Pride of Accomplishment; October 6, 2020


Isaiah 26:12 Lord, you establish peace for us;
all that we have accomplished you have done for us.

Isaiah was not only an anointed prophet, he was also an anointed poet. The first 13 verses of this chapter have so many deep truths, expressed in such impactful ways, that choosing a snippet on which to write is very difficult. Verse three is rightly famous, and is something I have quoted countless times. The current political turmoil in the US had me wanting to write on verse 10, and verse 13 seems very applicable to Japanese Christians. However, I settled on this verse because it is a truth we forget to our peril, yet it is forgotten all too often. Human beings are prone to pride of various sorts, and pride of accomplishment is certainly one of them. However, pride makes us blind to reality, and that is certainly dangerous. America in particular has been susceptible to this, because America has accomplished so much during its brief existence. There are now many younger nations, but America is still less than 300 years old, compared to well over 1000 years for Japan, for example. So long as America has acknowledged God it has been blessed, even with all its faults. However, prayer was taken out of the public schools, and everything has snowballed since then. Right now America faces an existential crisis, and only humility and repentance can restore it. All the good things America has done should be remembered, but in context, remembering and acknowledging the grace of God. It was when King Nebuchadnezzar became inflated with pride of accomplishment that God struck him with mental illness. (Daniel 4) In a number of ways America seems literally insane right now, and denying God is at the root of it. I could go through a list of the social ills of the nation, and every one is in some way people shaking their fists at God. “America First” is not a bad national policy, but “God first” is the essential personal policy. It is when individual Americans, from the top down to the lowest unknown, turn to God and seek Him that America will be healed. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

I didn’t expect to write on this, but it is certainly timely! America faces an absolutely pivotal election in less than a month, and voting is already going on. On top of that there is a Supreme Court vacancy, and incredible spiritual warfare related to both those things. And all of that is in the context of a global pandemic that has been absurdly politicized. Like many others, I feel overwhelmed at times, but that is an indication of my own failure to stay focused on the Creator of the universe. When He created everything, this is no problem for Him! I am to examine my own heart and repent as called for, and pray for others to do the same. I have had a lot of practice in dealing with pride! God has been incredibly gracious toward me in spite of my blind pride, and I need to pray that grace toward others, neither holding back nor feeling superior. If the believers of America approach the current situation with a holier-than-thou attitude, it is hopeless. It is as they humble themselves, just as God told Solomon, that God’s grace will be manifested, and I am certainly no exception to that.

Father, thank You for this strong reminder. I do pray for America. As I was hearing an Australian commentator saying just yesterday, America has an outsized influence on the whole world. I do ask Your mercy, that many more may repent and believe, for their salvation and 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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