Posts Tagged Habakkuk 2: 4

O My Soul

Habakkuk 2: 4

Behold, as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him; but the righteous will live by his faith.

Yesterday Habakkuk taught us that God does not want us to rely on our own strength, but rather to trust in His. We talked about partnering with the Holy Spirit, allowing him to guide our decisions and actions. We learned that He is not pleased with our looking to our own strength and skills. In fact, the scripture said we will be held guilty if that is our reliance. I don’t want to be held guilty by God but further, I don’t want to work myself to death when He has sent me His Spirit to do all the heavy lifting. Why would we do that? Why do we do that?

Pride – says the prophet Habakkuk or rather God through Habakkuk. It is vain pride, ego mania, that causes us to focus on us instead of our savior, Father and helper. It sounds ridiculous! Why are we looking to our abilities when our Father is omniscient? Habakkuk says, our soul is not right within us. In the Southern United States we would say, “Something ain’t right!” What a shock for God to tell us it is our very own soul which has gone afoul.

Before we panic let’s ask this question, “How can we get our soul right?” When you were born again, that was a rebirth from above. God breathed new life into you and renewed your spirit. What of the soul, though? Here is the bad news, you are going to have to get your hands dirty. Yep, you have work to do. Now, are you willing? Truth be told, probably only about 20% of you answered, “yes,” so it is to you twenty percenters that I will speak.

Here is the answer. Turn your Bible to Romans 12: 2. What does it say? Here is God’s instruction on how to renew your soul. It has to be retrained by renewing your mind with the Word of God. You have to do this. Before you freak out, though, remember what yesterday’s Word of the Day was about. It was all about partnership, right? There is nothing you ever have to do alone again. The other side of the coin, though, is that God is not going to do it without you. You are partners. Let that sink in. Imagine forming a partnership with Yahweh. Picture yourself shaking hands with Him as you seal your agreement.

Now, here you are. You have a reborn spirit which not only is in the likeness of God but actually is a little piece of Him. He is part of your genetics and your breath now and you are part of His. Our minds, though, are unruly and must be taken in hand. Your spirit in conjunction with Father’s is more than up to this task. You are going to have to spend time in your Bible. I hate it for you, but it is just the truth. It is going to have to be done but it is so easy. Let me help you.

Every week day I send you a Bible verse, right? Okay, just start there. Read the verses around it or read the whole chapter. Or, read it in several versions. Online databases have made this so easy for us. Now, here is the big secret. Do this with Dad’s Spirit, your helper. Start prayerfully. What does that even look like. Well, it does not look like your Pastor’s beautiful seminary prayers. It goes more like this, “Holy Spirit, I want my mind renewed and I have this verse today with which to start. Show me more about it. Speak to me what you want me to hear in this passage.” Keep it simple. The Holy Spirit didn’t go to seminary either. He just speaks plain old language like you. Although . . . he also speaks in picture language so watch the pictures that flow through your mind. Be like a child and just see in your mind what he speaks to you. Maybe that verse references other verses. If you are viewing them online, all it takes is a click and your screen will be painted with a bunch of similar verses. It is so cool!

Look, you can do this. You can get that old raggedy soul into shape and let me tell you a truth, it is fun. Once you know how to do it and know these simple little tips, it becomes such fun. You are going to be surprised at how much the Spirit speaks to your spirit. Hang on to your hat because he absolutely loves this process.

Now don’t be proud. Don’t look to yourself as the one who must heal your soul. That is not your job. It is Dad’s. And don’t be proud thinking you can do this on your own. Don’t look to your intelligence. We’re just not that smart, frankly. I mean really, compare us with God. We haven’t even had enough years to absorb the enormity of material available. Whatsmore, you don’t want to have to sort through the world’s entire database. Just yield, surrender (do you hear the song playing in your head) to the Lord and let the Holy Spirit lead you to what you need. Let God touch your soul with His love. You will be healed, and you are going to be full of His joy. This is the sweet spot. Let the Lord lead you. Let go of vain glory, foolish pride and surrender all. Be renewed in your mind and let your soul breathe fresh air.

The righteous shall live by faith, not by sight. Where there is pride, faith does not operate. Give God your belief and trust and He will be right there with you making the journey fun.

Rightful Reliance

Habakkuk 2: 4

Behold, as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him; but the righteous will live by his faith.

There are quite a few observations we can receive from the prophet Habakkuk. One of the first is that the proud person and the righteous person are not one in the same. That may seem obvious but perhaps we have not yet made that connection intellectually. We can be either arrogant or righteous but not both.

Secondly, Habakkuk tells us that an arrogant or proud person is not right on the inside. There is something amiss in their soul. This is really tragic. There is damage on the inside and this damage or unresolved injury prevents this person from being righteous. Now in the New Testament, Jesus is our righteousness so one might argue that righteousness still belongs to the arrogant or self-centered person because of Jesus. The problem with that argument is that this righteousness, which was purchased for us by Jesus, must still be received. The arrogant person can no more receive the grace of God’s righteousness through Jesus than he was able to do under the old covenant. God has always been the source of righteousness. We must die to self, take our eyes off of ourselves and live unto Christ if we want to walk in the blessing of Christ. All the blessings are provided for us but they are “in Christ” where we too are supposed to be. We cannot be into ourselves and into Christ. One might even ask how a person can be a Christian, a follower of The Way, with eyes, motivation and passion focused on oneself instead of on the Christ.

Lastly, the self-absorbed person cannot live by faith. Faith is in the rightness provided for us in Christ Jesus. That means that an arrogant person cannot also be a person of faith. This person, even if he confesses to be a Christian will be unable to live and walk under the umbrella of faith. Faith begins with Jesus. Faith comes through an end to self-reliance and a surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the Word of Christ (Romans 10: 17). Faith, therefore, requires submission to the person of Jesus. Faith requires that we put our egos, ideas, thoughts, reasonings and truly all that we are behind the words of Christ. That necessarily means that we cannot be self-absorbed, self-impressed or self-sustaining and also reliant on the person and words of Jesus. We must take the idol of our intellect off of the throne of our hearts and ensconce Jesus there.

Not one of us wants to admit that we are arrogant because only fools are such. Whatsmore, I may find it quite easy to lie to myself in this regard, but here is the question I must consider, that is, not whether I believe or think myself to be arrogant but rather what others may say about me. If I can be completely honest with myself do I suspect that others might find me self-impressed. Oh dear God in heaven, save me from myself. Repentance brings the oil of gladness and repentance means nothing more than turning and going the other way, it means a change of heart, a change of mind. It does not mean travail or moaning and groaning. Just let Jesus and his word change your way of thinking. Be saved by the renewal of your thoughts, by the refreshing of your mind and be free from the burden of yourself.