All posts tagged humility

When God Throws Your Plans Out The Window.

sun tzu

The Art of Spiritual War

Sun Tzu’s Principle #1

“The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.”

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Biblical corollaries

Luke 22:42:  “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (NIV)

Matthew 6:9 & 10:  “This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (NIV)

State the principle in your own words

“It’s all about him, not me.”

 Application to living a more Godly life

We need to be willing to let go of our plans if God interrupts them and embrace His will ahead of our own. I was again reminded of this fact as I sought to get with a friend I had made through correspondence three years earlier, but had never met face-to-face.  He is a well-know personality and I thought it might be fun to bring a few men I coach along with me.  As I made plans to do this I had an inner check in my heart that the best scenario would be to stick with a one-on-one meeting to promote a deeper level of conversation between me and my new friend – but I ignored it. I didn’t want to make the trip alone, so I worked hard to bring my original plan to fruition.  The more resistance I met, the harder I tried to make it happen.  After a lot of effort I was still frustrated because I just couldn’t work out the schedule for anyone to come with me. So I finally gave in to my inner conviction to go it alone.  In the end, the solo time with my friend went very well and upon reflection, I knew we could never have enjoyed such open conversation if I had carted several others along with me. God’s way was better than mine.

What will you do differently as a result of this study – so what?

Next time I will pay more attention to the inner promptings from God’s Spirit and retreat more quickly from trying to make my plans come about.  I will learn to listen more closely to my heart and learn from this experience. 

Short personal prayer of commitment

Heavenly Father, please forgive me for being insensitive to your Spirit’s leading.  Please help me to recognize your hand more quickly when you are working out something different than I am trying to accomplish. I promise to seek you first, knowing that your will is far superior to mine.

Summary re-statement of Sun Tzu’s principle

If we are more interested in fulfilling God’s objectives than realizing our own plans, we will achieve far better results.

Expectations

This picture came to my inbox today and got me thinking about “Expectations.” I once saw an interview of Warren Buffet and his longtime partner (who no one has ever heard of) Charlie Munger. The question was asked of them how they got along so well for so many years? They glanced at each other and without hesitation Charlie said,” We have very low expectations of one another.” Wow! There is an insight that everyone needs to understand!

As we approach Christmas, what does this truth mean to us? First it means that God has low expectations of you and me. When God became a man (Jesus Christ), he was willing to sacrifice everything and humble himself in the hope that we would respond to his free gift of love but he had no assurance we would. He had high hopes but low expectations of our desire to reconnect with him as our savior and creator. He gives with no expectation of a return on his investment. He even offers to pay the price of our admission to heaven for free. All we need to do is believe in him.

Secondly, we need to lower our expectations of God. Not because he cannot deliver but because when he does deliver it is always out of love and not because we demand it. We also need to understand that as God, he knows best and therefore does not give us everything we expect or even want because it would undoubtedly ruin our lives. We give ourselves to God with no expectation of what he will do with our life. We simply know that he has our best at heart.

Thirdly, we will get along better with others if we lower our expectations of them. Not only are you imperfect but so is everyone else. Let’s stop judging others by our own standards. That does not mean we expect nothing but let’s realize that there is a lot more going on than we realize and we need to be as generous as possible in expressing our judgment of others. We can afford to lower our expectations of others and it will reap large dividends.

When God became a man over 2000 years ago and lived among us, he gave up all his Kingly prerogatives to show us how much he loved us. In this Christmas Season are you willing to follow his example? This is the secret to a long-lasting relationship with God and others.

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:11-12 King James Version (KJV)