Quite a few years ago, my wife and I experienced a real life example of
this week's focus Bible verse. A good friend of ours was speaking at a
big conference and we went to see him. Since we arrived just before
the meeting was about to begin, the only seats that were available were
near the back of the auditorium.
Though there were a few
different places that we could have chosen to sit, in my heart, I felt
prompted to choose the absolutely furthest two seats from the stage. We
were happy to sit there and didn't think much of it. A few minutes
later, a man showed up and escorted us to the front row where two seats
were waiting for us.
Apparently my friend had asked the church
staff to look out for us and make sure that we had primo seats for the
meeting. The funny thing was, because of our close proximity to the
stage, one of the cameras broadcasting on the big screen and live on
the web was pointed on us from time to time.
It was then that I
felt God remind me of this principle in the Kingdom that Jesus referred
to in Luke 14:7-11 when He told this parable...
7 He spoke a
parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the
best seats, and said to them, 8 “When you are invited by anyone to a
marriage feast, don’t sit in the best seat, since perhaps someone more
honorable than you might be invited by him, 9 and he who invited both
of you would come and tell you, ‘Make room for this person.’ Then you
would begin, with shame, to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are
invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when he who invited
you comes, he may tell you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be
honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. 11 For
everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles
himself will be exalted.” (WEB)
If we read this story from an
orphan based mentality, it may reaffirm a twisted mindset of what
servanthood is all about. If we don't see it through the lens of love,
we may interpret what Jesus is saying something like this... Because
you have little value to God, don't think too highly of yourself
If you read this parable from that perspective, you will
continually look for opportunities to reaffirm that belief. Instead of
seeing yourself as a greatly loved son or daughter to the Father, you
will settle for a lowly servanthood where you seek to establish your
identity through your service.
It is true that sons do make the
best servants (Matthew 23:11) but it is not our service that qualifies
us for sonship! The more that we know that we are loved by God, the
less we will have to reaffirm our insecurities through counterfeit
expressions of servitude. The more that we live in love, the less we
will look for ways to justify our place in Papa's house.
the love of the Godhead begins to ruin us for anything else, we will
begin to see that true humility is not about us thinking less of
ourselves but rather thinking of ourselves less! As a result, we do not
have to be on the lookout at every occasion to take the biggest, best,
most honored seat in the house because we are happy to take the lowest
seat and leave the chair of honor for someone else.
comes to us and invites us to the chair of honor, great! If not, no
problem because it really isn't important anyway. As long as it is
important to us, there might be something of an orphan mindset
lingering that Papa still wants to love out of us.
today is that we would all be so filled with the revelation of God's
everlasting love for us, that where we sit would become inconsequential.
I pray that our identity and self worth would no longer rise and fall
by the affirmation of man. I pray that we would not need to be
affirmed, recognized and validated as being worthy of the seat of honor
because we have been affirmed, recognized and validated by the One
whose opinion of us really matters (and that is Almighty God!).
the next time you get a chance to choose a seat, remember that you are
a much loved child of the Most High who is happy to leave the chair of
honor open for someone else. :)
John 13:4-6 3 Jesus, knowing
that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he came
from God, and was going to God, 4 arose from supper, and laid aside his
outer garments. He took a towel, and wrapped a towel around his waist.
5 Then he poured water into the basin, and began to wash the
disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped
around him. (WEB)