Over the past six months, God has been challenging me in a way that I never thought I would ever be challenged. It started out back in the Fall of last year that I was driving to work one day (at my fairly new job at the church as the Associate Pastor) that I heard God say to me, "Dean, you are arrogant!" I was aghast! I thought to myself, "Am I really arrogant? Have I thought of myself as something greater than I really am?" I had no idea that God was going to take me on a journey to show me exactly how arrogant I had become and how I need to change.
Now I don't know about anyone else, but I am not fond of being corrected. Maybe that alone shows my arrogance but the last few months have been brutal for me. Every time I turn around I seem to be going through some sort of experience where God or someone that God chooses to use (and there have been many) brings me down one more notch off of my high horse. I can honestly say that this has been one of the most trying times in my life. I do not like being wrong but that again is my problem. Pride has crept in.
Hebrews 12:5-11 says:
5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said,
“My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline,7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? 10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. (NLT)
and don’t give up when he corrects you.
6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”
In this journey, although somewhat unenjoyable, I still want to be obedient to the place where God wants to take me. If that means that I still have farther to go before I am humbled to where God wants me, then I pray that God gives me the endurance to go the distance. I want God's best for my life and that means that in the words of John, "He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less." (John 3:30, NLT)
My Facebook status today is simply, "Dean Peckham is nothing." It is not that I don't have value, but rather, that I remove more of me and die to myself, that Christ may be alive in me. My hope and pray is that when people look at me, that they see the character and nature of Jesus Christ in me. I believe Paul sums up my feelings best with, "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:12-14, NIV)