Posted in discernment, theology

You’re not wonderful

By Elizabeth Prata

I’m not wonderful either.

Sisters, aren’t we continually inundated with messages like, “You are a mighty warrior of God!” Or, “You are royalty, Daughter of the King!” We’re all Queen Esthers. We have royal blood flowing through our veins. We’re all Mighty Warrior Princesses.

Wonderful.

Except it’s not.

To be sure, we are daughters of the King. After salvation, positionally we are co-heirs with Jesus and by His blood, justified and saved from God’s wrath. All true.

But the relentless over-emphasis on the exaltation of our position to the detriment of also focusing on who we truly are, skews our Christian worldview. A tipped scale is out of balance and won’t calculate correctly. We need to have a balanced view of who we are. I give you two excerpts from Jeremiah Burroughs from his book The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment-

1. I AM NOTHING

Just as no-one can be a scholar unless he learns his ABC, so you must learn the lesson of self-denial or you can never become a scholar in Christ’s school, and be learned in this mystery of contentment. … Such a person learns to know that he is nothing. He comes to this, to be able to say, ‘Well, I see I am nothing in myself.’ That man or woman who indeed knows that he or she is nothing, and has learned it thoroughly will be able to bear anything. The way to be able to bear anything is to know that we are nothing in ourselves. … I deserve nothing. I am nothing, and I deserve nothing. Suppose I lack this and that thing which others have? I am sure that I deserve nothing except it be Hell.

God does not need us. He was perfectly content in His Trinitarian delight with the other two Persons, Jesus and the Spirit. He loved perfectly, He was self-sufficient, self-existent. He doesn’t need humans to complete Him. He added humans to His creation for the purpose of giving Him glory. And why should we give Him glory? Because He is All in All.

When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all. (1 Corinthians 15:28)

We give glory to the One who is so far above us that compared to Him, we are nothing. We are dust. We are not needed. (Acts 17:24-25). We are sinners deserving of death and by rights, should be removed far away from God.

2. I AM A DOG

Now in what disposition of heart do we thus crouch to God more than when we have this state of contentment in all the conditions that God disposes us to? This is crouching to God’s disposal, to be like the poor woman of Canaan, who when Christ said, ‘It is not fit to give children’s meat to dogs’, said ‘The dogs have crumbs’, I am a dog I confess, but let me have only a crumb. And so when the soul shall be in such a disposition as to lie down and say, ‘Lord, I am but as a dog, yet let me have a crumb’, then it highly honors God.

scales
We’re too heavy on the love, flowers, and queen attitude
and too light on the view that I am nothing but a dog.

It has nothing to do with self-esteem. If anything, we humans rest on our pride and think to much of ourselves too often. We think too highly of ourselves. Paul warned about our propensity for thinking too much of ourselves-

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. (Romans 12:3).

For who makes you so superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? (1 Corinthians 4:7).

Yes, God does love us. His love of us is perfect, so we don’t have to love ourselves as much as He does. Love ourselves less, and Him more.

Every good thing the people of God enjoy, they enjoy it in God’s love, as a token of God’s love, and coming from God’s eternal love to them, and this must needs be very sweet to them.

I have what I have from the love of God, and I have it sanctified to me by God, and I have it free of cost from God by the purchase of the blood of Jesus Christ, and I have it as a forerunner of those eternal mercies that are reserved for me; and in this my soul rejoices. There is a secret dew of God’s goodness and blessing upon him in his estate that others have not. ~Jeremiah Burroughs, Rare Jewel

Focusing excessively on our royalty, princesshood, our queenliness or other exaltations will only bring discontentment. The higher we think ourselves, the lower we think of God. Only One was exalted. Jesus was lifted up on the cross, He stooped low to bring us into His kingdom and reigns on high. We all know intrinsically that we are worthy of death, that we’re sinners due His wrath. We suppress this truth. (Romans 1:18). We tend to all too easily suppress it even after salvation, as Paul warns and admonishes the Romans and Corinthians in the verses above.

I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace, given me through the working of His power. (Ephesians 3:7). The lesson in that short verse-

  • We are servants.
  • We perform God’s will.
  • His grace is a gift.
  • It is His power.

Let us think no higher than we ought. Yes we’re co-heirs, but we are also nothing, dogs of sin asking our Master for a crumb. He generously gives it, that and much more, but not because we are equals, not because we are royalty, not because we are mighty, but because we are weak children who He chooses to love.

Remember that.

Author:

Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.

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