Most would say we need to be humble. But we are often taught to be independent; to have a sense of pride in what we do.
What does God’s Word say about this?
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.
(Zephaniah 2:3, NKJV Unless otherwise noted)
Maybe we should be meek and humble, but aren’t we taught to be independent, in everything from our songs to self help books?
God wants us to trust in Him, not ourselves:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;(Proverbs 3:5)
Why should we trust in God?
As forGod, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. (2 Samuel 22:31)
So what is the problem? At what point did we begin to trust in ourselves instead of our Creator?
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?" And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; "but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’" Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. "For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."(Genesis 3:1-5 emphasis added)
So the Lie "You will not surely die" was implanted and Eve believed Satan. Satan breathed his poison, his pride into humanity. He told her she would be like God, knowing good and evil, if only she ate from this tree. Here is where pride entered in. Here is where we started to decide for ourselves what is right and wrong.
Andrew Murray, in his writings on humility, defines humility and pride.
Humility: the place of entire dependence upon God.
Pride: the absence of humility is the root of every sin and evil.
When I first read this I thought, this can’t be true. Pride cannot be at the root of all sin. But the more I thought about it, the more I became convinced it is true.
We are told today that a little pride is okay, as long as we do not hurt anyone else, right?
I submit that no pride in self, in any form, should be allowed in our life.
What does God’s Word say about pride?
To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.(Proverbs 8:13 NIV)
When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom.(Proverbs 11:2)
In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, But the lips of the wise will preserve them.(Proverbs 14:3)
For all that is in the world——the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life——is not of the Father but is of the world.(1 John 2:16)
But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."(James 4:6)
There can be no relationship with God if there is pride in ourselves.
Pride has permeated our lives. It is a spiritual disease from Satan that we must overcome. No wonder it is so difficult. Do you see the need for God’s redeeming grace? Yeshua (Jesus) is the expression of the humility of God. If Yeshua is the root and we are the branches, then His nature must be seen in us, or else we are not part of that root, but another. We must fix our focus on our lack of humility, and cry out to Yeshua for that Godly humility we so desire. Yeshua is our salvation, our example of our relationship with God. Through Him we receive Salvation.
If this is true then it follows that the restoration of humility, an entire dependence upon our Creator, is what we need today!
Do we really all need this humility?
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 will forgive their sin and heal their land.(2 Chronicles 7:14)
Yeshua came to the earth to make us partakers, by His example, of the humility lost by Adam at the fall. Yeshua was humble and obedient to death.
Meekness, humility, and lowliness of heart need to be the distinguishing mark of the disciple, the bond servant just as it was of our Master.
However, we by ourselves are unable to cast out pride; only through Yeshua and His grace, can this be done.
Yeshua, our example in Humility
Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross. Because of this, God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name that is above every other name,(Philippians 2:5-9 NLT)
For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.(Luke 22:27)
(More scriptures about being humble: John 5:30, John 5:41.
Yet Yeshua did not do His own will… John 6:38, John 7:16, John 7:28)
Yeshua’s humility was the surrender of Himself to God. His life of submission to God was the source for His perfect peace and joy. Yeshua never for a moment asserted His own desire or His own will over that of His Father. Instead, He submitted Himself to a life that yielded to God. See John 6:38
Yeshua Teaches Humility
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.(Matthew 11:29 NIV)
Yeshua teaches the attributes of the humble:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.(Matthew 5:3-9)
Meekness and lowliness are the qualities Yeshua (Jesus) calls us to learn. Yeshua (who is humble) is our salvation.
For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation.(Psalms 149:4)
The greatest in the Kingdom of heaven will be humble like a child.
Humility is the only ladder to honor in God’s kingdom. (Luke 14:7-14).
Yes, Yeshua, our Master and Teacher, came among us as one who serves. (Luke 22:26-27)
Human effort is powerless to conquer pride or create a meek or lowly heart in ourselves. Even at the last supper the disciples argued who was to be the greatest in the Kingdom. They argued this even though Yeshua was right there teaching them.
It is only by the indwelling of Messiah (Christ) that we can become truly humble.
It is apparent that pride comes from Adam. Humility comes from Yeshua. (1 Corinthians 15:22)
If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?(1 John 4:20)
Do you see the sobering words? John says that our love for God is measured by our love for our brother! If we do not love our brother, we cannot love God. Our daily lives are the tests of humility because they prove what spirit possesses us.
It is in our most un-guarded moment that we truly show who we are and what we are made of.
Bekindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; (Romans 12:10)
Letnothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. (Philippians 2:3)
Humility and Sin
This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.(1 Timothy 1:15)
Some say humility is realizing what awful sinners we are and what we have to overcome. Others believe it is ok to sin if afterwards we are humble and repent, still others think there is no way not to sin even with God’s grace, so why try?
But this is not true humility.
True humility is the displacement of self by the enthronement of God.
God can be all in us if we are humble enough to be nothing.
Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.(1 Corinthians 15:28)
Messiah, indwelling in us allows us to overcome sin. We must depend on Him, not ourselves! Depending on ourselves is pride. We must be humble. God’s grace can deliver us from ourselves, thereby allowing humility. Do not be occupied with sin, but be fully occupied with God, who brings deliverance from self.
A continuous victory over sin is given by God’s spirit.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.(Romans 8:2)
The law of God’s spirit "the Spirit of life" enables us to overcome the law of sin and death (the spirit of darkness, ourselves, our own carnal human nature).
True Humility is Death to self
And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.(Philippians 2:8)
In death Yeshua proved He was willing to give up His will and take on the Will of the Father.
Humility is born through dying to self, but how do we die to self?
Thomas A. Kempis once said: "Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish yourself to be"
This quote is a sobering one. All too often we want to change others around us. But how can we change others if we cannot change ourselves?
It is true, we cannot truly changes ourselves. Only Messiah (Christ) in us can do that.
I can do all things through Messiah who strengthens me.(Philippians 4:13)
So how do we change?
The answer is simple: Death to self is not our work to do alone. It is Messiah’s work.
Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?(Romans 6:3)
For he who has died has been freed from sin.(Romans 6:7)
Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.(Romans 6:11)
And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.(Romans 6:13)
For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.(Hebrews 10:14)
Yeshua was and is the perfect Lamb, our sacrifice to pay the penalty for our sins. For by His one sacrifice all who honor Him are being made Holy (sanctified).
A definition of sanctify: "Declare holy or pure or free from sin"
Faith is strengthened through Humility
How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?(John 5:44)
In other words, you cannot have faith in Yeshua if you depend on honor from men. "How can you believe" shows that pride renders faith impossible. If we want honor, seek it only from God. Salvation comes through the cross and the crucified Messiah. True humility removes all hindrances to faith.
Humility is closely allied to Faith. In the story of the Canaanite woman in Matthew, Yeshua said it is not right to take the bread from the children and throw it to the little dogs. Yet she replied, Yes but even the little dogs eat the crumbs from the masters table. Yeshua replying said you have great faith, your request is granted. (ref. Matthew 15:22-28.)
Because the Canaanite woman took the position of humility she was rewarded by a statement of her faith, and her desire being granted.
"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.(Galatians 2:20 emphasis added)
Somebody once said the definition of faith was trusting that God will do what He said He would do.
Are we humble enough to let God do what He said He would do? Do we have faith that He will do it?
We have talked about emptying ourselves to Messiah, about letting God be all in us. Does this mean we walk around zombie like having no will of our own? Of course not. Instead we must take on the Will of the Master.
Make no mistake. We play a role in this. We do choose if we want to follow our own ways or God’s ways; to be full of humility or of pride.
"Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: "the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you today; "and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today…(Deuteronomy 11:26-28)
"I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;(Deuteronomy 30:19)
You see we do have a choice; to follow God or self. Which do you choose?
-We need humility, the place of entire dependence upon God (2 Chronicles 7:14)
-We need to remove Pride from our lives. (James 4:6)
-Yeshua is our example in humility. (Luke 22:27)
-Yeshua is our teacher in humility. (Matthew 11:29)
-We need humility everyday. (1 John 4:20)
-True humility is death to self, and to pride. (Romans 6:11)
-Faith is strengthened trough humility. (Philippians 4:13)
-It is Messiah in us doing it (Galatians 2:20)
In the end, if we are truly humble, our Lord, our Creator, will exalt us.
"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,"(1 Peter 5:6)
May we be humble through Messiah who strengthens us.
Other verses on this subject: Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 2 Samuel 22:28, 2 Chronicles 7:14, 2 Chronicles 36:12, Ezra 8:21, Psalms 9:12, Psalms 10:17, Psalms 25:9, Psalms 34:2, Psalms 34:18, Psalms 37:11, Psalms 136:23, Psalms 138:6, Psalms 147:6, Proverbs 3:34, Proverbs 11:2, Proverbs 15:33, Proverbs 16:19, Proverbs 22:4, Proverbs 29:23, Isaiah 57:15, Isaiah 66:2, Zephaniah 2:3, Zephaniah 3:12, Matthew 5:5, Matthew 11:29, Matthew 18:4, Matthew 23:12, Luke 1:52, Romans 12:16, Colossians 3:12, James 3:13, James 4:6, James 4:10, 1 Titus 3:2, 1 Peter 5:5,
Andrew Murray’s book on Humility
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