You have trusted in your wickedness and have said, ‘No one sees me.’ Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you when you say to yourself, ‘I am, and there is none besides me.’ Isaiah 47:10 (NIV)
The news media called me a lot this week to ask about the Lamb House move. My name, words and face were on television and in the newspapers, and the story spread around the nation. People I have not heard from in a long time contacted me to say what a great job I am doing. I started to think, “I might be on TV today, what will look best on camera?” and confess my heart skipped a beat when I walked through a crowd and heard a reporter say, “I see our interview coming now,” knowing that he meant me. I carefully learned to spell my name, speak in sound bites and articulate my message with clarity. One reporter told me how well spoken I am unlike others he has questioned in the past. My job title is long so I simply tell them to say I am a historian, but it is of utmost importance that they give the name of the office where I am employed. My boss wants credit for the work he pays me to do. Through it all, it has been a struggle not to let it go to my head. The fame and kind words become an avalanche of self-importance. If I am not careful, I am more valuable than my mission. At the beginning of this year, I made a commitment to God that I wanted to spend the next 365 days becoming intimate with Him. I quickly discovered that before that could happen, I had to take my eyes off myself long enough to see Who He really is. Pride is the greatest barrier for me in developing a closer relationship with God. He clearly states that He is not interested in spending time with anyone but the humble. So moment-by-moment, I have been learning true humility. This week was certainly a test of all I have learned and some days, I failed miserably. When I got to the point that I expected everyone wanted to hear what I had to say, I knew I was losing the battle and it was time to step out of the limelight and remember Whom I serve. Just like it is important for the man who signs my paycheck to be recognized in public, so it is with God. If He is my Lord as I profess He is, then, everything I say and do must bring glory to Him and not to me. He is “I AM”, not me. The people Isaiah rebukes in this passage had convinced themselves that they were more important than God. I can dress myself with the utmost care, speak so everyone stops to listen, and fill my head with knowledge, but I am not “I AM.” Only He is perfect, holy and unfailing. Everything I say and do should reflect His glory, not mine. The only way I can be effective for God is when I stay behind the scene and keep the cameras rolling on Him.