Jump to Prayer FocusBible Passage For Meditation: Luke 17:5-10
Key Verse: “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” Luke 17:10
“Thank You, Father, for not blessing me with more power for ministry!” I prayed one morning. I never imagined I would pray a prayer like that. It was the end of ten days of early morning conference calls with some of my closest ministry friends. We had spent the time in earnest prayer for a deeper outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
On the last morning, I was deeply moved with a realization that I was not safe to bless with heavenly power for ministry. If God had given me the ability to reach thousands for Him, I might have been eternally lost due to my own pride that would have taken the credit for myself. When I had first started praying, I had thought all I needed was greater faith. But over the course of days, God began heavily convicting me that what I needed even more urgently was actually greater humility.
When the disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith (Luke 17:5), His response was surprising. In verse 6, He promises power to all who have “mustard seed” faith. But this isn’t the answer to having larger faith. Instead, the answer comes in the form of an illustration about a servant humbly serving his master, without any expectation of recognition.
Jesus concludes with the secret to increased spiritual power: “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do” (Luke 17:10). Incredible! Is that the way I respond when God blesses? When someone is healed at an anointing? When I see someone won to the Lord? Do I see myself as an unprofitable, unworthy servant, or do I take pride in what God has done?
I’m coming to realize that God cannot bless me with the powerful results I desperately crave until I have an intense level of humility. Otherwise, I’m all too prone to be puffed up by success and to take credit that belongs to God alone.
No wonder it took the disciples ten days of earnest heart searching before they were filled with power to witness! For it was only then that it was safe for God to use them to do the incredible miracles we find throughout the book of Acts. I’m so thankful that God is patiently waiting for me to have a completely humble heart before He pours out the power I so desperately crave!
Ellen White writes, “If they would cherish true humility, the Lord could do much more for His people; but there are few who can be trusted with any large measure of responsibility or success without becoming self-confident and forgetful of their dependence upon God. This is why, in choosing the instruments for His work, the Lord passes by those whom the world honors as great, talented, and brilliant. They are too often proud and self-sufficient. They feel competent to act without counsel from God” (Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 553, 554).
Heart Prayer Challenge:
Dear Father in heaven, please forgive us for our deep-rooted pride. If we honestly evaluate our feelings, we must admit that we have too often been motivated in our work for You by selfish ambitions, by ambitions to be noticed and applauded. This is wrong! Please empty us of any desire for our own glory and overwhelm us with an incredible sense of our unworthiness. Thank You that all You need is our humility, and then You will be able to pour out such power that the earth will be filled with Your glory. May all the glory for our lives today, and every day, go to You! In Jesus’ precious and holy name, Amen.