"How Does One Obtain Humility?"
"You are concerned about being humble because you know that is the person I draw near. You want to be clothed in humility but you are not sure you know how. You know it represents the opposite of works, that it is not something you can obtain by striving. So, how, you wonder, do you get it? How do you get this quality that is so vital for God to abide in your midst?
I say to you, I will give humility to those who ask. Ask Me to make you humble and I will. I will begin by showing you who I am - that alone will humble your heart. For the mercy of God, when truly received, humbles, overwhelms, the heart of a person. Grace for all situations, unfailing love, ongoing forgiveness, to all who seek it, lack of partiality in every case - as I reveal Myself to you, it will bring humility.
But what else? I will also reveal to you more about your own nature. For I will give you eyes to see your own inadequacy and the total futility of all humans. This will be painful at times because one always tends to think, 'I should have done better. I should have been more Christ-like. How could I have acted in such a way?' But I will begin to shatter such illusions of human ability and show you that you, and all men, are capable of very little. And as I do, you will not be brought low, but set free from self-condemning thoughts. Oh, you will still want to be more Christ-like, but you will not be so surprised when you are not. You will only be surprised by My ongoing grace and My faithfulness unto you.
I will give you clearer eyes to see Me and to see yourself. For that is the mark of the humble person - an absence of misconception.
Did not Jesus say to the Pharisees, because you say, we would not have killed the prophets, you indicate by your very words that you would have done so? For you inaccurately think that you are somehow different, somehow better than other men. You inaccurately believe that in you resides some basic good or superior knowledge. Yet this is not so.
Look at men of the Bible who walked in humility. Many of these men did not begin on a humble path but, because of My great love for them, I brought them to it.
Look at Peter, for his letter clearly speaks about humility. Perhaps he is clearest of all. He exhorts the pilgrims of the dispersion to be clothed in humility. Had they not been humbled enough by being scattered abroad for their faith? Yet even to such, he urged further humility. 'You humble yourselves and God will lift you up.' This was a man who had been humbled himself and who knew it was the only road to take.
Look for other examples of humility - in the Bible and all around you. For if you desire to be humble, I will show you how. I will clearly show you through the life of Jesus and men and women of faith.
I long for you to understand humility. You see, you may have mistaken it for other things. It is not self-abasement or refusal to accept praise. It is not setting yourself apart in an isolated place where you have no opportunity to receive recognition. For I say, you can walk before all men in humility, even receive praise for your deeds and have a humble heart.
Humility is found as often in the well-known as the unknown. It is found as often in the leader as the follower. It has nothing to do with position or standing. It is an attitude of the heart.
Are you surprised by recognition, unaffected by it, unmotivated by it? These are the traits of the humble person. For the humble person is not focused on his own reputation, but on God's. Any credit he receives is a mere sidelight to the main story, the featured event, which is the glory of God filling the earth.
Everything revolves around God and His preferences. This, in turn leads to the putting of others first. What is in the best interest of my brother? How can I promote him? How can I bless those around me? How can I help others succeed? And ultimately, how can I lay down my life for them?
The humble person knows that his life is in God's hands. God will have His way. You need only serve Him with diligence, doing the work put before you. Do whatever job He gives you wholeheartedly. If and when God so chooses, He will raise you up to a more exalted place. Did not Paul write to Timothy that deacons who serve well obtain a good standing and great boldness in the faith? Put others first, take the lowly job and you will be exalted in due time. And I say, the hand of God raises a person to a much higher place than he could ever raise himself. The hand of God raises a person to the place where he was meant to be, where he was created to be.
Do you want to be assured of the perfect place for yourself? The place fitted just for you? The place which best utilizes your gifts and talents? The place where you will be enabled to give the greatest glory to God? Then submit yourself to His hand and ask Him to show you the way of the humble person. For I am pouring out understanding which will lead to humility as never before. I am helping men see more clearly in these days, for I would have everyone joined in their proper place and the church exalted in glory as never before."
"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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Mat. 11:29, 30
"All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time." 1 Peter 5:5,6 ============================================
In his book "Humility" Andrew Murray connects humility with faith. I had never seen the connection but as I contemplated on the thought, I realized that my first prayer in which God healed me of alcoholism was when I finally came to a place where I emptied myself of any hope of my being able to somehow do this myself. I had completely lost hope in my own abilities AND the abilities of anyone around me to solve my problem. I never connected that to the idea of humility.
Murray writes, "Humility and faith are more nearly allied in Scripture than many know. See it in the life of Christ. There are two cases in which He spoke of a great faith. In the first instance, the centurion said, "I am not worthy that Thou shouldst come under my roof." At this humility, Jesus marveled and replied, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel" Matthew 8:8, 10). In the second case, the mother humbly spoke, "Truth, Lord, yet the dogs eat of the crumbs." And the Lord answered her, "O woman, great is they faith!" (Matthew 15:27-28) It is the humility that brings a soul to be nothing before God that also removes every hindrance to faith. Humility makes the soul fear that it would dishonor Him by not trusting Him wholly.
Brethren, have we not here the cause of failure in the pursuit of holiness? Is it not this that made our consecration and our faith so superficial and so short-lived? We had no idea to what an extent pride and self were still secretly working within us. We were not aware of how God alone, by His incoming and His mighty power, could cast them out. We did not understand how nothing but the new and divine nature, entirely taking the place of the old self, could make us really humble. We did not know that absolute, unceasing, universal humility must be the root disposition of every prayer and every approach to God, as well as of every dealing with man. We did not realize that we might as well attempt to see without eyes, or live without breath, as believe or draw near to God or rest in His love, without an all-prevailing humility and lowliness of heart.
Brethren, have we not been making a mistake in taking so much trouble to believe, while all the time there was the old self in its pride seeking to possess itself of God’s blessing and riches? No wonder we could not believe. Let us change our course. Let us seek first of all to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God: He will exalt us. The cross, the death, and the grave, into which Jesus humbled Himself, were His path to the glory of God. And they are our path. Let our one desire and our fervent prayer be to be humbled with Him and like Him. Let us gladly accept whatever can humble us before God and men—this alone is the path to the glory of God." (From "Humility" by Andrew Murray, Whitaker House publisher)
Few of us who live under the Western influence built upon pride and hard work can truly appreciate the fact that there is great power in humility. Humility seems so contrary to great faith from a Western Greco/Roman (and American) point of view. The chapter in Murray’s book on humility connecting humility with faith should be read many times. It is a tremendous key to the kingdom of God and all its riches and glory. Want more power with God and men? Ask for humility. "Ask and you shall receive." GA.
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