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David Mathis: How Low Can You Go?

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
June 2, 2022 10:00 pm

David Mathis: How Low Can You Go?

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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June 2, 2022 10:00 pm

Humbled by the hard? On FamilyLife Today, Dave & Ann Wilson host author David Mathis, who believes when we're low, there's a response even more important than why?

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Eat your humble do I think I'm humbled. Yeah. Part of me thinks it does matter what I think it matters what you think that I didn't want to start putting it lightly. Come humble and you think I'm not that I'm not to start dating you because I thought you were incredibly conceited. Back when I was 19 and I'm not sure if you were not that you acted very conceited but now I see your humble I know my pride and that in those days was insecurity. It was all big government but God has worked in my life in our life and our marriage. Probably a lot of it is you know how we struggle in our marriages humbled me thought to be easy.

I thought of you gazing thought I really sort of wasn't see how much we need God. And there's a humbling in that as we bow before him say we can't do it. Apart from you.

This whole topic of humility is a very interesting topic to sort of dive into and we get David Mathis back in the studio today. He wrote a book called humbled as a pastor, as the executive director of desiring God ministries. I tell you of all the things to write about. This is an interesting topic in our conversation really went through some of the places that I think will impact us, not just in our walk with God. But in our families and in our marriages. Will David were back talking about my favorite topic humility document is that you know some of you initially think I'm going to talk about humility. I don't even think is price that you decide him to write a book called humbled. Yeah, I didn't even ask you previously. Why, of all things to write about where you humbled in your life where somebody tell you right away. Why did you decide this is what I want to write about. Part of my calling. Organs are in God's writing regularly and most of the thoughts for those various articles or sermons that I preach come from daily Bible reading and over the years I noticed this pattern of this humble yourself language and so I thought all will go study that number I can write a nice little short thousand word article little help people know how to humble themselves. It was a humbling lesson to look at those texts and to see that the pursuit of Christian humility is not something that we just do in our own way at our own time. God first and foremost begins the home when he first humbled us and then the question comes as it does to Pharaoh in Exodus 10 and as it does to the Kings and second Chronicles and as it does from the mouth of Jesus in the Gospels and from the apostles to the church, will you humble yourselves under God's mighty hand of God first acts in his perfect timing in his timeframe, then the question comes to us having been humbled, will I humble myself, will I receive God's work, painful as it is will I find the beauty in it and that he is making me more of what he means for me to be for my joy in humbling me so yeah that yeah explain what would that look like as we talked yesterday about you said you know we don't really start the home and process. God doesn't he just restated that. So when God does that when there's a humbling thing going on in our life and they could be many different facets of how that is, how do we respond because that's hard and part of me wants to stiff neck up and fight against it, rather than what I don't know how to respond. How do I respond when I'm being humbled right that is for us the natural human reaction and sinful reaction some normal guys humbling work that's right me said no. We talked about you eject to the beginning of all humility, you know, we love to talk about that.

It was we have a love-hate relationship with it. We love humility.

In other people and for us like oh we get it we can see pride in other people. That's, that's right, we are not in ourselves. We hate pride in others it is the good thing for.

Always keep in mind that our radar for pride is often more in tune with others.

Pride in our own and our love for humility is often more tune in to others humility than her own very much were talking about here that we have this instinctive sense of yeah I probably don't just coaster, glide or walk into humility.

It probably happens with bumps in the road. It probably happens with pains with skinned knees and broken arm, so to speak, spiritually, and that's right.

And so there is that love-hate relationship with the insensitive.

I don't want to be humble, I don't experience the pain of being humbled. However, I do want to experience the joy of knowing God for who he really is. I want to be who got called me to be if you're Christian you have this desire I want to be who God wants me to be.

I want to know him on a know my creator as the great joy of all of life is the meeting of my restless longings as a human to know God himself in the person of Jesus. And so humility. There's that love-hate relationship. We don't want to go through being humbled which is right.

It's painful and let's not minimize the pain or the discomfort or the shame or the the chaos of what happens in these moments in life that we all experience when God humbles us, but also not stay and wallow in the humbling moment, but let's look to heaven and see art puts God doing this.

It was God doing in this is the pride in me that you being chastened or is he just reminding me. Maybe it's this humbling was not prompted by my sin and God is not revealing particular sin in me for what he is revealing is that he's God and I am not I'm happy about that for me as a creature I will be happier, far happier when I stop pretending or thinking subconsciously that I'm God that I'm the boss of my own life.

There is far, much more happiness for you as a creature that you are in acknowledging and welcoming his godliness and it is often the times in our lives that are most painful, most inconvenient, most humbling where were startled afresh to that reality is you talk about that I'm thinking of a moment in my life. I wonder if you have one or two yeah I joke yesterday about their own interception and that's a joke, but there was a moment in our listeners know this well we wrote about in her book vertical marriage but it was our 10 year anniversary. I will go into details because I told the story too many times. But when when I think our marriage is great year 10 anniversary date. I'm convinced I'm a great husband she loves me. It's amazing our kids. We have two of our three sons were born start in this church Detroit Lions chaplain. I think we actually were winning games back in the 90s and all I know is that the night that Ian said as we are on our way home on her tenure anniversary date that she lost her feelings for me.

It was on the most humbling moments of my life. Number one I didn't have any idea I would've said I was arrogant and proud. But there was a sense of pride that I'm doing pretty good and were pretty good.

And in that moment now is you are talking my client.

I was a God humbling moment.

I'm not saying God caused it to happen.

This was my failings as a husband that caused her to lose her feelings for me, but in that moment, God got my attention. So much so that ended up on my knees in a car realizing I can't be the husband. She longs for, and I not that I want to be or the dad I'm trying to be without the strength of God my life so it was a very humbling moment that I've never really thought of as a humbling moment until you are just describing like oh my goodness, I got many of those my life, but that was a huge one that I know changed our marriage but it actually probably more significantly changed me to realize what I'd always known and I as a preacher and it I'd even preach I'm not God he's God and I'm not, but often live like I get this thing up. Get this under control were good, and then that in that moment is like oh my goodness what aunt would say about that moment is that moment the way Dave responded changed him and us and it was that I could've responded like flaming you lost your feelings for me. I'm a good man. I'm a good husband. You know, start loving me for all my goodness I need to repent, which is were we went talk through what a man would do. A woman would do when you get to that humbling moment where like you said earlier, it might be your sin. It might not. It might just be something happens like that and you have an opportunity respond. How do we respond to become the man the woman God wants us to become.

I think in those moments, been a catch us off guard Tillich and caught off guard completely into seeing that moment, I still blame her for to see that moment that it wasn't only and catching you off guard, but is God. That's not to minimize health start late startlingly painful for those moments can be great. I dedicate this book to my wife because so many of my humbling moments in the last 15 years.

She has been God's instrument is a way of using otherwise he does is ready. It says it drives you crazy no sense. It's really beautiful. It is so beautiful. Dedicate about because you've gone through many moments. It's wonderful how honest she is. She loves authenticity.

If she sees something and she see the pattern, me, and she's willing to say it, and not to stuff it and over and over again many other humbling moment I go to denote a job I wanted and didn't get or the humbling moments of having someone break a bone in a way that I couldn't even prevent now get my little kids his foot. The broken and for place that is illegal. All of us have our stories of realizing the limits of our influence and power as a worker as a husband as a father, but in a regular theme 15 years and being married is that my wife's kind pointing out of my needs for God's ongoing grace and and my limits as a man and as a Christian at.

That's a beautiful thing about marriage in that we we get that kind of proximity to each other that if will be honest with each other inappropriately gracious. It is a amazing opportunity. I forgot the humblest and again that doesn't happen at our initiative, God seems to bring those most humbling of exposures or rebukes or no kind words of of constructive feedback. At times we don't expect that's been my impression is a husband again and again when I think things are at their best is when she very kindly let me other, not as I share with with fellow men. I know the Alaska house to house your are things going with Megan. Often I say let me tell you what I think you may not be anywhere near reality is what I think's going on. I'll be honest with you what I think and then I'll check in again with her and find what's really going on because I found over the years and this is very humbling that her sense of where we are at is typically better than mine. Yeah I I actually after that tenure anniversary moment in our marriage wasn't healed in one prayer, but it it started a healing process but as we would go out on dates.

After that I regularly and I still do this 30 some years later, I will say to her. Hey, honey. On a scale 1 to 10, how are we, as I think were 95 10.

She usually has a lower number and she's more accurate and that's humbling but I also know that's gotta help us get to where we need to go. One thing is you you write about is the role of prayer. The word fasting in the self humbling journey that we go and help us understand those aspects of how God uses those to help us become the humble person who called us to be. So you might think all you hear this. These biblical techs are emphasizing that God takes initiative. God is the first his humbling hand to send you just for sitting around waiting for God humblest and then there's opportunity to humble ourselves well were competent in that you're listening to Dave Wilson and David Mathis on family life today we hear more of their conversation in just a minute, but first David's book is called humble welcoming the uncomfortable work of God will send you a copy as our thanks when you give or when you call with your donation at 800-358-6329. That's 800 F peasant family L as in life, and then work today. I just wanted to pause here and say thank you to everyone who gave during the month of May and had their donations matched. We don't have a total just yet of what was given, but gifts are still pouring in, and we are deeply grateful for your support. Thank you so much right now when it comes to humility God's in control.

So I guess we just sit around and wait for God to make us humble right about now. Not exactly… In a more with it is true and important to see that God acts first in our humbling and we begin to see the startling unexpected surprising painful moments in life is time to humble ourselves before him, but there are many things biblically some specific things that we can make patterns of in our life so that our soul is ready. Our soul is habituated to God and his God in us, and so that we are more likely more ready more eager even to humble ourselves when those unexpected humbling circumstances come again and again one connection between God humbling his people and what his people do, so to speak is how we receive his word. So Josiah finds God's word and sees the people have not been keeping up with the feasts and goes to the prophet whole day and she says because you humbled yourself and obeyed my word you heard God's word and you will bait you repented for yourself and for the nation.

King Josiah by humble yourself and putting on sackcloth, you have done well to give you grace and spare you help your kingship so the response of God's people to his word is something very much tied with humbling ourselves. So one way that we might seek to humble ourselves on a daily basis to be ready for these moments a come is are we putting ourselves under God's word. Do you want to hear his word on a daily basis and be ready to obey it. Are we habituating our souls to receiving his word, even when it's uncomfortable. If you read your Bible, and it's always pleasant and comfortable.

But what you read, and if we have a book from God Almighty do we not expect it. It's regularly going to rough us up and have us scratching our heads and trying to time to receive some uncomfortable things from God. So daily, putting ourselves under his word begins to work a pattern of self humbling in our souls – and if you don't it's really apposite you're right as I hear you say that is like a man if I have right in my hands. Literally a written word of God or digitally in my hand through iPhone or a device, the word of God written by the God of the universe, and I don't take time to submit to say I'm gonna read this, it just means I don't need it good enough. I can manage life on my own as I know, a self humbling heart would be me. I can't do it. I need the wisdom of God.

I need the truth of God. I'm going to submit myself under the authority of his word right here right now is can be a habit so that I can be the man. The woman guys call me to be.

So that's the word contrite and in our souls don't stay neutral as delicacies if we stay away from us of any ourselves to God's word and they just they stay where they are not know they get harder your heart on a daily basis is is getting harder or softer to the truth than to God himself And we say in the family life that are, we can remember the same thing happens in your marriage if you're not intentional.

Drift away. Oneness requires work toward bringing one another together.

Drift away your heart can drift away. Personally your soul can drift when you're married so same thing that are in our own souls good in the main one of thing dad there to how we receive God's word is sitting under faithful preaching death and we come on Sunday morning, but let's hope I hope listeners that you're in a church where other pastors faithfully preaching the Bible and we are to hear those words as from God himself as the pastor faithfully represents them. And so we should be putting ourselves under God's word in faithful preaching were not mainly they are to have this dialogue in our heads about. He said that this way not respond this way there other times in the week to be more constructively critical.

I would encourage you come under the preaching of God's word to hear from God himself. I know through an imperfect messenger, but we are habituating our souls to God's humbling work in our lives as we sit under faithful preaching gladly seek to be shaped by it was a role prayer that just want to go go next and I'd love to hear you chuckle a bit about fasting yes was the talk about how fast the company's prayer prayer, we might say, is the quintessentially humbling act. You mentioned earlier about enough dad being on his knees with the family before God coming in prayer we say to God, I can't do it. I am coming to you in prayer because I need help. Prayer is that is an acknowledgment of our creature leanness it's and acknowledge our limits. It can be acknowledgment of our sin. It's an acknowledgment of our inability, in some sense and that you have the normal everyday prayers and our regular acknowledgment of our inability and our need for God's help and then at times we pray more desperate prayers is reflecting recently on X12. They put James to death. John's brother and I get Peter.

Scott Peter now anything up in Peter to death to because the deducing happy that they put James to death in the church came to got it says in earnest prayer. This is especially humbling God. We can't do this here. It took Peter we can do this, we are coming in earnest prayer. This is humbling self humbling and you know God miraculously answered that and freed Peter from prison answered the request of the urgent prayer and one gift God has given us to accompany earnest prayer is fasting. Fasting is not an everyday measure. If you don't eat it.God doesn't mean for us to fast all the time. Fasting is a is an extraordinary measure at the special measure now for many today. It's a forgotten tool, but I I think as we read our Bibles, we remember how God's people have use the special tool at times in the past and said there's a story in the Old Testament about King Ahab, one of the worst proverbial for wickedness.

King Ahab know him and he has in the bath killed seizes his vineyard at the Council of his wife Jezebel then comes in the prophet Elijah.

Here he comes in here comes Elijah and Eliza calls them out and wonder upon wonder King Ahab humbles himself. This doesn't mean that Ahab was a great king. He was one of the worst, but he had a moment of self humbling and he fasted and put on sackcloth and God said, you know what business is already our God is to see and bless our humbling is that even when someone so wicked is Ahab humbles himself. In this instance, with fasting, God saw it blasted and delayed the judgment that was coming in judgment still came, but he delayed it because of this act of King Ahab into fasting is also a gift we have from God in those moments of special desperation or particularly earnest prayer, fasting accompanies particularly earnest prayer and God's given us that tool in the Christian life and it's a quintessential act of self humbling job said many times on here that 36 years ago I heard a dad talk about fasting for his children in my firstborn CJ was born 36 years ago and I said I would take one day a week and fast for my kids. At that time I did know what I would have ended up having three sons 36 years later still doing it I thought to be few months or maybe a year. Usually it's Fridays with the matter what day it is, but it's you know the sun down from the night before to sundown the next day and I just don't eat food or just drink.

I would never thought of as is humbling, but it is. It's a home him over to say I can't raise these boys to be men of God you can contrite I don't have the power, I'm not gonna live you know perfect life in front of them to show them what it is you can and I still do it you know and is in all day long as I'm getting hungry and yet by midafternoon, hungry and hungrier. I'm praying and I'm praying I member praying for their wives when they were little boys these girls that I did know their names, that they be women of God and then standing there as the pastor of their wedding officiating and the dad in looking at these women. I've been praying for their entire lives.

In some ways was a humbling moment to go.

This didn't happen by my hand. This beautiful moment is happening because God is a God who is in control and answers prayer, and so yeah, when you say that like man is that you know the word submitting yourself to authority word, taking prayer and fasting and I encourage a listener. Maybe you just had a baby boy or girl, maybe started this week and Sam to do that and jump in one day a week again is not like a magic genie okay I do this to funding to get the kind of boy daughter to be the man or woman of God someday. It's a humbling all day experience to say all day long. I'm reminding myself. You are God. I am not and I can't do this apart from you and I'm asking you to work in me and through me in a legacy that will impact the world with the gospel. That was my prayer is that Windows what a beautiful example if I could toss in one more pattern to put in our lives.

In addition to a pattern of being under God's word, a pattern of prayer in a particular desperation accompanied with fasting. One other would be people might I want to hear this, the local church management. We want to hear this commitment to the local church because one of the most humbling things you can do is commit to a particular local church and all of its pains all of its warts. People getting to know you. You getting to know people. One of most humbling things you can do as a Christian is really be plugged enough float in and out of church as is convenient and comfortable and as soon as things are conflicted or difficult.

You run somewhere else about committing to a local people think be the church to me.

I will be the church. Do you and God is often pleased to do some of his most at first, unwelcome, and then in the long term. Welcome humbling's in our lives through our local churches get some of the greatest homelands in my life have been with my men.

The guys I do life with them speaking grace but also speaking truth in the my life spent hard but is been needed and exchange me as a man and Celeste the local body headset I met these guys through the local community, the church and you're right, that's a powerful moment of God using people to humble us right to make us who we want this to be so many places in life when things get tough, were able to just drift elsewhere and we got our cars get other communities. Things move on, move away from people only commit to each other local church were saying when it's tough for me to stick to it. I'm coming up to embrace God's humbling push through it grow, learn, learn to love and receive God's humbling and that Steve Wilson with David Mathis on family life to his book is called humbled welcoming the uncomfortable work of God. You can get or by calling 1-800-358-6329 that's one 800 F's and family L as in life, and then the word today. If you know anyone who needs to hear today's conversation you can share it from wherever you get your podcast while you're there. It really help us out if you rate and review us.

There is a weekend to remember that happening this weekend in Asheville, North Carolina. We love it if you take a second right now and join us in praying for those couples who will be attending this weekend and next week.

Dave and Ian are going to be talking with Brad Griffin and Cara Powell about the three big questions to change.

Every teenager will also hear from Ron deal about how to thrive in a blended family on behalf of David and Wilson. I'm Shelby Abbott. See you back next time for another edition of family life today of family life accrued ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most

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