Friday, February 5, 2016

Humility - Part Three

Micah 6:8He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”


This week, Michael writes that humility won't get you into heaven, but you can't get there without it. Humility is the prerequisite to Repentance. Humility is the opposite of Pride. To come to salvation through Christ, we must first empty ourselves of “ourselves” in order to come humbly before the throne of grace.  A prideful heart cannot turn from self. Repentance is to turn from self and to turn toward God, to seek God's salvation, forgiveness, and deliverance. 

In Luke, chapter 18, Two men came into the synagogue to pray. One prayed, "God thank you that I'm not like those sinners over there...  that tax gatherer and that prostitute."  The other man, the tax gatherer prayed, "God have mercy on me a sinner."  Jesus said, "Which of those prayers do you think God heard?  For every one that lifts himself up shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted." Humility is an ironic concept ... as soon as you acknowledge that you're humble, you've lost it because at that point you're no longer humble, you're lifted up with pride. Humility is a godly lifestyle. In the spiritual battle, whose side are you on?  When you're lifted up with pride, you've switched sides in the spiritual battle. Our prayer is not that God is on my side, rather my prayer is that I am on God's side. Humility is the key to staying on God's side in the midst of the spiritual battle.

Philippians 4:13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”

There is a sin of "false humility."  Men and women of this world are stuck in the world's criteria for success:  accomplishments, accolades of others, monetary gain, materialism, fame, position and power. On the other extreme is false humility ...  people who acknowledge that they are without merit and without worth. These individuals condemn themselves and are acutely aware of their sin nature.  When Moses was called by God with the voice from the burning bush, Moses said, "I can't speak to Pharaoh as you've commanded me. I can't speak and I'm not worthy."  The choice is to make decisions based on fear or based on believing in the Word of the Lord. God called Gideon to lead the army of Israel against the Mideanites. God called Gideon a mighty man of valor.  Gideon said, "who me?  I'm from the least tribe of the house of Israel.  I cannot do the assignment that you've called me to do."  Either Philippians 4:13 is true or it's not.  Is God at work within you to will and to do of His good pleasure?  Are your decisions fear-based or faith-based?

In Numbers, chapter 14, Caleb and Joshua were the only two of the twelve spies that gave a good report after seeing the promised land of Canaan.  They were the only ones willing to make a faith-based decision.  Are the giants in your life bigger than the God you profess to serve? The antidote to fear is to keep your eyes focused on the Lord. As  the great old Christian hymn states: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of this world will become strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” Not by our own might, but by God's power alone will we will defeat the Lord's enemy. God alone is worthy and sufficient. In my own strength I can do nothing.  Fear based decisions result in defeat. However, to trust in the Lord, I must humble myself under the mighty hand of God because my God is able. Therefore, we demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ -
2 Corinthians 10:5

Our battles belong to the Lord ... our families, our jobs, our relationships. We have been called not in our own strength, but in His strength alone. As the Apostle Paul said, "Thy grace is sufficient for me."  Thy strength is made perfect in my weakness.”  Not that we are sufficient of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God.  Humility according to Jeremiah 9:23 says, "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might; neither let the rich man glory in his riches;  but him that glorieth, let him glory in this:  that he understandeth and knoweth me...  that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, and judgement, and righteousness in the earth;  for in these things I delight says the Lord.” 

May God richly bless you.
Your brother in Christ, Michael

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