The power of humility appears to have been cast into the shadows of a view that supports achievement rooted in self-sufficiency. How often do you hear achievers taking full credit for their accomplishments without thanking the One who gave them the ability to achieve. Self-sufficient thinking is a prelude to pride.
Pride is a “lofty and often arrogant assumption of superiority in some respect” of one’s own opinion of him/herself. Pride takes its own credit in ones confidence of his/hers resources, gifts or talents to achieve without the help of others.
Pride precedes a fall from an exalted position; humility precedes an exalted position.
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)
“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23: 12)
Jesus, the Christ, is our example of perfect humility and One who modeled it perfectly. He said that “the greatest among you shall be your servant.” (Matthew 23:11) In order to be a great servant we must learn to be a great follower. When Jesus could have chosen to usurp the authority of His parents at the age of 12, He chose instead to humble Himself and return home with them after being found in the Temple. (Luke 2:51)
Jesus also modeled the power of humility. He understood that at times choosing humility would be the most painful route to achieving and fulfilling His purpose on the earth. He also knew that submitting to God’s plan would bring salvation and eternal redemption to a dying world.
Humility places all outcomes into the hand of God. Humility anchors its trust in following Jesus with an open heart and a surrendered life. This is what a true follower of Jesus looks like, a lifestyle of humility that places all trust in God’s ability to lead us better than we can lead ourselves.
“Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father…” (James 1:16, 17)
If we choose the way of pride and self-sufficiency we will miss fulfilling our purpose and miss-use our God-given gifts and talents during our stay on earth. Every accomplishment obtained in our own self-sufficiency will be tested by fire and burned up in the end. It will have a diminishing effect on our reward in heaven.
“If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” (1Corinthians 3:14,15)
God gives grace to the humble. He attached His power to the work of our hands in a way that impacts eternity in the lives of others.
“…God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you…” (1Peter 5:5,6)
The power of humility!
How can you know that God’s blessings are on your life at all times regardless of the circumstances that you find yourself in – good or bad – joyful or sad – feast or famine and enjoy the peace that comes with knowing?
“You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Ex 20:3)
God kept it simple. He knew if left to our own understanding we would find a way to complicate the best path of life by adding all sorts of conditions and rules that reflected our limited wisdom perspective. From this first and most important commandment the next three shed light on the practical ways to ensure that we keep the first.
I heard my pastor, Andy Stanley, say once that if you keep the first four commandments the remaining six would not be a problem. Keeping God first in life becomes the platform against which all decisions must fall in line with and most importantly maintains a fellowship with Him that leads us in the direction of His blessings. After performing miracles among the nation of Israel and providing supernatural provision He made them a promise;
“In every place where I cause My name to be remembered I will come to you and bless you.” (Ex 20:24b)
When you think about an occasion when God’s name would be remembered it usually involves a display of His supernatural power, an intervention of some kind or a situation where only God can turn things around; when lives are saved or death is stayed. This is a place of absolute trust and surrender to God who promises to show up, to make a way and bless us and cause His name to be remembered!
“You shall have no other gods before Me.”
Long ago when life was hard and my trust in God was being challenged I ran across this promise from the Book of Ecclesiastes 3:10;
“He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
Like a sponge I absorbed this word and my faith walk began to take on the reality and wisdom of a long term view, critical for those who have truly anchored their hope in God through His Son Jesus Christ.
What I have learned through the events of life, both good and bad, that there is beauty in all circumstances when looking through the eyes of trust and faith. Instead of trying to bear through hardships in our own strength and understanding we are encouraged to;
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)
Endurance implies a journey worthwhile that by faith gives God opportunity to make something beautiful of our lives. As long as we live in this world life will be filled with joy and laughter, heartache and suffering. Take God at His Word and trust Him all the way to the end, He is the only One who can make all things beautiful in its time.