This week, our worship leader suggested that we kneel as we end the last song.
“All hail King Jesus, All hail the Savior of the world, All hail King Jesus”
Everyone, young, old, middle-aged got down and we all lifted our praise upward. It brought me to tears and my heart rate actually accelerated. The humility that we collectively joined in for a few minutes was so touching, so electrifying and there was no doubt that the presence of God was among us.
The pastor opened up in prayer with gentle reminders about the humility of Our Savior.
He was literally humiliated. That’s why God exalted Him. Never once did the skin of humanity cause Him to put Himself above the Father. Instead He completed God’s will through and through.
“For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.“
People always say we need to be like Jesus and love everyone, be honest, perform charitable acts. A much less popular lesson is to exercise humility.
What does it mean to be humble in 2018? Do we even know what humility is? We live in a culture of self-importance and egotism. We are in the age of “selfie,” literally and figuratively. If we aren’t uploading curated self portraits regularly then we are updating the world on our accomplishments, activities and thoughts.
I mean, hello, that’s why we’ve got blogs. This my thought and I need to share it now!
It goes without saying…we are prideful about everything, including things we aren’t even responsible for like our race/ethnicity or our genetically advantageous good looks. In any case, there is something quite human about viewing thyself as the center of the world.
It’s natural to take ownership over our self, especially when our self is doing comparatively well.
Isn’t being proud of yourself a good thing? It’s certainly not good when you’re not proud of yourself.
As Christians, we are not exempt from pride just because the worldly bask in it while we occasionally dip our toes.
“Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else”
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.“
Modest I might’ve appeared, but humble I was not. I tried to take life on in my own strength and I ended up in dark pit. Rock bottom for me may be different from rock bottom for you. But pride, selfishness, inability to ask for help, self-reliance took me to my rock bottom.
There I was stripped of all that I valued myself on.
God watched me make decisions that were devaluing. God saw me when I was naked. When the accomplishments, the status, the relationships were no longer mine to claim.
God watched me become worthless.
Worthless, as defined by the world.
“Before a downfall the heart is haughty,
but humility comes before honor.“
“The Lord Almighty planned it,
to bring down her pride in all her splendor
and to humble all who are renowned on the earth.“
And when I came crying to Him, He took me. What a HUMBLE GOD we have that does not scold us as the blasphemous we are but disciplines us as His lovely creatures. He doesn’t get mad at us when we let Him down, He picks us back up.
We could spend hours reviewing the mistakes I made because of pride, because I wouldn’t let anyone, not even God help me. But instead I say grace, I thank God for allowing me to be humbled. For opening my eyes. For calling me at my lowest.
I often regretted chunks of my life because a smart person wouldn’t have done the things I did. But if I did not know these poor circumstances, I would not know how much I needed God. I’m not a superhuman, I’ve finally accepted it.
I am a child of God. It is my job to serve Him, and that’s the greatest mission we could ever be called to. (Something so beautiful that Christians understand; we aren’t bowing to a mean God-ruler, we are bowing because His goodness has inspired us to bring little specs of heaven to earth.)
When God is the primary authority in your life, you must put your self aside or His direction could never guide. That’s why we must be careful about pride, self-righteousness, and prestige. When the ego is inflated, the heart weakens and the eyes are limited.
“In his pride the wicked man does not seek him;
in all his thoughts there is no room for God.“
There is no compassionate big picture when you make yourself the big shot. But that’s okay, because God will change that. When you start to see the real value of life, the delicacy of decision, and the importance of being saved in every second of everyday, then you get a glimpse into God’s vision.
Daily sacrifice. Talk to Him, listen to Him, worship Him, invite Him, ask Him, glorify Him. Humility is key. Priscilla Shirer says that the key to hearing God’s voice is surrender.
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.“
I’ve got a long way to go in this department, I adopted pride as a defense mechanism around age 14. But the more I am healed, the less I consider my grand image and the more I align myself with God’s image. And that’s what is so mysterious about practicing humility because it never feels like a decision. God is programming this state of smallness into my life.
I’ve caught myself responding to people or situations in ways that don’t even sound like me. Blessings.
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”
“For the Lord takes delight in his people;
he crowns the humble with victory.“
I know God is close when the vision I have does not support my flesh but uplifts Him. And the nature of that fact, is that uplifting Him will always support me. It’s a wonderful circle… it really gets rolling when you abandon the conceited attitude.