The epitome of arrogance is believing we know better than God
I distinctly remember my church preaching over Psalm 130 about a year ago because those messages felt like a direct line to my crying heart. It acknowledged the longing that I constantly feel for a bigger purpose and a clear sense of direction in this world that feels so big sometimes.
“Out of the depths, I cry to you, LORD! Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy! If you LORD, should mark iniquities, who could stand? But with you is forgiveness, that you may be feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word, I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning. Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD, there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption. And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.” Psalm 130
One of my favorite parts about this Psalm is how it addresses the Lord in two ways:
- “LORD”, which addresses him as Yahweh and recognizes the relationship we have with Christ.
- “Lord”, which addresses him as Master and recognizes our position with Christ.
Sometimes when we feel at a loss with who we are and what steps we should be taking to achieve “the best me”, we can truly feel like we are crying out from the pit or depths of despair. Those depths often feel unpredictable and dangerous to us. We feel so small and forget that the Lord calls us his beloved daughters. When we restrict our view to the horizontal plane or all of the pressures and chaos of our lives, we become overwhelmed by those giant waves of despair surrounding us. This is when we start spinning our wheels and expending all of our energy trying to solve our own problems without burdening others. Anyone else there with me on this? The epitome of arrogance is believing we know better than God. Sis, if we could turn our focus from the horizontal plane to the vertical by taking our thoughts, hopes, and insecurities captive, we’d feel that immediate glimmer of hope from looking up and calling out to our LORD as we see in Psalm 130.
James 4:2 tells us “you have not because you ask not”. No wonder we feel like we are exhausting our resources to solve our own problems and insecurities – we don’t always feel like we’re allowed to ask for help! How foolish this feels when we are able to truly wrap our mind around the fact that we have a God that hears the cries of our hearts. He listens when we present our requests and uncertainties to Him and He meets us there. This friend is why we can wait for the Lord with hopeful expectation. When our hope is rooted in the word of God, we will see what the Lord is asking of us and what He presents before us so clearly. That’s what we are to do, friends. That is our purpose. We condition ourselves to fit into this mold that we select for ourselves and do everything in our power to be the best at it. When our motivation is rooted in the pressure to constantly learn how to improve, how to be better than our last mistake, how to appeal to varying audiences – it is exhausting. BUT, if we begin each day with the prayer to be clothed with the Armor of God, we will accomplish all of these things and MORE. Wanting to continue to learn and improve isn’t a bad thing. We should always strive to be refined women of God in what He has called us to. But we must first seek the Kingdom of God and the purpose we find in His mission for our lives, and the rest will be unveiled to us. THEN we can do our part, hand-in-hand with the Lord, to discover what steps we can take toward the unique identity and purpose He gives us.
I want to end with a quote from Priscilla Shirer. She says, “We must constantly maintain the far superior privilege of knowing God over merely getting something from Him or implementing an action plan.” Sisters, it is a privilege to know God and to trust and walk boldly towards His hopes and dreams for our lives. Let’s live like it!
What will it look like for you to set your mind and heart on simply knowing God more with no ulterior motives? When we have a hopeful expectation for what we can learn from the Lord when we meet with Him, what possibilities He can unleash for how we can better seek the Kingdom!
Do you feel that giddiness in your heart when you think of the role He wants you to play in doing so? Good. Take that and run with it, sis! YOU have a beautiful purpose. Love God and love people – the rest will fall into its place.
- Jess Barr
Meet the Author
Jessie Barr is a speech-language pathologist based in Dallas, TX. She is a firm believer in the power words can hold when spoken over someone with the light and love of the gospel and aims to help people see the value they bring to the world. She loves connecting with other women of Christ through their unique stories and is excited to be a part of the W&HC community.