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second5Have you ever been picked second, or even last for something? It reminds me of being on the playground as a kid. I would stand in a line with the rest of the kids, my fingers crossed behind my back, praying not to be picked last for dodgeball during recess. I wasn’t the most athletic in my group of playmates, AND I am a girl, so I usually got picked last for teams. It was humiliating. It stirred in me jealousy from a very young age. It made me feel “less than”, like I wasn’t good enough. Hard feelings for such a young tike. They were real feelings, even if I didn’t quite understand them or how they would play into my adult life. One thing those days did for me was create a drive in me to succeed. When I didn’t succeed at things, I would shove my mind into the recesses of self-pity and I was off to the races in my head, not on the playground.

second2I remember a time a Jacob’s Well. I had been asked to manage a store one day and I was elated! I was so excited to be picked first. I was so eager to show others what I could do and I was destined to succeed! But I didn’t succeed. In my eagerness, insecurity, and inherent need for perfection, I hurt people. I made them feel less than. I looked down on them as if they didn’t know what they were doing. AGAIN. I made a big mess out of something that could have been so easily handled. The next day I was picked second and my big egotistical balloon of a head got popped right there in front of everyone. I had to quickly revert back to who God said I was in HIM in order to make it through that day. The spirit of Jealousy was on me like a long lost friend and it had the potential to take me out. Along with it tagged Haughtiness and Pride and they were MORE than willing to pick me first for their team. It’s the “I’m the Center of the Universe” mentality and it doesn’t work for God. He wants to be the center of MY universe.

Proverbs 16:18 – Pride goes before destruction a haughty spirit before a fall.

second3I didn’t anticipate the stumbling blocks that day. I didn’t see myself the way I should. I wasn’t going to repent of a sin I didn’t even know I had. Ask anyone around me that day and they probably could have told you how aware THEY were of what was really going on.

Romans 12:16 – Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

secondDANG! It spells it out right there! And I missed it! You have no IDEA the gratitude that I have for being put in second place the next day. If they hadn’t been led by the Spirit of God to change the work schedule and get me out of my pride, I would have been as arrogant as Henry VIII who made up his own religion in order to marry some girl. WOW! In all honesty, I didn’t like being in second place the next day, but I am always in first place with God and I should put Him first place in my life or the enemy wouldn’t mind sending my old friends to trip me up yet again.

John 3:30 – He must increase, but I must decrease.

Matthew 6:33 – But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

I am second…HE is first.