God’s Humbling Machine
This world is a character factory – the Creator promoting good traits in people. Traits such as justice, mercy, & humility. Indeed, J.C. came along 2K years ago, as God in the flesh demonstrating that preferred character – “learn of me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart . . ." Matthew 11:29. With Christ’s example we should ALL be humble. But of course there is the tendency to develop ungodly character traits in our high speed, irrational, & competitive world. Now could it be possible that God has a “Humbling Machine” & godly grief that leads some folks away from standard worldly traits such as pride, ego, & self focus to higher values & focus? In effect personally seeking us? Here is an incomplete list of humbling “grief pills” that appear to be common:
- Hardships & tragedy can come out of nowhere & track folks down.
- Failed romance & the broken heart is common enough.
- I’ve noticed a pattern where proud young men seem to have (cute) daughters before sons, which softens their hard hearts.
- Career failures after much preparation can be very humbling.
- Birth defects & disease can often produce Godly orientation & rethinking the purpose of life.
- Your kids can be a “Humbling Machine” as they reject your wholesome family value system & choose “Bohemian” values instead.
- Old age fading can be a “grief pill”. I’ve seen some of the proudest “blokes” become humble (and open to the Gospel) as they get closer to the “pearly gates” & personal judgment.
The premise of this essay is that God can personally pursue & persuade people to go His way. But if we have free will, why would He do that?? I believe those family members (& friends) who are “on the fence” but are actively prayed for by caring mother, father, sister, brother, etc. may have God’s attention & life changing “pressures” from Above. Folks who have no one praying for them, & have decided against God may well suffer “Strong Delusion” from Above (link 173), and lose their souls. Now Scripture reveals that “it is not God’s will that any should perish” 2 Peter 3:9. With God’s fore-knowledge of who will choose His program, and who will not, “God’s Humbling Machine” may be just His way of hurrying up the process. (This Gospel-note theme dances around the doctrine of Election.) Here’s a few Bible refs. that seem to apply:
-- Micah 6:8 “He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
-- Proverbs 16:5 KJV “Everyone that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.”
-- Isaiah 2:12 “For the Lord of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up and high;” (I realize the “Day of the Lord” is generally thought to be God’s grand scale judgment of earth & humanity at the end of time. But on the small scale of the individual it can also apply.)
-- Isaiah 45:7 “I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe, I am the Lord, who do all these things.”
-- 2 Corinthians 7:10 “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly grief produces death.
A current Bible scholar gives perspective on “God’s Humbling Machine” – “People don’t change because they see the light. They change because they feel the heat. Rick Warren. Well, the main thing is CHANGE. And God cares enough about us to apply personal pressure. See also “Divine Appointments”, link 151. Choose Jesus, He is Alive, and become acquainted with an awesome God.
Many other Titles: www.gospelnotes.net – Link 1 is Index * * F. J. Stone * * 201