I Pray For Things I Don't Want

Sometimes I pray for things I don't want. A few weeks ago I prayed the following:

"God please humble me."

Immediately after I uttered the phrase (in my head), I had to pause, step back and think, "Really? Do I really want this?"

I know that humility is good because the Bible says so on numerous occasions (2 Samuel 22:28, 2 Chronicles 12:7, 12:12, Psalm 25:9, 147:6, Proverbs 3:34, Isaiah 66:2, Matthew 23:12, Ephesians 4:2, Philippians 2:8, and many others). Jesus said in his sermon on the mount, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5), and the book of Numbers refers to Moses as the humblest man on earth (12:3—ironically, Moses is believed to have authored the first five books of the Bible which includes Numbers, the fourth book. Chew on that for awhile. Were he so humble would he have written this passage? Scholars, however, debate his authorship with some saying he authored some, but not all of the book). But when, in that instant, I paused and thought of the implications of being humbled, I almost wanted to take it back and say to Jesus, "Never mind."

Being obedient and subjective to God's will is not easy. Anyone who claims it is is probably a liar. There are times when I have asked God to send me someone to talk to about Jesus, knowing all the while that I would be scared and uncomfortable doing so. Yet we are supposed to be evangelistic.

The Bible is full of commands, proverbs, and lessons that are not easy to swallow. Yet it is still God's word, and therefore, perfect. Why do you think Jesus was rejected? It was because he told the Jews to love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them, instead of leading a military assault to reclaim Jerusalem for the Hebrew nation. Yet Jesus was obedient to God's will, despite knowing the suffering he would have to endure.

So do I want to be humbled? Yes and no. Intellectually, I know through scripture that it is good, that humility is something that God appreciates. Emotionally, I want no part of being humble. I like to be esteemed in the eyes of others; I am prideful. It is a lot easier to say it than to experience it. Yet again, there are things we have to do that are not easy, but it is worth it in the end. Jesus was able to carry out God's will because he knew the implications of being obedient. In the same way we too should be obedient even when it is not easy.

So God, please humble me.