Last week, I was reading my Bible reading plan and I came across a story about a king named Manasseh who spent the beginning days of his reign doing horrible things. The Bible said he did evil, put up images of false gods, sacrificed his own son, practiced sorcery, witchcraft, and led his people to do more evil things than had ever been done by any other nations before. After listing all of these things, the story shifts:
2 Chronicles 33:10-13 says, “The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they ignored all his warnings. 11 So the Lord sent the commanders of the Assyrian armies, and they took Manasseh prisoner. They put a ring through his nose, bound him in bronze chains, and led him away to Babylon. 12 But while in deep distress, Manasseh sought the Lord his God and sincerely humbled himself before the God of his ancestors. 13 And when he prayed, the Lord listened to him and was moved by his request. So the Lord brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh finally realized that the Lord alone is God!”
This story really stuck out to me. In fact, as I was journaling about this story, I felt like God asked me several questions for me to reflect on that I thought would be beneficial to share with you. Here they are:
1.)Are you Trying to do Your Own Thing? – The Bible says that Manessah’s dad, the previous king, served God. However, when Manessah took over, he did his own thing, which was the list of evil things I listed above. The story says that as a result of doing his own thing, he ended up in deep distress. Do you have any areas of your life that you are in deep distress about? If so, I wonder if it’s because you’re trying to do your own thing instead of God’s thing. As I look back on my journey, the most distressing times have been the times when I was trying to do my own thing.
2.) Is God speaking anything to you that you are ignoring? – Often times, when we get into times of great distress due to doing our own thing, if we’ll look back, we’ll see that God was clearly trying to speak to us about what we were doing. This story says that God spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they ignored all his warnings. As a result, they ended up in deep distress. Is God speaking anything to you that you are ignoring?
3.) When was the last time you sincerely humbled yourself before God? – When we find ourselves in moments of deep distress as a result of doing our own thing, we have to choices:
- 1.) Hold on to our pride and continue to do our own thing
- 2.) Humble ourselves before God, repent, and submit ourselves to Him
The story says when Manasseh humbled himself before God, the Lord listened to him AND was moved by his request. Humility moves God! I love that! The Bible says that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
When was the last time you prayed, “God, not my way, but your way, not my timing, but your timing, not my plan, but yours.” That’s humility. Those are the prayers that God not only listens to, but is moved by!
4.) When was the last time you finally realized that the Lord alone is God? – I love the end of the end of this story. It says, “Then Manasseh finally realized that the Lord alone is God!”
Humility is simply a result of realizing that the Lord alone is God. That sounds simple, but if I’m honest, far too many times, I forget this truth. Far too many times I start thinking that I can play God with my life, doing my own thing and making my own plans. However, the best moments of my life have come when I humbled myself before God and resubmitted my plans to Him. It’s in those moments that I see God do His best work in me.
Challenge: Take some time to reflect on these questions today. Answer them honestly. Are there any areas of your life where you’ve been holding onto your pride instead of humbling yourself before God? If so, humble yourself before God, repent, and watch Him doing something great in your life.
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