The clock struck midnight and all of the sudden the year 2016 ended. I sat there with my sparkling grape juice and thought to myself…. this year you turn 30. 30!! Friends, I understand that is not old. I get that. However, I thought I would be in a different place at age 30. I would have made a name for myself. I would be somebody maybe with a special somebody and several little people running around. I would be established with a minivan and a full calendar. I was certain a decade ago that I would have arrived by the time the clock struck midnight on the start of my 30th year of life. This is what we call Pride.
Last week I began my one year Bible reading plan and it was God ordained. Did you know that in the first 5 chapters of Mark the word "immediately" is written over 20 times? Immediate... that is how I would describe the incredible conviction of His words in Genesis and Mark over the last week. I have read these words so many times but I know God has a special lesson for me in these two books in the first month of 2017. Words to start my year. Words to live by. Words that transform and convict... immediately.
"Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech.” So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth." - Genesis 11:1-9
"John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel's hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” Mark 1:4-8
Oh Betsy, how prideful you have been. Your desire to be somewhere and be somebody at 30 is nothing but pride. PRIDE. How often I gather the supplies needed to build the life I want without ever seeking the Great Supplier of the life He is building for His Kingdom. Whether I realize it or not I have sometimes attempted to make a name for myself instead of making His name great. I have wanted to compare myself to others my age and not come up lacking. Making this life about me and my name, not the name above every name! So I have had to ask myself this year... will I build brick and mortar that will not last with my name on it? Or will I fall on my face before the Great and mighty God begging that He tear down my kingdom and BUILD HIS KINGDOM? Will I make a name for myself or the one whose sandals I am not worthy to untie? Will 2017 be about pointing to the one who is Mighty or pointing to the one who is messy?
Friends if this is you... may this be our prayer.
Father, in 2017 confuse my plans, scatter my supplies and tear down my pride. On December 31, 2017 may I look back and see Your Great Name lifted high in my life. Your mighty works displayed and my works destroyed. Let all I have built for myself be left in ruins. In its place build your Kingdom. Make Your name great.... the one whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.