The fundamental basis for spiritual growth and blessings as a Christian requires one to practise humility and display it in thought, speech, and deed. I remember losing a 12-year long relationship with my close friend because I corrected him on an issue concerning his misbehaviour when he collaborated with me during ministry. One word of correction to him broke our relationship forever as he took offense and because he could not humble himself.
Without humility as a character trait in a person, appreciation by God or man is never complete and going forward in relationships become hindered. Added to this, the devil gets in on the act and destroys us. Great responsibility requires great humility. True Christianity is to emulate the Master's humility. Jesus who is Lord of all displayed this humility in the following three situations that He faced in His life while on earth.
Humility before God
Humility before man
Humility before His circumstances in life.
In the first instance of humility before God, the verses below speak for it. Php 2:5:8 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: ......and took upon him the form of a servant, ........ He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
In the second instance, Jesus fulfilled humility before man when He demonstrated servant hood toward His creation. The Bible exhorts us to do the same. 1Pe 5:1:6 The elders which are among you....Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; .... Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble......
In the third instance of humility before His circumstances when Jesus was led away to be crucified we see His humility. He submitted to His situation in spite of the power He possesed to change His circumstances. We see that in His words in the following verses. Mat 26:53:56 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled,
When we are faced with any one of the above three situations in life at any given time in our Christian journey, we need to employ humility in thought, speech and deed. When humility is not in operation, our spirits receive a warning signal to tell us that pride is operating. This means something bad is on the way. Pro 18:12 Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.
God is sovereign and does what He likes, when He likes and in any way He likes and does not owe anybody an explanation. That is why He is God. Therefore, when confronted with the will of God, it is better to humble ourselves rather than resist Him because He deals severely with pride. What happened to Lucifer in heaven left him without recourse (option) of repentance. Therefore, we must be wise and walk in the fear of the Lord with thanksgiving because God has given us repentance as part of His grace to recover ourselves.
Likewise earthly spiritual authority has been placed over us by God for good reason. It is in our submission to this authority that we will be tested by God. As a result, our lives will either be well or bad upon this earth. When parental authority is questioned and dishonour follows, then our days on this earth will not be good. When we rebel against leadership authority in the Church, we will find ourselves in serious trouble as it is the house of God. When we do wrong by worldly authority, then too will God judge as He expects us to keep the law. From this, we can understand that authority is given to keep us humble and not for misuse. With this in mind let us learn to walk in humility. Then, it will become easier to accept what is done wrongly against us and what is done in a correct manner to us. Rebuke,
correction and stripes are all part of this learning curve. It pays to walk in the fear of the Lord for the rewards and consequences are greater than one can imagine. Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the Author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
When we constantly justify our mistakes, give excuses that hold no water, argue unnecessarily, become rebellious, point our fingers at others, think of ourselves greater than we are because of our gifts, status in life, good looks or education and take glory for what we think we have achieved in life, talk arrogantly, boast or behave in a manner that depicts pride we will surely be corrected by God. If we still refuse to listen, then God will deal with that pride rather harshly as He hates pride above all other sins. Pride is the domain of the devil and he is constantly seeking who he may devour (overwhelm) by giving people the following: 1Jn 2:16 ...the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life...
Pride is a constant problem with man and he hardly escapes it because it is pride which keeps him going in the flesh. When one comes to Jesus, the first thing that is dealt with is pride. Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord. That requires humilty. However, because man is what he is, he slips back into pride easily. Before long the same character fault displays itself in all of the areas of his life which was once covered by the blood of Jesus. This happens because he comes out from under that covering to show his strength in what he thinks he has become or has. That is why Jesus said; 'you can do nothing without me'. Yet, many lay Christians and Minister's of God have walked in their pride in the Church and in their knowledge and gifts only to fall badly many years later. They lost their way and many even walked away from God. Others were severly rebuked, chastened and corrected for long periods of time. The Jews suffered 40 years in the wilderness because of their pride and disobedience. The Bible is full of people who failed God in this area and paid the price; like King Saul.
I remember asking my dying sister to humble herself about healing but she would not and instead got angry with me for suggesting that. She later died at the age of 61 years when she fell and broke both her legs in the bathroom. She had suffered with Rheumotoid Arthritis for 30 years prior to that. Many have not been healed of their diseases because of pride and because they will not come to God to ask for healing. Others have lived lives of poverty because of pride. The greatest area pride is displayed in is in unforgiveness. Many have died in this sin because they have been offended and cannot forgive because of pride. Others who are wealthy and powerful have displayed pride when they have not lifted a finger to help the downtrodden. Pride has commanded the throne of life only to detsroy so many. My friends, it is not good to be proud or live in self denial of mistakes and sins in one's life. It is better to accept our state of being, seek forgiveness and change our ways. When we humble oursleves we shall be exalted.That is the promise of God. Pro 22:4 By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, honour, and life. These are the blessings that one cannot afford to ignore.
I have found that humility is not a hard task master but an easy one. The more you practice it the easier it becomes and greater are the rewards. It may seem that at first it is hard to practice it. Yet, when you begin to do it, the reward that it brings makes you want to keep practicing it. There is a saying which goes like this; "swallow your pride". Pride is in anything we say, do or think. It can be seen easily by others when it is on display. It causes people to change their mind about us the moment they see it or sense it in anyway. The Holy Spirit convicts us of it but does not force us to accept His conviction. It is up to us to humble ourselves and accept conviction. This is where the reward is. If you ask God to humble you, it will be a big mistake because it will be too hard a lesson to learn. God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. That alone should tell us what He thinks about it.
The world teaches pride and self. It is this lifestyle that is penetrating the Church, causing much compromise, rebellion and promoting ways that are not of God. God will soon judge the Church in a big way because judgement begins in the house of the Lord first. The fear of the Lord is wisdom. May God give you wisdom to walk in humility in all three scenarios of life that often beset us.
It is better to humble oneself than to be humbled.
With love - Pastor Noble