Why God Humbles Us

In Messages by David A. BarlockLeave a Comment

Deuteronomy 8:2-3 (NASB)
2 You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3 He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.

In my difficult moments, when I can not explain why things are unraveling, when there is no rationale to the misunderstandings in my dealings with others or why the losses in life seem greater than the gains; I can only conclude that GOD is using those circumstances to humble me. I NEED TO BE HUMBLED and there is no way to excuse myself from that process. There is no amount of personal sacrifice, holiness, goodness or self-abasement that can exonerate me from the intervention of the Holy Spirit, who has been sent to deal with the thoughts and intentions of my heart.

That may sound negative to some who extract the biblical references concerning blessing and prosperity as the focal point of their faith. Some have deceived themselves into believing that God’s sole purpose is to lavish His riches upon them in this life and even more so in heaven. A spiritually minded person will know that the Holy Spirit is always directing our vision and desires towards heaven not to the material things of this world. Of course, God gives us things to enjoy along the way, but if materialism becomes our goal, we have missed the true purpose of Christ.

We are helpless to come to the measure and the stature of the fullness of Christ without God working His character into our lives. I have found that after I have done all I can to be pleasing to Him, whatever I do in my own strength is at best an act of subtle pride that ends up excluding me from the very thing I set out to do!

In the verses I have used as my text for this message we see that God humbled his people with two things that were with them daily; 1) The desert experience and, 2) the manna that they ate daily. Imagine for a moment what it would have been like to feel the heat of the desert during the day and the frost by night. The journey always held the same scenery, water was always scarce, and they had the same daily diet of manna – all of this for forty years! It was not that God wanted to make their lives miserable, it was because He WANTED to humble them, first to reveal what was in their hearts and secondly, to teach them to depend upon Him.

Most of us know how to hide our true feelings. We know how to say the right things even when we feel the opposite. The hypocrisy we sometimes see exposed in church leaders is often because, although they act properly in public, they live another way in private. People can be masters of cover-up, but not before God. He sees every hidden thought and intention of the heart. When He humbles us through troubles or the lack of what we are used to, we turn to Him.

Yes, God still uses the spiritual equivalent of “deserts” and “manna” to test the heart of those who proclaim faith in Christ. He uses wearisome, monotonous, dry and dull experiences to bring out our true self with its desires and complaints. I have seen people get bored in great churches where they hear an anointed word every Sunday. We get tired of the same job, same church, same routine and even the same spouse because we like variety, excitement and encouragement. God enclosed the people of Israel in the desert and gave them manna for a reason! It wasn’t to make them uncomfortable or to make them go hungry, it was to cause them to realize how they were dependent upon Him for their basic needs.

Why does he humble us? Because we have the tendency to drift into independence forgetting that we are HIS servants, that we are part of HIS creation and were made for HIS pleasure.

Philippians 2:13 (NASB)
13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

We need to be constantly reminded that we were created for a divine purpose and not by chance. The universe and all that it contains is by predetermined design, one that was finished before the world began.

The Psalms state that we were created by God as a people for Himself and likens all of us as sheep in His pasture.

Psalms 100:3 (NASB)
3 Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Jesus made the analogy clearer still in John chapter 10:

John 10:14-16 (NASB Strong’s)
14 I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.

As sheep we need constant care, protection and guidance. We are helpless to defend ourselves from the forces of evil that constantly assail us. Apart from that, living a life pleasing to Him is totally out of our reach unless we stand in His GRACE.

True grace can only abide in the lives of those who realize that they are totally dependent upon God. His favor cannot be earned, we can only be grateful and not trample it underfoot through our own rebellion and ego-centered living. The true joy of His blessings come into our lives when we know they are a gift of love and not what is due because of our own goodness.

In His love, God constantly works through our circumstances to remind us that we are but dust

Psalms 103:14 (NASB)
14 For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.

Throughout our journey of faith, we will be constantly brought back to the reality of our mortality. Yet because we were made in the image of God, we sometimes forget that that we are a creation. Pride easily creeps into our heart and often goes undetected until is it brought to our attention by something that we are helpless to control. Pride is an ugly word, but it is used often in the scriptures. I have learned to appreciate God’s care for me and to accept His dealings as being necessary. When I begin to stray into independence, when I forget that I live by grace, when I think I am wise and when I forget that he is my provider — He is GOOD to send a signal that serves as a reminder: “You are mine” Isa 43:1

Deuteronomy 8:2-3 (NASB)
2 You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3 He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.

In my difficult moments, when I can not explain why things are unraveling, when there is no rationale to the misunderstands in my dealings with others or why the losses in life seem greater than the gains; I can only conclude that GOD is using those circumstances to humble me. I NEED TO BE HUMBLED and there is no way to excuse myself from that process. There is no amount of personal sacrifice, holiness, goodness or self-abasement that can exonerate me from the intervention of the Holy Spirit, who has been sent to deal with the thoughts and intentions of my heart.

That may sound negative to some who extract the biblical references concerning blessing and prosperity as the focal point of their faith. Some have deceived themselves into believing that God’s sole purpose is to lavish His riches upon them in this life and even more so in heaven. A spiritually minded person will know that the Holy Spirit is always directing our vision and desires towards heaven not to the material things of this world. Of course, God gives us things to enjoy along the way, but if materialism becomes our goal, we have missed the true purpose of Christ.

We are helpless to come to the measure and the stature of the fullness of Christ without God working His character into our lives. I have found that after I have done all I can to be pleasing to Him, whatever I do in my own strength is at best an act of subtle pride that ends up excluding me from the very thing I set out to do!

In the verses I have used as my text for this message we see that God humbled his people with two things that were with them daily; 1) The desert experience and, 2) the manna that they ate daily. Imagine for a moment what it would have been like to feel the heat of the desert during the day and the frost by night. The journey always held the same scenery, water was always scarce, and they had the same daily diet of manna – all of this for forty years! It was not that God wanted to make their lives miserable, it was because He WANTED to humble them, first to reveal what was in their hearts and secondly, to teach them to depend upon Him.

Most of us know how to hide our true feelings. We know how to say the right things even when we feel the opposite. The hypocrisy we sometimes see exposed in church leaders is often because, although they act properly in public, they live another way in private. People can be masters of cover-up, but not before God. He sees every hidden thought and intention of the heart. When He humbles us through troubles or the lack of what we are used to, we turn to Him.

Yes, God still uses the spiritual equivalent of “deserts” and “manna” to test the heart of those who proclaim faith in Christ. He uses wearisome, monotonous, dry and dull experiences to bring out our true self with its desires and complaints. I have seen people get bored in great churches where they hear an anointed word every Sunday. We get tired of the same job, same church, same routine and even the same spouse because we like variety, excitement and encouragement. God enclosed the people of Israel in the desert and gave them manna for a reason! It wasn’t to make them uncomfortable or to make them go hungry, it was to cause them to realize how they were dependent upon Him for their basic needs.

Why does he humble us? Because we have the tendency to drift into independence forgetting that we are HIS servants, that we are part of HIS creation and were made for HIS pleasure.

Philippians 2:13 (NASB)
13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

We need to be constantly reminded that we were created for a divine purpose and not by chance. The universe and all that it contains is by predetermined design, one that was finished before the world began.

The Psalms state that we were created by God as a people for Himself and likens all of us as sheep in His pasture.

Psalms 100:3 (NASB)
3 Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Jesus made the analogy clearer still in John chapter 10:

John 10:14-16 (NASB Strong’s)
14 I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.

As sheep we need constant care, protection and guidance. We are helpless to defend ourselves from the forces of evil that constantly assail us. Apart from that, living a life pleasing to Him is totally out of our reach unless we stand in His GRACE.

True grace can only abide in the lives of those who realize that they are totally dependent upon God. His favor cannot be earned, we can only be grateful and not trample it underfoot through our own rebellion and ego-centered living. The true joy of His blessings come into our lives when we know they are a gift of love and not what is due because of our own goodness.

In His love, God constantly works through our circumstances to remind us that we are but dust

Psalms 103:14 (NASB)
14 For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.

Throughout our journey of faith, we will be constantly brought back to the reality of our mortality. Yet because we were made in the image of God, we sometimes forget that that we are a creation. Pride easily creeps into our heart and often goes undetected until is it brought to our attention by something that we are helpless to control. Pride is an ugly word, but it is used often in the scriptures. I have learned to appreciate God’s care for me and to accept His dealings as being necessary. When I begin to stray into independence, when I forget that I live by grace, when I think I am wise and when I forget that he is my provider — He is GOOD to send a signal that serves as a reminder: “You are mine” Isa 43:1

Deuteronomy 8:2-3 (NASB)
2 You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3 He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.

In my difficult moments, when I can not explain why things are unraveling, when there is no rationale to the misunderstands in my dealings with others or why the losses in life seem greater than the gains; I can only conclude that GOD is using those circumstances to humble me. I NEED TO BE HUMBLED and there is no way to excuse myself from that process. There is no amount of personal sacrifice, holiness, goodness or self-abasement that can exonerate me from the intervention of the Holy Spirit, who has been sent to deal with the thoughts and intentions of my heart.

That may sound negative to some who extract the biblical references concerning blessing and prosperity as the focal point of their faith. Some have deceived themselves into believing that God’s sole purpose is to lavish His riches upon them in this life and even more so in heaven. A spiritually minded person will know that the Holy Spirit is always directing our vision and desires towards heaven not to the material things of this world. Of course, God gives us things to enjoy along the way, but if materialism becomes our goal, we have missed the true purpose of Christ.

We are helpless to come to the measure and the stature of the fullness of Christ without God working His character into our lives. I have found that after I have done all I can to be pleasing to Him, whatever I do in my own strength is at best an act of subtle pride that ends up excluding me from the very thing I set out to do!

In the verses I have used as my text for this message we see that God humbled his people with two things that were with them daily; 1) The desert experience and, 2) the manna that they ate daily. Imagine for a moment what it would have been like to feel the heat of the desert during the day and the frost by night. The journey always held the same scenery, water was always scarce, and they had the same daily diet of manna – all of this for forty years! It was not that God wanted to make their lives miserable, it was because He WANTED to humble them, first to reveal what was in their hearts and secondly, to teach them to depend upon Him.

Most of us know how to hide our true feelings. We know how to say the right things even when we feel the opposite. The hypocrisy we sometimes see exposed in church leaders is often because, although they act properly in public, they live another way in private. People can be masters of cover-up, but not before God. He sees every hidden thought and intention of the heart. When He humbles us through troubles or the lack of what we are used to, we turn to Him.

Yes, God still uses the spiritual equivalent of “deserts” and “manna” to test the heart of those who proclaim faith in Christ. He uses wearisome, monotonous, dry and dull experiences to bring out our true self with its desires and complaints. I have seen people get bored in great churches where they hear an anointed word every Sunday. We get tired of the same job, same church, same routine and even the same spouse because we like variety, excitement and encouragement. God enclosed the people of Israel in the desert and gave them manna for a reason! It wasn’t to make them uncomfortable or to make them go hungry, it was to cause them to realize how they were dependent upon Him for their basic needs.

Why does he humble us? Because we have the tendency to drift into independence forgetting that we are HIS servants, that we are part of HIS creation and were made for HIS pleasure.

Philippians 2:13 (NASB)
13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

We need to be constantly reminded that we were created for a divine purpose and not by chance. The universe and all that it contains is by predetermined design, one that was finished before the world began.

The Psalms state that we were created by God as a people for Himself and likens all of us as sheep in His pasture.

Psalms 100:3 (NASB)
3 Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Jesus made the analogy clearer still in John chapter 10:

John 10:14-16 (NASB Strong’s)
14 I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.

As sheep we need constant care, protection and guidance. We are helpless to defend ourselves from the forces of evil that constantly assail us. Apart from that, living a life pleasing to Him is totally out of our reach unless we stand in His GRACE.

True grace can only abide in the lives of those who realize that they are totally dependent upon God. His favor cannot be earned, we can only be grateful and not trample it underfoot through our own rebellion and ego-centered living. The true joy of His blessings come into our lives when we know they are a gift of love and not what is due because of our own goodness.

In His love, God constantly works through our circumstances to remind us that we are but dust

Psalms 103:14 (NASB)
14 For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.

Throughout our journey of faith, we will be constantly brought back to the reality of our mortality. Yet because we were made in the image of God, we sometimes forget that that we are a creation. Pride easily creeps into our heart and often goes undetected until is it brought to our attention by something that we are helpless to control. Pride is an ugly word, but it is used often in the scriptures. I have learned to appreciate God’s care for me and to accept His dealings as being necessary. When I begin to stray into independence, when I forget that I live by grace, when I think I am wise and when I forget that he is my provider — He is GOOD to send a signal that serves as a reminder: “You are mine” Isa 43:1


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