All of us know people who are brazenly bold — and often we wish they would show a bit more tentativeness and humility (we’d certainly like them better that way!). But at the same time, we all know those meek and soft-spoken individuals who could benefit from a good class on “assertiveness training.” No doubt, both you and I lean toward one of these extremes or find ourselves vacillating back and forth along the continuum depending upon how comfortable we are with the people or activity in which we find ourselves involved.
The Lord has shown me that there is an area where both humility and boldness operate together and are actually interdependent rather than opposing qualities. This area is PRAYER. I believe there is no greater test of humility than prayer. It is in the prayer (or lack thereof) that we show by action or usage of time whether we are self-reliant [“I’ll get it done in my strength with my brains”] or simply “inadequate followers” of an all-sufficient God who begs us to call on Him to work on our behalf. The startling revelation for most of us is that we intellectually believe and talk a “strong faith” and reliance in the power of God, but our actions defy our language and claims! I am deeply convicted regarding my own prayerlessness and self-sufficiency. I have been accused (rarely to my face) of being too confident. But what should be done? I believe a Proverbs 3:5, 6 lifestyle is the answer. To “lean not on our own understanding, but trust in the Lord and commit all our ways to Him” is essential!
I find comfort in the fact that the humility which drives us to our knees and on our faces before the Lord is a source of strength and leads to confidence and boldness to face the challenges before us. The writer of Hebrews wrote, “Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). This boldness has to do with the source of the mercy and grace mentioned in the context—our Great High Priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses.
Why then, don’t we pray? It’s hard, and Satan doesn’t want us to pray! The lecture needs to be done, the job must be completed, the kids must be fed, and on and on we rationalize. God help us to stop! It’s not just about this task, it’s a declared spiritual warfare and an enemy whose greatest tactic is distraction and deception. I am sorry to admit we are a distracted and deceived people. God, wake us up to the reality of what our actions speak!!
You know what action is required—no more talk unless it is to God Himself.