December 07: God Gives Grace To The Humble
Humility is an attribute of the Fruit of the Spirit in the life of a believer in Jesus Christ. It is the ability to be teachable, to allow your own ideas and beliefs to be subject to and in many cases dismissed, in light of what God has actually said about you.
In the path to Christain discipleship, the goal of all Christians, the ability to subject your beliefs, your will and your ways to those of the master, Jesus Christ, by his Holy Spirit, is a true demonstration of humility. It doesn’t mean dressing in sack-cloth and ashes or; dragging yourself on hands and knees through broken glass; using a scourge on your flesh to purge desires; starving yourself, because you believe that that is fasting; or, for that matter, allowing sickness and disease to ravage your body, because you believe that God is teaching you something. All of these and many more have been touted, over the centuries, as demonstrations of humility.
So, 1Peter 5:5-7 tells us that: “God gives Grace to the Humble, but, he Resists the Proud.” The sense behind that word Resists is quite interesting. It means: “To clothe himself in armour to see off the Proud.” If that is the caseI think it would be important to stay on the right side of God.
I recently listened to the series “Who Cares?” by Jeremy Pearson. If you find a way to get a copy of that series I can highly recommend it. He refers to the statement made by Jesus, familiar to anyone who has hung around a church at any time in their life, on what we love to call “The Sermon on the Mount.” Jeremy hones in on the phrase used by Jesus in Chapter 6: 25-34 of Matthew’s Gospel where he says: “Do not worry about anything.” Pearson points out that this is effectively a command and that those listening to Jesus would have heard him more along the terms of: “Your Food, your clothing; stop worrying about those things. I mean Literally ‘Stop It! Just Stop It! You are worth more to the Father than the Sparrows and the Lilies.”
I think it helps to give a clearer picture of how God feels about our worrying and in many ways it speaks volumes about our level of trust in his ability to look after us. Until we get it, into our minds and our hearts, that: “He who promised is faithful to fulfil what he has promised.” (Num 23:19; Heb 10:23 and 1Thes 5:24) AND that as Jesus said in Matt 6: 25-34 Your Father knows what you need and He values you much more than even the birds of the air and the grass and the lilies; you will remain easy pickings for the enemy to keep you believing that God wants you poor and struggling.
(Well if you’ve been sold that bill of goods, I’ve got some shares in a coat-hanger shaped bridge in Sydney I’d like to talk to you about.)
Reading through the Old Testament and the New Testament it is very plain to see that when the people of God Trust in and rely upon him as their source they do well. It is when they start to think that they can do it in their own strength and by their own ability that they find themselves subject to sickness, disease, poverty and far from God. In the Old Testament they had usually turned back to worshiping Baal and were in bondage to strangers.
True bible humility is “Casting ALL of your care on Him (God) because he cares for you; it is trusting in and relying on Him as your source in ALL things and ALL matters. Recognising that if your Job is the conduit that God is using to bring, at least some of, your wealth to you the ability and the strength to do that originated with him in the first place; he is the Origin, the Source.
Casting your cares does not involve becoming complacent and lazy. But, it does take an act of will to stop from taking them back. Remember, that if you do take them out of God’s hands you are effectively saying: “I can’t trust that God can do anything about this, I need to get it done myself.” That, my friend, is pride.
We are told to be watchful and vigilant. In other words, we are to be actively involved in the process. But, our eyes are on God as our source. Because once we get our eyes off of God, that is where we will begin to find ourselves in trouble. It is only when we open wide our hearts, our minds, our wills and our hands to God, recognising that He is All that he says he is, that we will truly reach humility.
In this weeks teaching we conclude this series on the ABCs of Christian Living, with part 2 on humility. Download your copy and if you haven’t already listen to the whole series to get a better understanding of those 3 very misunderstood words in Christendom” “Faith, Righteousness and Humility” and begin to live a more victorious life here in this world.
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Praise the Lord!