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This weekend, JP teaches us how to dress as Christians, but not in the clothes you might be thinking of. God cares about what we wear, so much so that He directly told us to “…clothe yourselves with humility…” (1 Peter 5:5-11). Conversely, when we wear pride, we are opposing ourselves to the Creator of the heavens and the earth. Wearing pride leads to anxiety, sin, and even death. In contrast, the benefits of wearing humility are overwhelming. What are you wearing: pride or humility?
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Special Christmas Message from Todd
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Romans 5: Gifts From God
Dignity of Responsibility
Are You a Fool for Believing in God?
The Cost of the Cross
A Prophetic Word for the Mission
What God Has Done and What We Must Keep Doing
Life’s Slot Machine
Put on Humility
Watermark, how are we doing? It's good to be with you. Every now and then, as a dad, it's amazing to have a weekend of nothing. Very, very rare these weekends, but every now and then you get to Friday afternoon and there's nothing going on. The way I view these rare opportunities is a time to say yes. Whatever the kids want to do, as long as it's not sin or crazy, it's like, "Yes." They're like, "Daddy, can we go to the park?"
"Yes, let's go to the park."
"Can we play outside?"
"You've got it. Let's go play outside."
"Can we go to the mall?"
"We're going to the mall."
"Daddy, can we have doughnuts for breakfast?"
"Why not? Doughnuts for breakfast."
"Can we have lunch at McDonald's?"
"Sure. Why not? We had doughnuts for breakfast. We might as well."
"Can we play outside with the remote control cars?"
"Let's do it. Let's play."
Then it was like, "Can we go camping?" "I don't know about that. It's cold outside. But what if we put up the tent in the living room and get this light that shines stars on the ceiling and camp in the living room? Yes, we'll do it. Let's go."
Just anything I can do to love and care and serve them. Sunday evening rolls around. It's time to get ready for school the next day, so I set out clothes. A good father looks at the weather. I see that it's this schizophrenic Texas weather. It's going to be 41 degrees in the morning, 85 degrees in the afternoon.
I'm thinking, good dad. I'm thinking layers. Let's go layers here. Got a tank top, a cute pink Gap hoodie. You can zip it off later, take it off in the afternoon when it's 85. So I set out some clothes. My 7-year-old daughter at the time comes down for breakfast, and she's wearing this thick sweater with a bird on it. That's what she has on: this thick, permanent parka. I'm like, "That's not what I set out for you to wear." She says, "I know. I want to wear this."
I'm like, "No, no, no. It's going to be hot later. You need to wear the Gap hoodie. Go put the Gap hoodie on." She goes, "Daddy, why can't I wear what I want to wear? It's my clothes. I want to wear what I want to wear." I'm like, "Remember the weekend, the doughnuts and the McDonald's and the camping? I didn't build trust with you? Now you want to fight me about the bird sweater?" She said, "I want to wear what I want to wear. I'm wearing this."
"No, you're not. Let me be abundantly clear. You're going to take that off and you're going to put that on. The reason I want you to put that on is because I love you, I care about you, I have information you clearly don't have, and I want you to know it's going to happen. You're going to take that off and you're going to put that on."
I realized I can be just like my little girl. "I want to wear what I want to wear." Sometimes God says, "No, no, no. You're going to take that off and you're going to put that on." I was raised in a home where we got dressed up for church. You had to wear your Sunday best, your church clothes. "God cares about what you wear." I want you to know that he does. Not your clothes.
He calls you to be clothed in humility. He says, "Some of you are prideful. I want you to take that off and I want you to put that on." Can I tell you something? You're going to do it one way or another. You're going to put on humility. You will clothe yourself in humility or you will be humbled.
That's really the call of the Scripture, and it's close to my heart. We're going to be in 1 Peter 5. This is a life-saving passage for me. I say this experientially as someone who did not willingly clothe himself in humility, and God humbled me this past summer. That is a part of my story that I'll share with you today as we move into the message.
A loving father cares what his children wear, and God wants his children to be clothed in humility, that we would take off pride and put on humility. The truth is wearing pride is not just going to lead to you being uncomfortable; it's going to lead to you being anxious, completely given to anxiety. It's going to lead to you falling into sin, being devoured by the Enemy, and even death. So a loving father would say, "Don't wear that. You're going to take that off and put on humility."
I wrote this verse on my mirror this summer so I would see it every day. I'd start every day with the passage we're going to be in, 1 Peter 5:5. If you're here and you're wondering, "How do I know if I'm wearing pride?" let me ask you a few questions. Do you constantly wonder, "What are they going to think of me? What are they thinking of me? What are they saying about me?" Do you find value in your accomplishments or your abilities or your resources, constantly seeking to be self-important?
Do you seek to constantly control situations, concerned about your kids, worried about your boss, worried about what's next, wanting to control situations as much as you can? Do you feel anxious? Are you defensive when someone points out your sins or are you grateful? Are you defensive when they say, "Hey, this is a growth area"? Do you believe you're unforgivable, walking around feeling all of the shame because of what you did, saying, "The cross was not good enough; it was not big enough to forgive me for my sins"? That's prideful.
Are you preoccupied with thoughts of yourself? That's the essence of pride: thinking about yourself constantly, positioning yourself, trying to strategize. "How do I get ahead? How do I move in with this person?" Constantly thinking about how you can get ahead. Or are you preoccupied with thoughts of serving others? That's biblical humility: constantly thinking, "How do I use the resources God has entrusted to me so I can serve as many people around me as possible?"
C.S. Lewis says this about pride in Mere Christianity: "According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere flea bites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind."
Today we're talking about, "What are you wearing, pride or humility?" As we move through this section of 1 Peter 5, these five and a half verses, we're going to look at two things that happen when we wear pride and the incredible benefit of humility. I believe the sin of pride is costing you intimacy with God and, more than that, it is costing you joy in this world, and that is why the Holy Spirit, through Peter, wrote this:
"All of you…" Everyone, listen up. There's no one exempt from this. "All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, 'God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.' Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
If you grew up in the church, if you've been in church long, do you see how many memory verses there are back to back? "Clothe yourselves in humility. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Cast your anxieties on him because he cares for you. Your enemy the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." These seem like new ideas…humility, anxiety, Satan…but I want to show you today I think they're tied together.
Let's dive in on this first section. He says, "All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, 'God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.'" This is Proverbs 3:34. It's James 4:6. He's saying something really key. You have to believe at a heart level that when you are prideful you are standing in opposition to the most powerful force in the entire world: creator God. You are marking yourself as his enemy when you walk around saying, "It's about me."
You think about teams. Teams wear uniforms. Uniforms oppose each other. You identify the team by the uniform they wear. Pride is the uniform of the opposition. That's what it's saying. My daughter plays basketball, and she wears these pinnie jerseys, these reversible jerseys. It has a white side and a purple side, and she's wearing white. We show up to the game, and I see that all her team is in purple and the other team is in white.
I said, "You have to turn that around. You have to switch that around. You need to turn that inside out. Take off your jersey." She said, "Why?" I said, "Because right now you're playing for the other team. You're on the wrong team right now." That's what some of us need to hear as we examine ourselves and begin to think, "Yeah, I have been thinking about myself a lot." You're playing for the other team. He says, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
1._ Wearing pride leads to anxiety. It's like a weighted vest you might wear when working out. It might make you look bigger and stronger, but the truth is it's weighing you down. It's making everything more difficult. You come in here and you feel the stress of life. "I've got to do _this. I've got to get married. I've got to go here. I've got to be that. I've got to move there. I've got to buy that. I've got to experience that.
I've got to go there and do that. I've gotta, I've gotta, I've gotta, and I've got to do it all right now. I've got to get that job and I've got to make that much money and I've got to be that and have that many friends and I've got to get in that neighborhood and I've got to have kids, and my kids have to be successful." God is like, "What do I have to do? Because I thought I had to care for you. I thought you were in my care. I thought that was my job."
You think you have to do it all right now. What if you humbled yourself under the mighty hand of God so that in his timing he might lift you up? Whose timing? In his timing he might lift you up. In God's timing. Sometimes when it feels like the hand of God is holding you back or like it's crushing you it's actually protecting you so that when he's ready he can say, "Okay, experience this."
This summer I thought I had to do it all myself. I thought I was Superman. I thought I was invincible. I had heard about people getting burned out. I was like, "Too bad for them. I don't even know what they're talking about. I can't even relate to that." I had a family member get sick and began to care for them and help them, all while having a busy teaching schedule through the summer. I taught 25 times in six weeks. In the midst of that I got to sign a book deal, so then I'm dealing with deadlines trying to write a book.
In the midst of that, I went down to teach at a church in Austin and taught three messages back to back to back, and then I was driving back from Austin and this large church on the West Coast called, and they were like, "Hey, we'd love for you to come teach here next Sunday." I'm like, "This is amazing. I'd love to do that." All the while, I began to feel pride well up in me. Maybe you've been there. Maybe it's some accomplishment of yours you've begun to focus on.
You're like, "Hey, I really want that," and when things start falling your way you're like, "Yes, I did. Yes, I can. Yes, I am." I thought I was Superman. I even told my Community Group, "You know what? I read the story of Jacob the other day, and I feel some pride in me. I know God knocked his hip out of socket. He walks with a limp now. Would you guys just pray that the Lord would humble me?" Oh man. Be careful with that. Public service announcement.
I went out to teach at Saddleback, a church in California. The night before, I'm lying in my hotel room, and my heart is going Bum bum ba-doom! Bum bum ba-doom! I'm like, "Something is wrong with my heart. What's wrong with me? Something is not right with my heart. What's wrong with my heart?" Then I'm like, "I have to sleep. I have to get up in front of a bunch of people tomorrow. I have to sleep. I need sleep. Something is wrong with my heart. I need to sleep. What's going on?"
I get through the night and get up the next day and push through the messages. They're in this series there, Everyday Heroes, and they have a picture of Superman. A guy gets up after me and is like, "Was that not amazing? That guy reminds me of Superman." I'm hearing that in the back room and I'm like, "Superman? I can't even sleep. No buildings to leap over. I can't even sleep. What's wrong with me?"
I get on a plane and fly back to Dallas, and something is still not right. I go to the emergency room. I'm like, "Something is wrong with my heart." All the while, these waves of anxiety, just overwhelming, this feeling of anxiety. Different than worry. No target. Just anxiety, overwhelming. They hooked me up for EKGs and whatnot, and they said, "Yeah, your heart is not beating right. There are some PVCs (premature ventricular contractions)."
I'm like, "You've got to fix it." "Are you carrying too much? Are you stressed?" I didn't know I was, but let me go ahead and put on some humility. It was the answer to prayer. Pride for me looked like a savior complex. "I need to save everyone. I need to be in this situation. I need to control it." It looked like taking on more than I can handle but not realizing it. Even those who love me around me… "I don't know that you have to do that. I don't know that you need to be everywhere." But I felt like I did.
It looked like finding identity in silly worldly things like book deals and big churches, and the Lord humbled me. He said, "You're going to wear this." Do you know why he did it? Because he loves me. I say it's better to wear the hand of God than anxiety. You may feel held back, but better to wear the hand of God than anxiety.
This verse reveals something very interesting and extremely unpopular. It highlights the idea that pride is the foundation to our anxieties. It reads like a new idea ("Then cast your anxieties on him because he cares for you"), but in the Greek it's actually "Humble yourselves by casting your anxiety on him because he cares for you." All one thought.
If you're here and you struggle with anxiety, I know what you just thought. You just thought, "Good. That's not helpful." Well, here's why I think it might be helpful. First, is it true? If it's true, it's eventually helpful. So here's why I think it could be helpful, as someone who struggled with anxiety: Anxiety is a hard ghost to fight. You can't always see what it is or where it's targeted or what it's caused by, but pride, which we all have, you can fight.
You can begin to identify, "What am I finding identity in? Where am I seeking self-importance? What are idols in my life?" You can begin to identify them and root them out. You can begin to take off pride and put on humility, and I believe that will help with your anxiety. Throw that on God like he's a coat rack. "You take that. I'm not going to wear that. Take it."
Cast it off. Why? Because he cares for you. He cares about you. He does, but it doesn't say that. You're in his care. Whose care? The one who has everything, and all power and glory and honor and your future is his. He sees tomorrow and the next day and the next day and a hundred years from now and a million years from now. He sees you.
He says in verse 8, "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." Again, it seems like a new idea. Humility, anxiety, your Enemy the Devil. What? But it's connected. He's saying something really key. See if this is true.
Your anxieties are the pen the Enemy plays in. He knows what you're worried about. "Oh, you want to control your kids. Okay, let me give you some situations to try to control them in. I'll even make them uncontrollable. How about that? You want to try that? What about this?" He's just batting you.
"Oh, you're worried about success, huh? Okay, let me give you a shaky job situation. What about this? What about this? What about this?" He's just batting you around. "Oh, you want to control everything. Let's see how you do with that." Just gets in that playpen. "Let's play." "Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings."
2._ Wearing pride leads to sin. _Sin is such a vanilla word. I think we see sin and go, "Ah, sin." No, no. Wearing pride leads to being devoured. You're going to be eaten like lunch. Keep going. It's going to lead to being devoured. Do you guys remember Lady Gaga in 2010 at the MTV Music Awards? She wore that meat dress. Who remembers that? Okay, good. Three of you. Awesome. Let me show you. There it is.
That's not a dress that looks like meat. She's wearing a rib eye. She's wearing meat. That's a steak on her head. Now imagine Lady Gaga in the cage with a lion. How is that going to go? That's what's going on when you're wearing pride. When you begin to think, "I can. I've got it. I will. I'm the man. I'm the woman. I'm super-mom. I've got this," you're going to get eaten like lunch. He's like, "This is going to be fun."
Do you hear me? Pride goes before the fall. He's a hungry lion. That's interesting to me, because then you have an option. Do you know what you can do? You can not feed him. He's like a stray cat. What happens when you feed a stray cat? They found a home. "Oh, this place is where I get fed. I'm going to keep hanging around here. Give me a little bit more and a little bit more and a little bit more."
But if you starve him and you're like, "No, no, no. There's nothing to eat here. I'm not doing that. I'm not looking at that. I'm not going there. I'm not thinking that," he's like, "All right. I guess I'll find someone else to mess with. I've got to eat. When I don't eat I become weak, and when I'm weak you can resist me." So don't feed him. You have a choice to feed him or not. Satan, the Devil, the Enemy works like Netflix. Satan and Netflix…they're the same.
If you're not familiar with Netflix…YouTube, Amazon, they all work the same. You've seen it. "Oh, you watched that? What about this? Oh, you looked at that? What about this? What about this? What about this? Oh, I see you like Friends. What about Seinfeld? What about this sitcom? What about this sitcom? Oh, you watched Stranger Things, season 1. What about season 2? You like scary things? What about this? Oh, you like horror films? What about this horror film? What about this horror film?"
"Oh, you like to look at people naked. What about this? What about this? What about this?" All of a sudden, everywhere you look you see temptation because you fed something, an appetite. Do you know what happens when you feed something? It grows. It's the lie of "one last time." "I'm going to look one last time." No, you fed an appetite, and the appetite got bigger, and now the next time is difficult. "I'm going to control my kids just this one last time." No, you're not. You just became more controlling. You fed something.
"I'm going to buy this thing one last time. I'm going to feed my materialism one last time." No, you just became more materialistic. Do you see what happened? You fed the lion and it got stronger. He sees now you're the place, you're the source of food. But what happens when you begin to starve him? He gets weaker.
You go somewhere else on there. "Oh, I see you watched that sermon. What about this sermon? You read that verse. What about this verse? What about this verse? What about this verse? Oh, you love God's people. What about these people and these people? I'm going to fill your life with the things of God." There's something you can do.
I experienced this in my own life. If we don't know each other, I was a slave to pornography for years and years and years. Do you know what it felt like being a slave to pornography? It was everywhere I looked. I couldn't get away from it. I couldn't escape it. My computer was infected with it. Pop-ups would come up at the most inopportune time. Emails would come from sources.
There was a pipe into my life and there was just pornography coming in. Every time I turned on the TV there it was. Go see a movie, there it was. Everywhere. I couldn't get away from it, so I thought. In the grocery store aisle, there's a picture on a magazine. Oh, there it is. Everywhere. I was surrounded by it. I thought I had to struggle the rest of my life, never being able to get away from it.
Then I became a believer, a follower of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit comes into my life, and now after 12 years of sobriety I realize to see pornography would take effort. I'd have to seek it out. I'd have to find it. I'd have to jump over some barricades and run through some walls. There's freedom. It's more difficult because I began to fill my life with other things.
Recovery starts with humility. It starts with asking for help, relying on the body of believers for strength, understanding that you're not alone in the fight. If you feel alone in the fight (I don't know if you know this) there are people in another room praying for you right now. Every message. That's called the Engine Room. Then on the first Friday of every month we meet in the chapel and pray for the body. You're all invited. The first Friday of every month in the chapel at noon you can fast from lunch and pray with us.
There's the body of Christ praying for you that you'd be free from your sin. You're not alone in the fight. Verse 9: "…you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings." Here's what it's saying: your struggles are not unique. They feel unique. You feel like the only one. That's how the Enemy works. He tries to get you alone, beat you up.
"You're the only mom who's so concerned about their kid. You're the only dad who's so concerned about money. You're the only person so afraid of being single their whole life. You're the only one. You're all alone." No, you're not. There's a whole family of believers struggling just like you are.
You say, "How can you say pornography?" Some of you got so uncomfortable. "The preacher is talking about pornography." Do you know how I say it? Because I know you struggle just like I do. Verse 9. You have the same struggles. If it's not porn, it's something else just as gross.
If you're rolling through the Rolodex like, "No, I don't think so. Nope, nope, not me," yours is self-righteousness, and it's just as gross. You have to know that. It requires the same payment: the blood of Jesus Christ. You need the same payment I do. You have to find the same freedom I did. It's just as gross. First Corinthians 10:13: "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind."
You think you're so unique. "But you don't understand, JP. You don't understand how badly I want to get married. You don't understand how bad my marriage is. You don't understand what it's like to have a prodigal and I can't control them and they've gone away and I don't know what to do. You don't understand. Your kids aren't like mine" or "You don't have my boss, and this is so hard, and I just want empathy. Can't you give me empathy?"
You're surrounded by empathy. There are people within three chairs of you who are struggling just like you are. Every Tuesday I come up here, and so often I have the same experience. I meet with people afterwards. Somebody comes up, and they're like, "Hey, man. Do you mind if I talk to you over here?"
"We can talk right here, buddy. What's up?"
"There are just so many people."
"It's okay. What's going on?"
"I don't even know if I can say it out loud."
"Okay, let me pray for courage. God, would you give my friend courage to verbalize, to say out loud, what has them struggling right now."
"All right, man. JP, I struggle with same-sex attraction. I'm all alone in this."
"I love you. God loves you. I'm so glad you're here. Thank you for the courage to say that. Let's talk about what that looks like for you. Let's talk about getting you connected with some other people. Let me give you some resources. Let me pray for you."
They leave, and the next person comes up. "Hey man, can I talk to you over here?"
"We're talking right here. What's going on, man? Let's just talk. It's okay. I know this is scary. What's up?"
"I don't even know if I can say it out loud."
"Let me pray for you for courage."
"All right, man. I struggle with homosexuality, same-sex attraction. I'm the only one."
"No, you're not. That guy right there… See him? He just left. He does too. Same thing."
Over and over and over. That's just an example. I'm just using one example that might feel like it takes more courage than others. The reality of it is whatever you're struggling in, wherever you are, wherever the Enemy is beating you up, putting you in a cage, surrounding you with your anxieties, there are others around you struggling in the same ways. Would you tell your story and would you find the freedom? I know it takes courage.
You're like, "What do I do? What can I do? Give me something practical." Here's something practical. What makes you love God more? Do more of that. Is it listening to sermons? Is it praying? Is it being in nature? Is it reading the Bible or reading other Christian books? Is it watching movies? Is it listening to worship music? Is it dancing? What stirs your affections for Jesus? Do more of that.
Begin to fill your life with those things. Is it being around his people, friends on the back of a patio on a sunny day? Do that. As God grows, as you feed those affections and begin to love God more, your struggles are going to decrease. They're going to become smaller. They're going to become controllable. The Holy Spirit can handle them.
John the Baptist prayed that. John 3:30: "I pray that you would increase and that I would decrease. I pray that you would become greater and I would become smaller." Pray that. "God, would you grow in my life?" Feed the things of God in your life, that they would grow bigger than your sin.
3._ Wearing humility is always appropriate._ Like with that thing my daughter wanted to wear. I was like, "That's not appropriate dress for the weather. That's not appropriate dress for today. You need to dress appropriately."
Humility is always appropriate. For every meeting, at school, with teachers, your children, any parenting situation, every work meeting, any interactions with your boss, any interactions with your employees or your employer. The right thing for you to wear to that meeting is humility. It's always humility. It's always appropriate.
It's like that little black dress you can wear to the funeral and the wedding and the cocktail dinner and you look great in it. If you can't find anything else, just go for the LBD. That thing. Guys are lost right now. That button-down shirt you got tailored, that one that fits you just right, your favorite. You can wear it with a suit or with jeans. You look great in it. It should be illegal in 49 states. That shirt. That's humility. Humility looks great on everyone.
But it's not just that it looks great. It's not just that it's attractive, because you know it is. If you have a humble friend, that's who you want to be with. That's who you want to spend time with. Right? You want to hang out with that friend. You meet with them and they're like, "Let's talk about you. You just had a birthday, right? What did you do?" They make you feel like the only person in the world. You want to be around them. They text you the most encouraging text messages. You get those phone calls at just the right time.
Do you know why they do that? Because they're thinking less of themselves and more of you. You've heard that humility is not just thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less. It's also thinking of others more or thinking more of others, like taking the resources you have… They're not seeking self-importance; they're seeking how to make you feel important. Considering others more important than yourself (Philippians 2).
It's not just attractive, friends; it's powerful. I want for just a moment to overwhelm you with the benefits of humility we've already covered. This will be a recap. You don't have to memorize these or anything. I just want you to see a bunch of benefits and be overwhelmed by them. That's really what I want to do for just a minute.
1._ With humility we receive God's favor_. He shows favor to the humble (verse 5).
2._ With humility we're protected by the hand of God_. Under the mighty hand of God (verse 6).
3._ With humility we can trust his timing_. He'll lift you up in his timing (verse 6).
4._ With humility we're not anxious_. We can cast our anxieties on him.
5._ With humility we understand the love of God_. That's an incredible benefit, if you can just understand how much God loves you. He's crazy about you. He knows you better than anybody has ever known you, and he loves you more than anyone has ever loved you. That's such a beautiful thing.
6._ With humility we can resist the Devil_. We don't have to feed him (verse 9).
7._ With humility we can have a right view of sin_. Our pride is foundational to our sin and that the family of believers throughout the world suffer with us (verse 9). Verse 10: "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him [not you, not them] be the power for ever and ever. Amen."
8._ With humility we have eternal glory_. That salvation, you becoming a Christian, you getting to go to heaven forever… Do you know how it started? With humility. It started with you saying, "I need someone to save me. I can't save myself. I'm not big enough or strong enough or smart enough to save myself. God is going to have to come here." He did, and he saved you. So with humility you get eternal glory.
If you're going somewhere, you think about what you're going to wear. Right? My wife's birthday was Friday, and I was going to take her somewhere for dinner. As we got closer, she was like, "You've got to tell me where we're going." I'm like, "It's a surprise. I'm not going to tell you where we're going." She's like, "You have to tell me where we're going because I need to know what to wear."
Because where we're going depends on what we wear, and sometimes what we're wearing depends on where we go. Do you know where you guys are going? You're going to heaven. If you've trusted in Jesus Christ, his death and resurrection for the forgiveness of your sins, you're going to heaven. And do you know what you wear to heaven? The humility of Christ. Humility is the dress code of the kingdom. You represent the kingdom here wearing humility.
9._ With humility we have restored resolve_. He's going to restore you. "And the God of all grace…will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." You have restored resolve to live, restored resolve to worship, restored resolve to fight sin with humility.
I told you I was getting eaten like lunch with pornography, and I thought I'd be slave to it forever. I became a Christian and began to fall in love with Jesus and God's Word. I can remember this one particular day. I would drive down 635 every day after work, and there was this billboard of this adult bookstore.
On the billboard was this woman who was both beautiful and wearing hardly anything. So on my way home after work I'd look at that and I'd think perverted thoughts, because that's what sinners do when they're not given to the Holy Spirit. I'd look at that and think perverted thoughts every day after work.
On this one particular day, I'd become a Christian, I'm growing in love with Jesus, I'm growing in love with his Word, and I'm driving down 635. That billboard is coming close to me, and I can feel it in my flesh. I know it's there. On this particular day, I said, "It's not worth it. What I have with Jesus is too good. I don't want to compromise intimacy with Christ.
I'm not going to feed you, Satan. You can starve to death for all I care. I'm not going to feed you. I'm not going to look at that. I'm not going to think of that. I'm going to reflect on the things of God, whatever is true, whatever is pure, whatever is right, whatever is lovely, whatever is noble, things that are excellent and praiseworthy. You can starve."
10._ With humility we know where the power lies_. Who has the power? "To him be the power for ever and ever." This is the essence of you becoming humble: understanding there's a God and you're not him. You're merely a road sign that points to him. That's humble. You become smaller. You have a little life here, and you use it to point to him, that others would come to know him.
You don't have to be the king here. You know the King here, and you're not him. You can stop building your sandcastles of kingdoms that are going to be washed away and begin to worship the one who has an eternal kingdom and has invited you into it. So take a deep breath and stop striving so hard to get ahead in this temporary world.
Let me end practically. It's going to take some time and space. When you've filled your life and you don't have contemplative moments, you don't have time and space to think and reflect, you won't be humble, but in the same way you think about what you're going to do and prepare for it… Like all of you thought about what you put on today. Right? You looked at the day. "What do I have? Where am I going? Let me dress appropriately."
Humility works the same way. You look at your day and think, "It's going to be cold today; I need to put on a coat" or "It's Texas summer. I'm going to be outside. I need to wear some sunscreen." Those are thoughtful decisions. In the same way you look at your day… One of the wisest men I've ever met and one of the godliest men I've ever known… He's a shepherd here.
He said, "You know what? I'll look at my Microsoft Outlook calendar and consider the meetings I have. I'll look at that one and say, 'You know what? For that one I need to wear a lot of humility. That one is really going to take some humility. How much humility am I going to need to wear to prepare for those meetings?'" The way I wear humility is understanding who God is and beginning to ask questions.
"How can I serve the people I'm in the meeting with? How can I represent the eternal kingdom? How can I represent an eternal God in that meeting? And why might a sovereign God have me in that meeting? What could he be doing?" Begin to think about that in preparation for those meetings with your kids, meetings with their teachers, meetings with your boss, meetings with employees, and begin to put on, dress yourself, clothe yourself in humility.
In summary, wearing pride leads to anxiety, wearing pride leads to being devoured, and wearing humility is always appropriate and has many, many benefits. It's powerful. My son Weston was 4 years old. He was sitting all curled up on the hearth of the fireplace. He had his feet up there and his arms wrapped around. I saw him. He was deep in thought for a 4-year-old, just thinking about something.
I'm on the couch, and he looks over at me and says, "Daddy, we need to talk." I'm thinking, "This is not just going to be the typical monster trucks conversation." I said, "What's up, buddy?" I go over to the hearth of the fireplace. I curl up with him. I sit beside him and look at him. "What's up, buddy?"
His eyes are welling with tears, just tormented at this point. He said, "Daddy, I don't know why I do what I do." I said, "What do you mean, bud?" He said, "Well, the good I want to do I don't do, and the bad things I don't want to do, those are the things I keep on doing." I'm like, "Did you memorize Romans 7?" Mind blown right now. He doesn't even know he's quoting Scripture.
I just see the angst in him. I can relate to that angst. I said, "Buddy, that's why I'm here. See, whenever you're going through life and you have some challenges or you're worried about something, you can come to me and we can talk about it." He said, "Daddy, this really has me anxious. I'm really concerned about this. I continue to have these conversations in my head. I keep thinking about the same thing over and over and over and over, and I need your help."
Such a humbling thing. "I need your help." "Daddy, I'm giving in to sin in this way. The Enemy is beating me here. He's winning here. He's feeding here in my life, and I need help." Such a humbling. "I need help." Is this not what God wants from you and me? That we would come to the Creator who cares for us and say, "Daddy, we need to talk."
We finished up and he said, "Daddy, I'm really glad we had this talk." I said, "I'm really glad you're my son." He said, "I'm really glad you're my daddy." Isn't that the position God wants from us? "I'm really glad I'm in your care. I need your help. I have some anxieties. Can I throw them at you? I have some struggles. Can I give them to you? Can you handle them?" I want you to know you can. Let me pray for you.
Father, would you please, God, in your mercy help us to be thoughtful with the sins we have and the anxieties we carry. Father, would you give us victory over the Enemy? The victory we've received through the cross, would you allow us to have experientially, Father, in this broken world we live in? God, as we stand on a foundation of pride, would you help us to rebuild on a foundation of humility?
Would you help us to take off pride and the anxieties we wear and put on humility? Lord, thank you that a loving Father does that for us when we don't do it on our own. It's a gift. Thank you for that gift. Help us to see it as a gift. Father, we love you with our whole hearts, and we worship you now. This passage ends in worship. God, we worship you now. We end in worship. In Jesus' name, amen.