This devotional, my friend, is a tad longer than usual. But the message the Lord has given me, I believe, is one I pray none of us fail to take the time to hear – and, as I once heard a pastor say, to heed. I trust Him should it be His will to speak through it to your heart. In His forever love, lara
“But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:
“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”” James 4:6-7
“‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”” Mt. 15:8-9
Once upon a time there was a woman with no knees. Her legs took her where she needed to go, gracefully even, quite surprisingly, always on time as respecting those who awaited her was important to her, and even without falling, as she walked carefully, knowing she couldn’t rely on knees like other people could, like people who likely took for granted their knees, and all one can do with knees of course. People did in fact stare at her, not just children, but adults, too, anyone really, as people have a way of doing when someone appears different from others. But she had long since learned to simply smile at those staring at her, not to be hurt, not to ignore them, not to turn away in self-pity, but in fact to be merciful, compassionate, and patient even with those who didn’t understand. Who didn’t understand how fortunate she considered herself to have no knees. Now that she had learned what she had learned.
One day long ago, you see, after having just shortly beforehand encountered the Lord Jesus Christ for the very first time, having heard the Gospel message, having cried out to God in true godly sorrow over her sins for His forgiveness and salvation, having decidedly committed her heart and life to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, fully realizing Jesus is the only way to have a forever relationship with God who today is her glorious everlasting heavenly Father, she had been greatly dismayed that she couldn’t bend down on her knees in prayer like the hundreds upon hundreds of people she saw kneeling in prayer in churches all around her city, in revival meetings she made a point of attending, in prayer meetings, in worship gatherings held outdoors, and the like. It was then, having fallen deeply and reverently and forever in love with Christ her Lord, in her misery that she couldn’t kneel before her God, that she sensed the Spirit of God come upon her to impress upon her the most wonderful lesson.
Though she could not bow down before the Lord in prayer on a set of knees like other people because she didn’t have any, she could bow down before Him in her heart, ever striving and living, daily, to humble herself before God in loving adoration, devoting herself day by day to honoring Him, to revering Him, to worshiping Him right down to with her very breath, singing aloud to Him, poring through the pages of His Word to ever learn how to please Him, to become closer to Him, to become more like Him, that she might magnify and glorify Him in all that she said and did, repenting whenever she so needed, praying to Him, seeking Him, listening for the voice of His Spirit speaking to her heart, always, always, always, desiring to meekly come before Him, to come humbly into His presence, to exalt Him.
And so it was, though her knees could not bend and kneel for times of prayer, she made it her life’s mission as she loved Him with all her heart to aspire continually to bend her heart before Him, to lower herself to her knees in her mind, to continually lower herself before God, to be meek before Him, to acknowledge Him as Lord and herself as nothing more than His beloved adopted child and slave to her most precious loving Master.
The woman without any knees is not a real woman, but a woman of fiction, a woman with a message the Spirit of God placed on my heart early one morning to convey to you who reads this, and I who write it. How many of us are caught up in the “traditions” of “religion”, in the “habits” and “routines” and “rules” and “regulations” that have taken up residence in our lives, while our hearts and minds, our decisions and actions are not, at least for the most part, if at all, consumed with and centered around and dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ, with God almighty, with living utterly and wholeheartedly, devotedly and delightedly for Christ?
How many of us have perfectly working knees, and even bend down and kneel upon them in prayer, while all the while we live according to the world’s ways, whilst convincing ourselves we are “good Christians”, doing what we think we should, while our hearts, filled with self and pride, are filled with worldliness and little if anything in the way of love and adoration of and dedication to God and to His glorious Word? How many of us restrict Christ to Sundays, to church, if we have carved out any space for Him at all in our hearts not to mention our everyday lives? Even for those of us who consider ourselves fully devoted to Christ, is there not always room for growth, room for expansion, room for stretching, room for reaching out to the Lord more, and to be dedicated to Him more fully, more wholeheartedly, learning to long for Him, to desire, crave, hunger and thirst for more of Him, for more of His righteousness, for more loving, pleasing, and communing with Him?
Who do you suppose God honors? The woman without any knees who lives her life in humble loving and tender, gentle and reverent honor of God, never down on her knees physically but striving to be so ever in her heart? Or someone who may well act the part of a “good Christian”, kneeling in prayer and such, but whose heart, and life, are in fact far from the Lord?
There is nothing wrong with kneeling on our knees in prayer, and may we who can do so, but more than anything may the position of our hearts and lives be one of bending, of kneeling, of submitting ourselves, of lowering ourselves, of living to love and worship and serve forever almighty God in Christ Jesus Lord of all!
Are you bending, and kneeling, before the Lord, in your heart, in your life, as your very lifestyle? May it be so!