Giving God the Credit; July 9, 2019

Joshua 23:10-11 One of you routs a thousand, because the Lord your God fights for you, just as he promised. So be very careful to love the Lord your God.

The NIV inserts the word, so, between these two verses, but I think that in context that is quite justified. The Israelites had experienced many consecutive victories, and there was a huge risk that they would feel it was their own prowess that had achieved that. Joshua wanted to stand against that tendency, so he said this. In the first place, he says that their victories have been because God was fighting for them, but then he reminds them to love God, since God is the source of all the good they experience. We actually run the same risk. Mankind has progressed remarkably in many areas, notably science, medicine, and technology. The problem is, we tend to think we deserve all the credit, instead of being grateful that God has guided us and given us understanding and wisdom. As a result, some doctors, for example, develop a “god complex,” since their decisions and actions are literally life and death for their patients. (Surgeons seem to be particularly susceptible here.) Some scientists feel that given enough time, they could understand the whole universe and answer all the questions. Honest scientists realize that the more they learn, the more they discover they don’t know! When it comes to technology, it is clear that many people, both inventors and consumers, have idolized it, making it into a “god substitute,” forgetting that all technology eventually fails. The more God enables us to do, the more careful we need to be to love Him and keep Him first in our hearts and minds.

This has been a risk for me personally. I was blessed with good genes and a boundless curiosity, and I have brought many headaches, and worse, on myself and those around me by feeling I either had the answer or I could figure it out, to almost anything. By God’s grace I now know how foolish that attitude is, but I still have to be careful! Victories and accomplishments are nice, but I’ve got to keep in sharp focus the reality that none of them are possible without God. My heart must be given to and fixed on Him, because otherwise I will be deceived, and even deceive myself. (James 1:22)

Father, thank You for this reminder. You’ve been doing some good things recently, and I’m grateful. Help me never take personal credit for them, before others and especially in my own mind and heart. May I be so in love with You that nothing interferes with the flow of Your Spirit through me, for the sake of Your kingdom and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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