November 29, 2018
Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. – Proverbs 3:7
Samuel Chadwick, a noted English preacher, tells how he started his ministry infatuated with his eloquence as a speaker. Taking a pastorate in a little
One Saturday night, while going over his notes for a sermon, God revealed to him his egotism. He had believed that his strength lay in his ability to preach, and he had forgotten that God alone is the source of all blessing. There was an agonizing struggle that went on past the midnight hour. As the young preacher sought the face of God, all he could hear was, “Burn those sermons.” Finally at three o’clock in the morning, he kindled a fire in the kitchen stove and the sermons were burned. As the flames consumed his elegant notes, it seemed that a new fire was kindled in his heart. Revival had come, and the next day the young preacher witnessed the beginning of a mighty awakening in his church.
The word wise in our focus verse has a meaning of “artful” or “skillful,” as well as “intelligent.” If we are to be used by God in any capacity, reliance on our own insights and abilities must be relinquished and replaced by a dependence upon God. God wants us to humbly recognize Him as the source of all true wisdom, ability, and talent. Without Him, we are really nothing! All that we are or have is His gift.
Samuel Chadwick learned that lesson, and his ministry profited. Hudson Taylor, a renowned missionary to China, learned it too. One time, after being introduced to an audience in glowing terms and with eloquent praise, he opened his message by saying, “Dear friends, I am the little servant of an illustrious Master.”
Godly humility will produce spiritual fruit in our lives, too, as we determine to walk humbly before the Lord.