Tim Johnson, editor
July 6, 2008
Your Best Moment
What has been the best moment of your life? Understand me. I'm not asking "what is the greatest thing you have ever done?" or "what is the best thing that ever happened to you?" The question is this: When were YOU at YOUR BEST?
I believe the Bible teaches that we are at our best when we realize our littleness before God. It is often only at that point that we self-absorbed humans are willing to give our lives over in submission to God's grand design.
Meditate on these words of David found in Psalm 39:4-5: "Lord, make me to know my end, and what is the measure of my days, that I may know how frail I am. Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, and my age is as nothing before You. Certainly every man at his best state is vapor."
At our best, we are as the morning mist that melts away with the rising sun. Knowing our frailty and insignificance makes us realize our complete dependence on the God of heaven.
Walk outside some clear evening. Look up at the stars. Maybe you can spot the constellation Orion--the Hunter. Three stars lined up in a row form his belt. The distance from us to those stars is almost unimaginable. We can scarcely fathom the power of the One who placed those stars in the heavens and has held them there through the ages. We are SO SMALL. God, His power, His plans and His designs are SO BIG! It causes us to wonder how God could even care about something so small as a single mortal man. "When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him?" (Psalm 8:3-4a).
Long ago the Lord asked Job if Job was able to "loose the belt of Orion" (Job 38:31). After being asked many such unanswerable questions from the mouth of the Lord, Job had perhaps his very best moment when he said to God, "I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from you. I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes" (Job 42:2,6).
When we fully realize the greatness of God and the smallness of man, there is nothing left to do but turn and render ourselves to Him in complete obedience. When we see ourselves as we are, there will be nothing left in us that could be called pride. There will be no aspirations for fame and acclaim. There will be no desire to claim superiority over other humans. We will surely see such activities for what they are -- comparable to one speck of house dust making itself out to be more important than all the other specks of house dust. May God help us be at our smallest, for then we are at our best.
"Who now rejoice in my sufferings." (Col. 1:24)."And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name" (Acts 5:41).
The Christian life is many times a paradox to human nature; it calls upon us to act in ways which are contrary to what would seem to come naturally. It is often hard to react to situations in a Christ-like manner due to the weakness of the flesh. When men persecute us, and revile us, and say all manner of evil against us our natural inclination is to reply in kind. We sometimes not only desire to take vengeance, but we go ahead and do it, forgetting that the Bible says, "Vengeance is mine: I will repay, saith the Lord." (Romans 12:19). And also, "See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men." (1 Thess. 5:15).
We do not live in a time when physical suffering for Christ is a necessity; when men strip us of our clothing and whip us before the public eye for preaching or practicing the gospel. But, if we are living as we should we are suffering some kind of persecution because Paul says, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2 Timothy 3:12). Most of us our suffering today is mental. It consists mostly of reviling and saying all manner of evil against us because of what we stand for. Men, being unable to answer what we affirm, attribute positions to us we never held in an effort to build resentment against us in the minds of others. This is the most common form of persecution in our time. From some points of view, it is the worst kind of persecution. We are sometimes helpless to overcome its evil results due to its affinity for darkness and secrecy.
But, regardless of the form persecution takes, the Christian will react in the same manner. He will not use carnal weapons in his defense, but will take the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17), and pull down strongholds; cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10: 4-5). He will not whimper and whine as though he were the first and last to suffer for Christ. He will never feel humiliated, but rather exalted because he knows he does not walk alone.
.--James P. Needham
In BIBLE TRUTH, May 12, 1960 via The Instructor May 1980