wounded when others are promoted and they are overlooked. Broken people are eager for others to get the credit, and they rejoice when others are lifted up.
15.Proud people are elated by praise and deflated by criticism. Broken people know that any praise of their accomplishments belongs to the Lord and that criticism can help them grow into spiritual maturity.
There are serious benefits to brokenness and humility. Let us contend for these heart attitudes, so we can access the grace of God.