He does not delight in the strength of the horse;
He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man.
The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him,
In those who hope in His mercy. — Psalm 147:10,11 —
I remember well when that scripture came alive to me for the very first time. For years I had taken great pride in my physical strength. At one time in my life, I had no need for a car. I either walked or rode my bike just about everywhere I needed to go. There was a great sense of freedom in that. I could also work close to 10 hours in the yard, doing nothing but bending, shoveling, planting, mowing, weeding, trimming, gardening, etc. Not to say, have the whole house cleaned before my husband got home from work.
But as aging and some oncoming health problems would have it, I began to notice my stamina and strength failing me.
One day in the basement with the clothes basket in my arms, I started up the steps and felt tired, heavy and barely able to make it step by step. I was crying before I reached the top of the steps. My thoughts were along this order:
“Why Oh God, why?! I use to be strong as a horse!”
Something triggered in me. I went and sat down, got my concordance out and looked up the word, “horse.” That is when the scripture above came alive to me. I sat and wept. It no longer mattered to me if I was not strong as a horse. I was content with the fact knowing that God had always been and will continue to be the strength I need at any given moment. That was enough for me. It would not matter to me what that might look like to others or what they might think. I knew God was allowing me to see
for in Him we live and move and have our being … — Acts 17:28 —
What I had considered strength on my part, no longer impressed me.
God is not impressed with what we call our strength.
I have come to a place where not much, if anything, impresses me. Man may have a big ministry. So what? God is not impressed. Someone may get thousands and millions of people to follow them. So what? God is not impressed. One has become famous for something or the other, and become rich. So what? God is not impressed. So someone has a special kind of talent or ability. So what? Man may be impressed with these things, but God is not:
Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him. And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God. — Luke 16:14,15 —
Did you see that? What man highly esteems is an abomination to God.
The world, and sometimes even the Church, go around patting each other on the back, building each other up in such a way that is nothing more than idolatry. Don’t believe me? Listen to who and what your pastor esteems. Does he esteem man over God in such a way that you catch yourself being drawn to an individual more than God? Does he esteem programs as being the thing that changes lives? Does he endorse the latest Christian book over the Bible? Does he endorse the latest movement or fad hitting the Church? If so, he is esteeming these things.
Truly, there is only one thing God in heaven is impressed with, and that is His Son:
And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” — Luke 9:35 —
If God had wanted us to esteem anything other than His son, He would not have told us to “Hear Him.”
Anything to do with His Son, His holiness, His purity, His truth, His goodness, His love, etc. — THAT — God is impressed with. Nothing more and nothing less. To believe otherwise is either adding to or taking away from the Word of God. If God could be impressed by man, then His Son would have died for nothing. There would have been no reason to send His Son as the perfect sacrifice if God was impressed with man.
Now that nothing impresses me, now that everything I have ever looked to as some great thing, has either been exposed in some way or the other, or diluted to having absolutely no true substance, now what? It can make a person cynical, I suppose. Which I have been and am. Guilty as charged. So I have had to ask myself why was I ever impressed with certain things to begin with? I suppose it has to do with:
For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. — 2 Corinthians10:12 —
We all at one time or another have compared ourselves with others. One way is looking upon something or someone else and desire to have the same calling, the same life, the same ministry, the same job, whatever. This can be out right covetness — it is sin. God may or may not have the same thing for you. If He doesn’t, it is because He has something different for you. You will either learn to embrace it or not.
As much as I wanted children, it was not His will. For years I fought against the idea of being childless by clinging to “why not me, God?” But now, though I still may not completely understand, I have learned to embrace that part of His will. It is not to say, if there is something within the abilities God has given you that you know God wants for you, that you should not thrive to do it. You should. Just do not be all that upset if you find yourself not able to attain whatever it is you thought you were to have.
There are times, we compare ourselves with others as being superior or inferior. We see in others, things that we respect/admire. Even though they may be good things, we eventually find out that they too have faults. Then we realize we made an idol of them. Then there are times we look upon others and we see ourselves somehow better. We see their weakness, their sin, their faults, their type of nakedness, etc. This too is idolatry — of ourselves. We would do well to remember the tax collector: … standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ — Luke 18:13 —
We usually don’t like that part. We want to feel good about ourselves. We are even taught to love ourselves. A teaching that has made the Church so introspective about everything, they tend to forget that we are called to pick up our Cross and die.
It’s been a hard exhausting road to come to the place where nothing much impresses me anymore. I just want to say, if you are finding yourself in such a place, it is a good thing. God wants you to see HIM as your all in all. Nothing more will do.