We can either humble ourselves in the eyes of The LORD, or we will be humbled.
Just how do we humble ourselves? What is humility really?
- To cast all your cares upon Him for He cares FOR you, knowing apart from HIM we can do nothing.
- It is also walking in meekness; considering others better than yourself to walk in the love of God.
And to do this requires resting in His presence casting your cares on Him, basking in His love being in a receiving mode so we can then give out, what He gives to us, to others. In quietness and rest we are refreshed.
Zephaniah 2:3 NKJ says:
“Seek The LORD all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of The LORD’s anger.”
Webster’s dictionary says this:
“Humility is the quality or state of being humble in spirit, freedom from pride or arrogance. Having a low opinion of one’s own importance or merits.
Haughty : Disdainfully proud or overbearing: arrogant.
Arrogant : Having a feeling of superiority that shows or is inclined to show itself in an overbearing attitude or in claiming more consideration than is due to one’s position, dignity or power: exaggerating one’s own worth or importance. (Example: “He was always right”)
Andrew Murray in “Absolute Surrender” p.49 prays
“Father, let the Holy Spirit have full dominion over me, in my home, in my temper, in every word of my tongue, in every thought of my heart, in every feeling toward my fellow-men. Let the Holy Spirit have entire possession.”
This is the bottom-line of humility — allowing God total rulership in our lives.
He is our Adonai; our Master. Humility is realizing we are not in control. It is the opposite of self-sufficiency and self-reliance, the attributes of pride.
He is in charge of our life and the lives of others. When we think we know what is better for someone else than they do, we are walking in pride.
God is ever so patient with us. Has He not been with you? I know He has been SO patient with me, knowing the abuses I have had to endure in my life.
He has been gentle, caring, loving, and the kindest friend I have ever known. He hasn’t rushed me in sanctification process, healing, or deliverance, saying hurry up, you aren’t good enough yet.
He is LONG-SUFFERING as we should be with each other when we are humble.
We are not the only apple of His eye. Everyone else is also loved by Him. We must trust that in all circumstances, God knows what He is doing! He knows what is best for building character in us.
We have no right to resent what He is using to make us into HIS image. After all, if we pray to be more like HIM are we willing to be made of no reputation like Isaiah 53 says?
When David was in the hills of the wilderness he drew to himself those that were in debt, discontented, and discouraged. Many of us have become like David and his mighty men of no reputation.
David had a heart after God’s own heart The LORD said.
Note in the verse from Zephaniah above humility is connected to doing Justice and Righteousness like the verse from Micah which says,
“And what Oh man, does God require of you? To do justice, to have mercy, and to walk humbly with your God!” (paraphrasing)
So humility is not being a shrinking flower or a doormat. If it were no justice would be done.
Proverbs 22:4 says Humility and The Fear of The LORD bring wealth, honor, and life.
In Ezekiel 44:28 it says in regard to the Holy priesthood,
“It shall be, in regard to their inheritance, that I AM THEIR INHERITANCE. You shall give them no possession in Israel, for I AM their possession.”
Above that in verses 17 and 18 of Ezekiel 44 it talks about the priests not being allowed to wear wool which causes them to sweat, only linen garments.
This is representative of anything which is done out of striving; our flesh; man’s sweat , versus linen; representing purity of dependence and obedience to God; NOT walking in presumption or self-sufficiency.
Only the humble can walk in this place, as pride prevents dependency on God. Pride does what self wants. So if you find yourself striving it is a sign that self is in the way.
This has been a very difficult thing for me to overcome in my life as I was raised, both by my natural mom, and my foster mom with so much independence, and striving from perfectionism and performance.
It has taken years to overcome, and I am still battling it on a daily basis; the feeling that I’m not accomplishing enough.
We only have to accomplish what GOD wants; not some standard set forth by our families, our work, or our church leadership, who may be walking in performance themselves.
Sometimes, there are so many church programs, and activities, it leaves no time for intimacy with each other, or with God; Much less time to minister to the lost.
Each day needs to be submitted to HIM ; what do YOU want for me to do today LORD?
Is there anyone YOU want for me to touch?
So often we are into worldly thinking, in stead of having God on our minds all hours of the day. He is a great Resource, even for our work. He can lead and guide us. He cares about EVERY aspect of our life.
It says He will perfect ALL that concerns us, does it not?
Are we willing to TRUST HIM, as this is also a bottom line with humility isn’t it?
If we STRIVE, it is because of unbelief; and not trusting HIM.
Humility does not mean thinking you or your time is more important than others. If you focus on externals and judge people by the way they look, or walk, or talk, or by their sin life, you may deprive yourself of great blessings and opportunities in relationship, or in service to our KING.
We are not better than someone because our speech is more cleaned up! This generation of youth have the worst vernacular we have ever seen. If we judge and condemn, rather than love them into The Kingdom, we will not make converts of them.
There is an exclusivity within many churches, that does not allow for newcomers to feel included. It is a sense of being on the outside when certain people always get the opportunities to minister or are on the inside “track” in relationships to the “higher-ups” in leadership.
Now that is where delegation and home groups become a life-giving place in the church, for then accountability, responsibility, and a sense of community can be established in those smaller groups, that cannot happen in a large setting.
Intimacy is virtually impossible with large congregations, yet we still count don’t we? Counting is an abomination I think to God. Consider what happened when David counted!
The emphasis then becomes on numbers and worldly kind of success, rather than on people with real families, and lives, and needs.
Again, it is looking at externals, rather than fruit in people’s lives which is the real measure of discipleship and maturity. Humility is as much a fruit of the Spirit as the others mentioned in Galatians.
I don’t consider those all inclusive. Humility does not take credit for what God does, or did. God alone sanctifies us.
God is our resource for everything we have in the way of talents or gifts, for our compassion, for our natural gifts, or supernatural gifts.
Yet we still stumble in this area, thinking gifting is a measure of our favor with God, when it is purely a measure of His LOVE.
God did not say judge them by their gifts. God gives gifts because He loves us.
“Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of Lights with Whom there is no variation or turning.” (paraphrased) James 1:17.
He does NOT give them because we have been good enough!
Jesus said many would come to Him in THAT DAY and say, I cast out demons, I healed the sick, etc, but He says to them, “I never knew you!”
We are merely vessels prepared for HIS GLORY not our own. We are merely soldiers, carrying out the commands or our Commander in Chief. This is our faithful service. I have found in my journeys, that thankfulness is a great indicator of humility.
Prideful people are not thankful. They expect service, rather than giving it. He alone is deserving of all honor, and glory. We are not to touch His GLORY!
When people in these days of awakening that are almost upon us, wonder at us, like Paul and the apostles, we must also answer them “Why are you astounded at these miracles, as if by our own power we did them?”
We are conduits, not little GOD’s. Moses was called by God the most HUMBLE man on earth! He moved in great power and authority, and spoke with God FACE-To-FACE!
He could have called down fire from heaven on the children of Israel, when he was angry, instead he pled for mercy and fasted another 40 days! That is love. That is humility.
He could have helped rule Egypt, but instead chose to suffer with his people, and left the comforts of his wealth, and riches, much like Jesus, left His heavenly home and riches, to manifest Himself to us in humility, and identified with the poor and lowly.
Isaiah 53 ever remains the consummate example of humility.
Vs 2b-3. “….. He has no from or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”
God often uses those no one expects like 1 Corinthians ch.1 says. He delights in using those no one else would think capable!
I remember my former friend Addie was a part of a charasmatic home group of Presbyterians and she described a man there whom she said, said all the wrong things in prayer, yet people were instantly healed.
We worry too much about having everything perfect. God is not as concerned. He is the only One Who is perfect.
Vs 4-5 “Surely He has born our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted. But He was wounded for OUR transgressions, He was bruised for OUR iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
Who is most deserving of any credit? The creator or the created?
Vs 7 “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.
In our humanness, we are so quick to complain, yet He opened not His mouth. We want everyone to know how much we have suffered .
You can read the rest for yourself. It is a good passage to read once a week, to remind us that we need to be like Him, and to strengthen us when we feel self-piteous.
Queen Esther could have gotten into self-pity after all she went through. She heard Haman’s plans and did not presume or assume anything, but called a fast for Israel!
Some today would call a church planning meeting. Fasting is another way to humble ourselves before God; denying our flesh to seek God’s direction and guidance.
Colossians 3:12 NIV says: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
Titus 3:2 NIV says: “to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility towards all men.”
James 3:13 NIV says: “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the HUMILITY that comes from WISDOM”.
And we know that Wisdom comes from God alone.
Father, we love You, and in the name of Jesus, I ask you to help us to humble ourselves before you.
I ask You to break the chains of delusion, the veil of blindness off of our eyes.
I ask You to open our eyes to the condition of our hearts.
Father, open every door we have shut to You LORD.
Heal our inner man till we know the length and breadth, and depth and width of the love You have for us, that we would no longer compare ourselves to others Father, and that we could be filled with the fullness of You.
Help us LORD to love one another, as You have loved us.
Help us to still our souls DAILY before you, that we could have the grace to rest at Your feet and receive from you what You need to give us Father.
Heal our hearts from the damage done in our lives to our souls, that we could walk in wholeness.
Sanctify us with Your Glory, Father!
God we are desperate to receive all You have and want for us. We turn over our control, and fears and ask You to RULE over us.
We nail them to the cross of Jesus. We nail to the cross all pride, ego and vanity.
We nail to the cross all of the false self…me, myself and I, in Jesus’ Name.
Deliver us Oh LORD from all evil. Bend us LORD to Your Will. Break any chains that bind us from following Your will in our lives God.
“He whom the Son sets free, is free indeed,” You have said LORD.
Bring us FREEDOM, LORD.
Wield Your sword against the enemy of our souls and loose us to do Your perfect Will.
Conform our hearts and minds to Yours. In the name of Jesus, Father, break our hearts for the things that break Yours Father, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
~ Priscilla Van Sutphin
PRISCILLA VAN SUTPHIN is the founder of Upstream Ministries, California, online at www.upstreamca.org and blogtalkradio.com/ Upstream. Donate to Upstream: via secure Paypal by sending as gift to upstream.ca @me.com or send to: Upstream, PMB 545, 14311 Newport Blvd, Suite G, Tustin, CA 9278, USA.