In the past few teachings we have explored the inherent need to connect with God. (Vol 1&2. 2021). God wants to dwell in us and we must ensure that our hearts are a conducive environment for Him. One of our focuses should be gaining a better understanding of how we can truly work for God so we are elevated to a deeper spiritual level. We have already established that in order to serve God, you need to understand His nature, acknowledge Him as the Almighty God, the creator of heaven and earth, and His supremacy. He is the Head that must be obeyed. He is omnipresent and there is nothing that surprises or surpasses Him. As such, we need to understand our position as inferior to Him. The book of Ecclesiastes demonstrates that although we can amass all the worldly possessions, it is all vanity without an understanding of our purpose to live a life of reverence to God. (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
In order to serve God effectively, we need to take practical actions to do so. Today’s teaching is about humility. Humbleness is a vital key to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and without it, it would be difficult to serve God. As we may be aware, there are many ways in which we might seek God, with the most default manner being in our time of need. However, it is important to remember that God has already outlined the way in which we are to seek Him, not only in times of need, but have total reliance on Him.
The word humility originates from the Latin word “humilis”, meaning “to be nearer to the ground or next to the ground “. Therefore Humility is the quality of having a modest or low view of one’s importance, and as such does not have a strong opinion over others. If you have a strong opinion of yourself you struggle to accept different views from your own so much so, that even when God speaks to you, your own opinion overshadows God’s instruction. Therefore humility enables you to be obedient to God. A proud person offen has an air of grandiose. Grandiosity is an exaggerated sense of one’s importance, power, knowledge, or identity, even if there is little evidence to support the beliefs.
But rest assured, humbleness does not translate to low confidence or self-esteem. One can still be confident but equally humble. Be weary of being strongly opinionated. This can prevent you from hearing other peoples input in your life or hinder you from obeying God’s instruction.
Abraham was able to listen to God and to take the instructions given to him. Had Abraham been strongly opinionated and lacked humility when God first spoke to him, he might have been inclined to refuse to leave his fathers house, and justifiably so. In his fathers house, he had all provision. It was the all he knew and in a sense all he needed to know. At the age of 75, Abraham could have also used his age as an excuse. But instead of doing that, he understood that what God had said to him was much more important for his life. Had Abraham been a proud person and decided that it was not worth leaving what he had, God would not have continued to meet him on numerous occasions through his journey. You cannot follow what God is saying if you have your own opinion of what needs to be done. You unconsciously act on what you think is right not what God actually says is right. With a heart of humility, one can follow God’s instruction even if it does not make sense or is difficult to comprehend or achieve. Humility helps us to be able to listen, and understand the power relationship between ourselves and God.
James 4:10 reminds us to humble ourselves only then will God elevate us. Yet, some people do not feel the need to do so out of pride. Sometimes a person’s position in life might be a hinderance to their ability to be humble. Often, it can be found in churches that people can become proud and leave God’s ways. They modify the word of God to suit their personal agenda’s and end up diluting it. It is no longer final or pure but rather a distorted version clouded by human wisdom and opinion. Remember, even Jesus said let the will of the Father be done on earth as it should be, showing that even Jesus Himself was humble to the will of God. Jesus demonstrated that in his opinion the situation was hard for him to bear, but ultimately he still surrendered to the will of God. You see, humility, helps us to take whatever God says regardless of our opinion. We need to lower ourselves and let God take his place as ruler above all. Humility is the beginning where God starts to speak to us and move in us.
Take a moment to reflect on your life and ask yourself this. Are you humble enough to do what God says, or do you do your own thing? Do you follow God’s opinion or your own? Do you put value in what God says, or does your perception distort your actions? The opposite of humility is pride. A prideful person cannot be in tune with God. Why? Because their nature is such that when God says follow, they feel compelled to lead. When God says stop, they are obliged to go further. Ultimately, such pride challenges the authority of God resulting in you walking in complete opposition to Him.
James 4:13-15 reminds us how we neither know or have any power over our tomorrow. It is God that holds our lives in His hands and we are utterly at His mercy. Often Christian’s say ”if God is willing”, this signifies an acknowledgment that God is in control.
Always strive to align your plans with God’s will. He alone should order your steps and direct your path. Challenge yourself to be meek in nature, but confidence and humble.