“Fight to escape from your own cleverness. If you do, then you will find salvation and uprightness through Jesus Christ our Lord.”- John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Assent
“Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous;/ you surround them with your favor as with a shield.”- Psalm 5:12 (NIV)
In his Introduction to Finding Favor: God’s Blessings Beyond Health, Wealth, and Happiness, Brian Jones talks about an Egyptian Christian monk named John Climacus. Living in the seventh century, John outlined thirty virtues leading one to grow closer to God. These thirty virtues, found in The Ladder of Divine Assent, represent the thirty years of Christ’s life.
Furthermore, Pastor Jones explains what Climacus meant when he advised Christians to escape from their own cleverness. Brian notes:
“Climacus was saying that one of the greatest barriers to experiencing God’s presence and power in our lives is our need to completely figure God out in advance of what he is doing, as a way of controlling him and predicting his next move.”
Of course, Pastor Jones emphasizes, everything we believe must be firmly rooted in Scripture. Also, like any great love story, the more we get to know God and His Word, He reveals more and more of Himself.
Recently, Brian went through a series of strange circumstances. As a result, that sent him to God’s Word to make sense of what was happening. At that time, Psalm 5:12 leapt off the pages of the Bible. Next, as he researched God’s favor, Pastor Jones was shocked to find the word favor all over the Bible.
In conclusion, Brian boldly proclaims:
“I believe God in his favor want to do something in every area of your life. I’m not talking about good things or even great things, but insanely great things, not just in one area but in every facet of your life. The question I have for you is, Do you believe this? (emphasis author’s)
However, while we desire immediate success and positive results, God wants long-term transformation.
Today’s question: What Bible verses help you escape from your own cleverness? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Godly ambition – a holy task”