The selfish inclination of the natural heart instinctively bends toward pride. By humility we will experience the pathway to God’s blessing.
While in a church service yesterday, I sensed there was a spiritual opening in the ceiling. An opaque or translucent cover sealed the opening. On the cover was written the word “HUMILITY.” I knew God was showing me the church’s access to God’s blessing was the pathway of humility. Humility also protected the people within the church from any attacks the enemy would attempt to forge against this faithful body of believers.
I know I haven’t even begun to understand the power of humility. My battle to overcome pride is unrelenting. Two things stop God’s moving among us: pride and bitterness. We find the antidote by embracing the opposite: humility and forgiveness.
This familiar verse comes to mind when I think about humility.
“Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Nobody approaches life intending to self-destruct (becoming crushed, broken, or fractured) or fall (to come to ruin).
God longs for us to walk in harmony with Him — working with us, in us, and through us by the Holy Spirit. Humility guarantees this synchronized ebb and flow in the Spirit.
“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
‘God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.'”
Imagine for a moment a beautiful white stallion running free and wild with mane and tail flowing in the wind. Though majestic and powerful, its potential remains unrealized. Only when the stallion willingly submits to a rider’s direction will the beauty translate into directed force and channeled potential.
We resemble that stallion. Holy Spirit is the rider. Humility allows the Spirit to flow through us as instruments of divine healing, anointed teaching and preaching, creative release, and so much more. Surrendered under the Spirit, we effortlessly move in His rhythm, directed by the whisper of His breath, without the need for bit or bridle.
Obedience contains a key aspect to consistently walking in humility.
Character and Behavior
Humility goes beyond attitude, infusing character and influencing behavior.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Notice how humility plays a central role within these character traits. Humbleness marks the lives of those who have conquered pride and haughtiness. Any attitude of superiority or egotism must bow for us to live in genuine humility deliberately and consistently.
“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
God calls us to love in a way that stretches beyond emotion, doing whatever benefits and seeks the best for another person. The Passion Translation says, “live a life that exhibits godly character, moral courage, personal integrity, and mature behavior — a life that expresses gratitude to God.”
One dictionary defines humility as “a state or condition of being holy, including piety, saintliness, blessedness, devoutness.” The more we choose humility, the more we resemble our Lord.
This passage illustrates it best.
“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross!”
When every natural tendency strains toward self-promotion, let’s remember Jesus’ extreme submission to the Father. He humbled himself, surrendering everything for the love of God and others.
Walking in the steps of our Master beyond question includes following the path of humility. Even when the path of humility requires us to bend uncomfortably low.
Let God Lift
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
Just as Jesus humbled himself, God calls us to humble ourselves.
Jesus told His followers,
“Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you. but if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty”
Matthew 23:11-12 MSG
Every self effort to “lift” ourselves to a higher profile or position will ultimately lead to a fracture, falling or failure. But as we lower ourselves, He will ultimately lift us up making our lives “count for plenty.” Isn’t that what we all desire — our lives counting for plenty? His effortless lifting flowing with ease and filling each of us with peace?
Because Jesus lowered Himself to the extreme, God raised Him to the extreme.
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name.”
Blessings pour through the open door of humility. Often, they are tangible and definable. More often, they come in the subtle transformational changes within and around us. A beautiful piety and devoutness to Jesus becomes increasingly evident in everything we do.
Revival naturally flows from the stream of humility — first personally and then corporately.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14
Wherever we find people walking in humility, praying, and seeking God’s face, turning from sin, and walking in forgiveness, God moves! Revival occurs. The trickle of His Presence turns into a fire consuming everything that opposes Him.
Do you long for revival? Humility breaks through the translucent curtain, allowing God to flow freely into our midst, turning hearts radically toward Him.
It starts with me! It begins with you! May we cast aside the garments of pride and conceit, choosing instead the pure garments of God’s glorious humility. As we do, we will experience the blessing of God flowing into and through our lives in dimensions we never believed possible, making them truly count for plenty.