“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble”
Humility means putting God and other persons ahead of our own selfish interests. Humility comes with the knowledge that God’s creation as a whole transcends our own narrow interests.
Humility is a function of a circumcised heart that has been touched by the surgical blades of the Holy Spirit. Humility reveals the presence of the Holy Spirit in an individual.
Humility is a function of LOVE. Love is the force that triggers off humility. You cannot be humble if you do not love. Ephesians 4:2 says, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” If you love something, you bring yourself under total subjection of what you’re loving. That is why Christian wives who Love their husbands are submissive. (Ephesians 5:24 & 33). Therefore, if you are not humble, you do not have love in you, and the Author of Love is not in you.
A man can counterfeit love, he can counterfeit faith, he can counterfeit hope and all the other graces, but it is very difficult to counterfeit humility. He wears it like a perfume. In fact, it is through humility that other graces can be spotted in a man. If he is humble, then he fears and loves the Lord, the only Supreme Authority. For this reason, other graces is added to him because he sought first the kingdom of heaven.
Love is the propellant that fuels humility. Even until death, Jesus was humble. It was not the nails that kept Him on the Cross, it was love. For the scripture says, “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”-Isaiah 53:7 (NIV). So, instead of asking His Father while praying at the garden of Gethsemane to send His legion of angels to defend Him, He humbly said, “…My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”- Matthew 26:39 (NIV).
He who wants to learn true humility should reflect upon the Passion of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ by humility, washed the feet of His disciples. Show me a man who is proud and arrogant, and I will show you a man whose heart is far from Jesus.
True humility is a sign of superiority over the former self. As soon as the Holy Spirit begins the sanctification process in us, we become new creatures in Christ Jesus. Humility replaces the pride of believing that we are made perfect by the law and our individual efforts and not by His Grace which comes through faith in Christ Jesus. Humility takes away the believe that all we have achieved is by our power and might.
As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you. For that reason, Apostle Paul says in Philippians 2:3, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”
A humble heart is a heart that is ready to receive Grace from the Almighty; “But he gives us more grace. That is why the Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.””- James 4:6 (NIV). Grace and pride cannot dwell in the same place. I’ve never heard of it. The soul’s true greatness is in loving God and in humbling oneself in His presence, completely forgetting oneself and believing oneself to be nothing; because the Lord is great, but He is well-pleased only with the humble; He always opposes the proud. “…These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.”- Isaiah 66:2. He uses the basket to fetch water just to disgrace the proud bucket. Chai!!
Humility is accepting the fact that we are so unqualified to receive God’s unmerited favour (Grace). Humility is accepting the fact that God calls the most unqualified to do His work, to bear His glory. For example:
- He called Moses, a stutterer and a murderer to carry out His salvation purpose for the children of Israel.
- He used Rahab the prostitute to save the 12 spies who were from Israel.
- He used 4 lepers for His miraculous provision for Samaria.
- He even used Paul who was a persecutor of the followers of the “Way” as they were called then. God made Paul a great instrument in His vineyard, today Apostle Paul is responsible for a greater part of the books of the New testament. The list of the unqualified that the Almighty used to reveal His glory is inexhaustible.
A proud person believes that he is too qualified, and begins to think it is by his power that he accomplishes his feats. If we are forced to accept our evident lack of qualification, then there’s no danger that we will confuse God’s work with our own, or God’s glory with our own.
There have never been, and can never be, and there shall never be any sin without pride. In the third temptation of Jesus, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour and asked Jesus to bow down and worship him and take the kingdoms. (Matthew 4:8-9). That temptation tested Jesus’ humility. If Jesus was proud, He would have bowed down to the devil so He could rule the world. He would have sinned against His Father if He had bowed.
The first degree of humility is the fear of God, which we should constantly have before our eyes. Our Lord and saviour demonstrated this through His reply to the devil; “Away from me Satan! For it is written: worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.”-Matthew 4:10 (NIV).
The most powerful weapon to conquer the devil is humility. For, as he does not know at all how to employ it, neither does he know how to defend himself from it. The Bible records that the devil departed from Jesus as soon as He gave that reply. (Matthew 4:11).
There is something in humility which strangely exalts the heart. Or is it not His Word that says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”- 1 Peter 5:6 (NIV)? Has His Words ever changed? I think and I know not. Remember, it was pride that changed angels into devils. “But the greatest among you shall be your servant. “And whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. (Matthew 23:11-12). Also, “Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honour.”- Proverbs 18:12(NIV).
Humility is the mother of many virtues because from it obedience, fear, reverence, patience, modesty, meekness and peace are born. He who is humble easily obeys everyone, fears to offend anyone, is at peace with everyone, is kind with all.
Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.
May the Lord bless His Word for us in Jesus name, Amen!!
By: AY & ID.