PSALM 31:23-24: “Love the Lord, all of you who are faithful to him! The Lord watches over the faithful. But he completely pays back those who are proud. Be strong, all of you who put your hope in the Lord. Never give up.” (NIRV)
OBSERVATION: How can I position my heart to succeed? Everyone wants to succeed in life. As people begin watching their favorite sports team enter the playoffs, they are not rooting for their team to lose, or just have fun. Everyone wants to win! But how do we win in life?
The pathway of faith is paradoxical. At face value it appears to contradict itself, but in reality it never does. The key is to understand that it always speaks of matters of the heart. True success is never about an outward achievement, it is always about the condition of our heart. The fruits of the Spirit are all internal. They affect the externals of life, but they never originate from them. The Psalmist reveals two of the attitudes of the heart that lead to success in these verses. They are humility and perseverance.
Let’s take a look at humility first. A truly humble heart recognizes its need for God. It does not try to forge through life following its own understanding, or relying on its own strength. A truly humble heart cries out to the Lord of all creation in time of need. The proud heart is the opposite. The proud heart says – “I’ve got this! I don’t need any help!” One receives the outpouring of the grace of God. The other enters a pathway that is bent on self destruction.
- “God continues to give us more grace. That’s why Scripture says, “God opposes those who are proud. But he gives grace to those who are not.” (Proverbs 3:34) So obey God. Stand up to the devil. He will run away from you. Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners. Make your hearts pure, you who can’t make up your minds. Be full of sorrow. Cry and sob. Change your laughter to crying. Change your joy to sadness. Bow down to the Lord. He will lift you up.” James 4:6-10 NIRV
The second quality flows out of the humility of the heart. It is perseverance. The heart that is humble receives the outpouring of God’s grace. The mighty hand of God is always extended toward the humble heart. Through humility the believer loves the Lord, remains faithful to Him, and receives the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. The humble are endued with power from on high, are renewed in hope from above, and find a strength and a peace that propels them to persevere and receive the promises of God!
- “Don’t be fooled. You can’t outsmart God. A man gathers a crop from what he plants. Some people plant to please their sinful nature. From that nature they will harvest death. Others plant to please the Holy Spirit. From the Spirit they will harvest eternal life. Let us not become tired of doing good. At the right time we will gather a crop if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:7-9 NIRV
The seeds of humility produce a crop of God’s grace. God’s grace produces a heart filled with power from on high, hope from above, and strength and peace deep within. This renewed heart perseveres and produces the harvest of the fruit of the Spirit.
The humble and persevering heart wins!
Lord, this morning I humble myself before Your mighty hand. I want to love You, and I want to be faithful, but I know that the ability to do so is not within me. Pour out Your great grace upon me. Renew my heart in Your Holy Spirit. Give me power from on high, hope from above, and Your great strength and peace within.
Today, by Your grace, help me win!
In Jesus Name!