“God’s kingdom is like that, as is the study of Scripture. You have to be small to maneuver without getting stuck or banging your head. Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’
“The gate into every passage of Scripture is low and narrow. We can try to squeeze in, big lunks that we are, or we can allow the Holy Spirit and the sacred text to make us small. Every passage carries a kind of humility potion. Every role Scripture takes—teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness—resizes us if we drink it down. If we let the Word work itself into our hearts.
“To begin with, take stock of your heart. That can be like asking a shifty-eyed 8-year-old what he’s been up to. You’re not likely to get a straight answer at first. Persistence is necessary. Not all our sin and dishonesty lays brazen on the surface. We don’t always see how swollen we’ve become inwardly. It’s not easy to tell when you’ve gotten too big for your britches. So we pray often, ‘Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.’ God will use your text like a stethoscope.
“Our pastoral work—especially preaching—should make us great-hearted, but it can backfire and just make us big-headed. You can start to think, ‘All these people came to hear me.’ We can become like a kid with a Superman cape ready to jump from the roof. Of all the Bible’s failures, Samson is the one who makes me most twitchy. I have never forgotten a time many years ago when I got up to preach even while sin, like Delilah, snipped away at my God-given strength. My words that day had no lift, no life, no muscle. I do not want to forget the ominous shadow of the sightless Samson.
“Besides making us right-sized, humility is a relief. Humility is rarely comfortable, but it is a relief. It’s hard to hold in all that spiritual helium. A humble soul can maneuver gracefully in the passages of the God’s Word. Small preachers are the best preachers.” (Click to read the full article.)