Humble Reliance

Acts 9:28-31

So Saul stayed with the apostles and went all around Jerusalem with them, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. He debated with some Greek-speaking Jews, but they tried to murder him. When the believers heard about this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus, his hometown. (Acts 9:28–30)

Wasn’t it a waste of great talent for God to put Paul on hold? Not at all. Wasn’t Tarsus a strange assignment? Not if He wanted him to be prepared to write the letter to the Romans. Not if he would have any lasting impact on the backsliding believers at Corinth. Not if He wanted Paul to mentor Timothy for a lifetime of strategic ministry in Ephesus. Those projects (and dozens of others) called for a depth of character, forged through the lessons that taught him dependence—both on God and on others.

Humble yourself. Rather than racing into the limelight, we need to accept our role in the shadows. I’m serious here. Don’t promote yourself. Don’t push yourself to the front. Don’t drop hints. Let someone else do that. Better yet, let God do that.

If you’re great, trust me, the word will get out. You’ll be found . . . in God’s time. If you’re necessary for the plan, God will put you in the right place at just the precise time. God’s work is not about us; it’s His production, start to finish. So back off. Let Him pull the curtains and turn on the stage lights. He’ll lay hold of an Ananias or Barnabas, who’ll come and find you at your most vulnerable point and lift you over the wall. Or He may choose you to be one of the nameless, lesser-known individuals who make the difference for someone else. Your part, pure and simple: humble yourself.

This would be a good time for you to resist going through life trying to live according to your own understanding—thinking if you can just climb up one or two more rungs on the ladder, you’ll be there. You’ll have what you need. Your family will be (what’s that word we like to use?) . . . “comfortable.” You know what your family needs more than extra money in the bank or a more impressive address or a TV in each room? They need you to be right with the Lord. That means that you walk humbly with Him. They need your gentle touch, acknowledging that He’s the Lord of your home, not you. That takes humility. Go there, my friend, go there.

Wasn't it a waste of great talent for God to put Paul on hold? Not at all. Wasn't Tarsus a strange assignment? Not if He wanted him to be prepared to write the letter to the Romans.

Pastor Chuck Swindoll

Taken from Great Days with the Great Lives by Charles Swindoll. Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll. Used by permission of HarperCollins Christian Publishing. www.harpercollinschristian.com

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Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.