So many people today equate humility to weakness. Our society values arrogance, self-indulgence, retribution, revenge, retaliation, aggression, threats and what is perceived as loud, strong words…all of this is the fruit of pride. And, we know what pride does to our relationship with God…
James 4:6 (NKJV)
6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:
“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”
Even in our movies, people celebrate when the so-called ‘nerd’ finally stands up to the bully and ‘knocks him out’ to the applause of everyone watching.
That’s not what happened on the cross.
Yeshua, Christ Jesus, humbled Himself to open and public humiliation for our sins…
Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV)
2 looking unto Jesus, the [a]author and [b]finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Isaiah 53:3-12 (NKJV)
4 Surely He has borne our [d]griefs
And carried our [e]sorrows;
Yet we [f]esteemed Him stricken,
[g]Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded[h] for our transgressions,
He was [i]bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes[j] we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord [k]has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
8 He was taken from [l]prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
9 And [m]they made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to [n]bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
11 [o]He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the [p]spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.
God demands humility from His children. Humility is a sign of having faith in Him and the rejection of pride.
God loves us enough sometimes to humble us when we refuse to humble ourselves…but it can be very painful and humiliating.
When God humbles us, He isn’t trying to hurt us, but He is trying to help us to develop our character and walk in His Spirit. It’s a form of discipline, similar to when…
A parent has to punish a child in front of other children,
When a teacher or coach has to reprimand a student in front of others,
Or even when we’ve passed several cars speeding only to have them catch up to us while we are pulled over by an officer.
So NEVER, and I mean NEVER ask God to humble you. Just as we are encouraged in the book of James, humble yourselves so God does not have to do it for you. Don’t worry, it comes with a beautiful promise.
James 4:10 (NKJV)
10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.