November 23: Humble Yourself – Let God Do The Lifting
Humility is one of those words that Christians either like to throw around as they talk about others and their response to the accolades they receive. If a person acknowledges the talent they have they are considered arrogant, or proud and heading for humiliation.
The words that usually accompany any discussion around the subject of humility in church settings include: worthless, lacking, weak, unworthy, useless. Or Contrawise, arrogant, proud, tall-poppy, big-headed, self-centred and self-important.
Don’t get me wrong, some of the second list of personality traits would not impress me either; if they were true. But, here’s a point to consider. For some people true biblical humility would appear, to them, to fit into this second list. Instead they would cling firmly to some of the terms in the first list.
However, I’ve said it before, the children of God have had these models of humility preached at them from the pulpit. Told to accept loss, sickness and disease as God’s way of teaching us to be humble. As far as I’m concerned, “That’s Perverted.” We Jail parents who act that way here on Earth.
I’ll have people coming up to me saying:
“But, Pastor Graham, I know someone who was so proud, so unapproachable to anyone else in the street, never mind at church. And they got Cancer and since then they’ve changed. They’ve become so good natured; so loving and kind to people. It’s like a miracle has happened in their lives. They come to church. They are so generous with their time and their wealth. They’re like completely different people.”
A couple of things could be at play here. Don’t be too quick to think that the outcome is a result of the tragedy. For some people, they have walked so long out of the Love of God; living in opposition to the only 2 commandments that Jesus left the church with:
“The First and Greatest commandment is this: You must love the Lord your God with all you heart, your soul and your strength. And the second, which is equal to the first, You shall love your neighbour as yourself. By these two you have fulfilled the Law and the prophets.” Matt 22:38
As a result we walk out from under the protection that our covenant with God, through Jesus, provides for us. Our body becomes subject to the enemy’s attack and diseases like Cancer find a place to grow.
So, right away, when anyone comes to me to tell me that God has given, or has put sickness, or disease, on a person to humble them, I wonder what god they’re talking about. Even Paul said that: “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the elect.” 2Cor 4:4 Jesus referred to Satan as “the Thief” (John 10:10).
The saints (all those who have been set apart, sanctified, for God; if you are In Christ, that includes you) are told to “Count it all Joy, when you fall into temptation..” (Jam 1:2) In 1Thes 5:18 we are told to: “Praise God ‘IN’ every circumstance.” Please note that it says IN every circumstance, not FOR every circumstance.
This one verse of scripture has been mangled, over the centuries, to say the complete opposite of what was intended. Members of the body of Christ (much like the woman, the daughter of Abraham, bowed low for 18 years that Jesus healed and rebuked the ruler of the synagogue for. Luke 13:11-17) have been lied to and blinded to the healing power of God for their lives.
In many cases people who get diseases like Cancer, or a diagnosis of a condition that threatens their mortality they do have a moment of epiphany. They take stock of their lives as they believe that with the time they have remaining they need to get their affairs in order.
Some become bitter and resentful. While others, stepping back, are not pleased by what they see as their legacy and they decide to make changes and adjustments to remedy the picture with the time left to them. Some of them, in both groups, have been members of a church for years, without any knowledge of, or about the healing atonement in the New Covenant. As a result, I believe, they have been robbed.
Saddest of all, is the church member, who has been led to believe that by changing their ways they can buy a way into God’s favour, something that he has given freely. But, as a result of wrong thinking and wrong teaching on the subject of humility their false humility (PRIDE) will not allow them to accept that it is a gift of Grace and are also robbed.
True bible humility is very different to any of these images. True Humility accepts that what God has to say about you has more authority than anything you might think about yourself to the contrary. Remember, anything that would try to set itself up as a greater authority than God is motivated by PRIDE, the kind of pride that saw Lucifer lose his place among the Archangels. It is not humiliation. But, Pride will eventually produce humiliation.
Humility admits that as a human: “I am small.” But, “God is Great!” In point of fact, he is far beyond our wildest imaginations and any attempt to contain, or restrain the image of what God is or what he thinks is actually foolishness.
In the Old testament the word Fear is translated from the Hebrew word ‘yirrah‘. In some instances this Fear is associated with a dread of things either happening, or to come. But, in relation to describing God the word is better understood to mean AWE, or Reverence.
Awe, meaning to have the perspective that you are…you and that God is God, the creator of the universe and all that it contains. If that doesn’t have you falling on your face acknowledging the significance of that image, well…? The posture that is adopted in this circumstance is Humility and refers to both one’s physical posture and, or the posture of the heart, the spirit.
Reverence, in relation to God, is an attitude of both Heart and Soul. It refers to the ability to accept what God has to say about you even when all of your feelings and senses are saying something different. Wisdom and knowledge, the Proverbs tell us, are the fruit of this acceptance.
James (Jam4:10) tells us that if we seek to be lifted up by God, then we first of all have to humble ourselves to see ourselves as God sees us. While Peter, in his first letter (1Pet 5:7) tells us exactly how we commit to true humility; by understanding that all that we have and all that we need ultimately come from God, our provider and he is reminded of the lesson that he learned from the Master, Jesus, In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:33; by Casting ALL of our cares upon the Lord.
We need to renew our minds to the truth of what God has said about us. We need to adopt the mind of Christ as Paul talks about in Phil 2:5.
This week’s message is the fruit of obedience and faithfulness. Allow yourself the opportunity to consider this key ingredient to walking a successful and victorious life In Christ. Accept all that God, through Jesus Christ, has done for you and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to you.
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