One of the keys to success in God’s kingdom is learning to walk with him in humility. “Success” is subjective and will likely look different as we grow and change with the seasons of life and the seasons of our Christian journey. But it is a universal need to humbly partner with the Godhead, to adopt this posture and attitude in every area of life where we want to see success and Godly momentum.
Being humble is showing deference or respect – it is the opposite of pride, arrogance or haughtiness. Being humble with God, therefore, is simply acknowledging that God is God and we are not. It is deferring to God and his wisdom, his word, his ways. It is molding our lives after his and adopting his principles, values, and decrees. It is simple to say, but not always simple to do because our flesh wants to rise up and be in control. The first sin in the Garden, after all, was one of pride – the first temptation man succumbed to was “eat of this fruit and be like God”. Henceforth mankind has struggled in his own pride rather than humbly submit to the God who created him.
Like many things in God’s kingdom, humility runs counter to the world system in which we live. We are surrounded by humanistic, self-centered ideas and philosophies telling us that we are the masters of our fate and the captains of our souls, that we should look out for number one, that if it feels good it is good, and that we answer to no one. You don’t have to look very hard to find someone saying you are your own god, what YOU say goes. That’s the big lie. It’s the big lie from the beginning and the same serpent is still spinning the same record. How utterly stupefying and unnatural it seems in today’s world, to live a life submitted humbly to God almighty. Yet this is where God’s children stand out from the crowd. If you are unmarried, you see the look of shock (and questioning your sanity) when you tell your friends that you choose to live in purity. Try telling your employer that you won’t lie or cheat your way into landing that big account when you’re asked to compromise. We are the fish that swim upstream. We must live in submission to “get ahead” in life and in the kingdom.
Jesus is our model:
– Phil 2:5-8 “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (NASB)
God ordained it:
– Micah 6:8 “He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
It is the way forward:
– 1 Peter 5:6 “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time”
It is the way out of sin and trouble:
– James 4: 6-10 “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”
It is the way of strength:
– 2 Cor 12:9 “And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
It is the way through:
– Prov 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
It is the way of life and protection:
– Prov 6:20-23 “My son, keep your father’s command and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them always on your heart; fasten them around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life”
Choose humility today, choose to defer to God in all your ways. Choose to obey that still small voice saying “this is the way, walk in it”. Blessings upon you and your journey.