Beliefnet
Your Morning Cup of Inspiration

This week I’ve been reading about Moses and the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. What I find most interesting about that story is God’s approach to freeing the Israelites.  He, of course, has the power to free them immediately.  But God doesn’t do that.  Instead, He brings locusts, hail, gnats and all sorts of other calamities on the Egyptians before the Israelites are freed.  Why?  The text says that God wants to make clear to the Israelites that He freed them.  He doesn’t want them to conclude that they did it by their own efforts.  So God does grandiose things to show that He freed them from bondage.

This story provides an interesting insight into how God works in our lives. If God granted our prayers on our timetables, we probably would conclude that our accomplishments are the result of our own abilities.  However, God wants to keep us humble.  He wants us to understand that we need Him in order to accomplish anything in our lives.

Humility is important because it teaches us not only who is in power – God – but it also teaches us that we are no better than anyone else. Once we get rid of the arrogance of thinking that we can accomplish things on our own, then we realize that we are on par with everyone else.

Sometimes I think that the Bible is the greatest self-help book ever written. God knows that humility is necessary for us to interact successfully with other human beings.  He also knows that arrogance is dangerous.  As a result, in the Moses story, God does great things so that the Israelites will remember for the rest of time that He saved them.  He then commands the Israelites to celebrate their deliverance from the Egyptians every year.  This celebration – Passover – is when Jewish people give God the credit for delivering them from slavery.

We should be considering, not only once a year but every day, how we are nothing without God.   One way to do that is to consider what God has done for you already.  In this respect, I often think about how God has kept my daughter safe.  One particular incident stands out in my mind.  We were at a pool party when my daughter was very small.  The pool was full of adults and children.  My daughter somehow got stuck under a floating, pool lounge chair.  She was too small to figure out how to get out from under it.  One of the children noticed and yelled to his mother.  His mother (a former lifeguard) jumped into the pool, fully clothed, and pulled my daughter out from under the chair.  That was God at work saving my daughter.

So often we wonder, “When is God going to make my dreams come to pass?” Or “When is God going to resolve this problem that is weighing on my mind?”  When we have these questions, we have to remind ourselves that God is in control.  Our only job is to work hard and live ethically.  We then have to trust that God will creatively solve our problems and help us accomplish our purpose on this earth.  And we have to give Him the credit for doing so.

It is hard to accept that we cannot change things by our own efforts. But that is the first step toward developing the humility that God is trying to inspire in us.  As you strive toward your goals, accept your limitations.  Know that you need God to accomplish all that you wish to do.  And when you do reach your goals, when blessings come your way, give God the glory.

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