Saturday, June 27, 2009

a vision for fullness of joy

if you haven't read my blog on humility, click here to read it first.

leadership is an invitation to mistreatment
- allen hood from a teaching on growing through mistreatment.

for the past year or so i have been on a personal journey to grow in humility and meekness. i have a favorite teacher on the subject named alan hood, an intercessory missionary out at kansas city ihop. this is not a favorite subject of mine because it is an area of strength. the above quote is from a teaching my husband had me listen to a little over a year ago that so challenged my entire way of thinking that i listened to it 4 times in a row.

you can actually find the teaching and many more on the theme online for free at websites such as mike bickle, the founder of kansas city international house of prayer, says that his copyright policy is the right to copy. so go look around and listen to many great teachings. i personally recommend anything allen has taught on about christology and series such as the sweet aroma of meekness and growing through mistreatment.

my interest in the topic of humility wasn't birthed by some introspective sin-searching mission or any masochistic kind of approach to knowing God. funny that i have to even preface the topic with that disclaimer, but in our circles of Christianity the subject of humility is not a popular one. i actually was having this unquenchable longing for joy. i was no longer satisfied with being happy and having the feeling come and go as it pleased. i, naturally as a female, am prone to a roller coaster of emotions. when dating my husband i warned him, since he grew up in a home of 6 boys and no girls, that i was not even any normal girl amount of emotions, but much much more sensitive and emotional. even though i cry at least once almost every single day these emotions are not all negative, but i feel very deeply the sweetness, sadness, and all the other feelings of life. all that to say, i have grown tired of the ups and downs of emotions. i don't want to be an emotionless robot, but just more anchored. i had grown very attracted to the description of Jesus and how He walked in the fullness of joy. on this new search and fascination with the fullness of joy that Jesus possessed, my husband suggested i listen to this teaching on growing through mistreatment.

i do not feel like i have the words to adequately articulate what i am learning right now. i may write more and better on this subject at a later date, but the one big thing i have found is this direct link between growing in humility and real joy. humility is the key to the the kind of joy that doesn't go away based on moods or emotions. allen hood seems to have such a way of describing in a way that just makes sense how humility is the key to real freedom as a believer and how being free from anyone owing me anything is the starting place of tasting a joy that will never disappoint me. as i sit here and ponder how to explain the way this topic has caused my heart to come alive, i just want to urge anyone reading to take the time to listen to these rich rich teachings by him. i have gone back many times in the past year to listen to these truths again and again. after being so moved this week by my emotions and hurt by the words and actions of people, i am stirred to get renewed vision in my journey. i want vision for my life down the line being completely free and full of joy and actually being able to live from the place of humility.

also, although it isn't the easiest read, i highly recommend the book humility by andrew murray. there is so much meat to chew on in this book! i have learned the importance of valuing the attribute with which Jesus most often described Himself. this book has some great insight on the value of humility and imparting a desire to obtain it.

one huge thing i have learned this past year is that my best efforts and striving are not going to make me the least bit more humble. more than anything i get more frustrated with my lack of it when i try in my own strength to be humble in my interactions. i have found that gazing on the humility of Jesus is the only thing that is going to transform me into His image. as i read the Bible, both about His 33 years here on the earth and then also all that was written about Him before His birth as well as after His ascension, i meditate on the attribute of humility in this man who is fully God. i mean, He is God. we often talk of how He washed the disciples feet, but even the mere act of becoming a man was the ultimate act of humility. as i wrote before: humility is not weakness, it is strength restrained by choice. when i can see Him as He is, the humble image of an all powerful God, i have vision for fullness in my life and living in the fullness of joy.

and so, i sit here and consider this virtue so long overlooked. it is the key to freedom, joy, and is so highly valued by God. teach my heart to value what You value.



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