So the other day, my five-year-old niece came home with her new bicycle! She had some Christmas money and picked it out all by herself! She was so excited to bring it home and try it out. About the same time, the weather outside was in the 40’s and the wind chill was even worse. Mind you this is in Florida! That didn’t stop this little girl, she was bound and determined to get outside on her new bike!
Her mother and I donned our jackets and gloves and headed outside with the bike and the little girl. The excitement continued to build as she put on her helmet and climbed up on top of the seat. As she started her first push of the pedal the bike began to move slowly but surely. The direction of the bike led her off the concrete porch into the front yard of grass. As she approached the drive way something unexpected happened. She got stuck; she wasn’t able to push the pedals hard enough to get the bike over the bump. She sat there trying her hardest. If you know anything about my niece, you know she will do everything in her power to do it herself before she will ask for help. To say she is strong willed would be accurate. She strained and yearned for every ounce of muscle she could muster up to try and get that bike moving again but to no avail. The bike wouldn’t budge. Then came the tears and the words I thought I would never hear, “Help Momma I am stuck!” Her loving mother came quickly and helped push her over the insurmountable hurdle. Then off she went in freedom.
As I looked back on this moment, I began to think about just how simple it is to trust in Jesus.
We all are stuck, it says in Romans that we all have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard. We also desire to be unstuck and have freedom but instead we are slaves to our predicament. We try everything in our power to save our selves from this problem. We attempt to be set free through good works to try and work our way out.; that doesn’t work. We try to ignore it by masking it with relationships or success or entertainment. Again, this results in the same thing and us getting stuck further and further in the hole we started in.
Only until we come to the point where we realize that in and of ourselves we have no way to get us out of this situation will we finally find the way to get free. This is when we humble ourselves and acknowledge our need and dependence on God to save us. Just as my little niece tried everything she could to get going, she realized that only someone bigger and stronger then her would be able to help and she had to humble herself and ask her mother for help. Which for her is not an easy thing to do, nor is it an easy thing for us many times. We desperately want to try and find a way to do it ourselves. But alas, it comes down to us taking God at His Word.
Jesus said the following to His disciples in Matthew 18,
“At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus is telling us to humble ourselves like children who know they need help and call on His name!
Throughout the Bible are examples of God showing us that He will exult only those who humble themselves.
The popular verse in the old testament 2 Chronicles it says,
“if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
In the book of Luke, Jesus reinforces this truth by telling us the story of the religious leader and the tax collector:
“Then Jesus told this story to some who had great self-confidence and scorned everyone else: “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a dishonest tax collector. The proud Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else, especially like that tax collector over there! For I never cheat, I don’t sin, I don’t commit adultery, I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For the proud will be humbled, but the humble will be honored.””
Who in that story was more acceptable to God? It was the humble sinner who recognized his condition. God loves a contrite heart. He is looking for a heart that admits our faults and recognizes our dependence on a Savior alone for forgiveness.
So just as my little nice realized her need and called out for help, so to God is expecting the same from you. In Romans it says, “for whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”