April 19, 2018
The greatest promises are made to the humble.
Psalm 147:6 “God gives help/relief to the poor in spirit/oppressed”
Isaiah 66:2 “I myself created the whole universe! I am pleased with those who are humble and repentant, who fear me and obey me.”
Isaiah 57:15 “I am the high and holy God, who lives forever. I live in a high and holy place, but I also live with people who are humble and repentant, so that I can restore their confidence and hope.”
2 Chronicles 7:14 “if My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Matthew 18:4 “Therefore whoever shall humble himself like this little child, this one is the greater in the kingdom of Heaven.”
Matthew 23:12 “And whoever shall exalt himself shall be abased, and he who shall humble himself shall be exalted.”
There are so many more promises, but to me the greatest promise is this: GRACE IS GIVEN TO THE HUMBLE IN HEART!
Perhaps the best way to understand humility is attempting to see ourselves through God’s eyes rather than our own.
The noted preacher, Charles Spurgeon, defined humility as, “making a right estimate of one’s self.”
Another noted speaker stated that, “Humility is not denying the power or gifting you have, but admitting that the gifting is from God and the power comes through you and not from you.
God can tell the difference between true humility and the pretense of humility.
- True humility focuses upon God, not upon impressing other people.
- True humility is relationship focused.
Ways to Humble Yourself
- Routinely confess your sin to God. (Luke 18:9-14) All of us sin and fall short of the glory of God. However, too few of us have a routine practice of rigorous self-honesty examination. Weekly, even daily, review of our heart and behavior, coupled with confession to God, is an essential practice of humility.
- Acknowledge your sin to others. (James 3:2, James 5:16) Humility before God is not complete unless there is also humility before man. A true test of our willingness to humble ourselves is being willing to share with others the weaknesses we confess to God. Wisdom, however, dictates that we do so with others that we trust.
- Take wrong accusations patiently. (1 Peter 3:8-17) This has been a difficult one for most. When something is unjust we want to react and rectify it. However, patiently responding to the unjust accusations and actions of others demonstrates our strength of godly character and provides an opportunity to put on humility.
- Actively submit to authority, the good and the bad! (1 Peter 2:18) Our culture does not value submission; rather it promotes individualism. How purposely and actively do you work on submission to those whom God has placed as authorities in your life? Doing so is a good way to humble yourself.
- Receive correction and feedback from others graciously. (Proverbs 10:17, 12:1) Look for the kernel of truth in what people offer you, even if it comes from a dubious source. Always pray, “Lord, what are you trying to show me through this?”
- Accept a lowly place. (Proverbs 25:6, 7) If you find yourself wanting to sit at the head table, wanting others to recognize your contribution or become offended when others are honored or chosen, then pride is present. Purpose to support others being recognized, rather than you. Accept and look for the lowly place; it is the place of humility.
- Purposely associate with people of lower state than you. (Luke 7:36-39) Jesus was derided by the Pharisees for socializing with the poor and those of lowly state. Our culture is very status conscious and people naturally want to socialize upward. Resist the temptation of being partial to those with status or wealth.
- Choose to serve others. (Philippians 1:1, 2 Corinthians 4:5, Matthew 23:11) When we serve others, we are serving God’s purposes in their lives. Doing so reduces our focus on ourselves and builds the Kingdom of God instead of the Kingdom of self.
- Be quick to forgive. (Matthew 18: 21-35) Forgiveness is possibly one of the greatest acts of humility we can do. To forgive is to acknowledge a wrong that has been done to us and also to further release our forgiveness. Forgiveness is denial of self.
- Cultivate a grateful heart. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) The more we develop an attitude of gratitude for the gift of salvation and life He has given us, the truer our perspective of self. A grateful heart is a humble heart.
- Purpose to speak well of others. (Ephesians 4:31-32) Saying negative things about others puts them “one down” and us “one up, which is a form of pride. Speaking well of others builds them up instead of us. Make sure, however, that what you say is not intended as flattery.
- Treat pride as a condition that always necessitates embracing the cross. (Luke 9:23) It is our nature to be proud and it is God’s nature in us that brings humility.
Committing to a lifestyle of daily dying to self and living through Him is the foundation for true humility.