~ This blog post is an adapted excerpt from a sermon by Brad Ettore. You can hear the whole sermon, The Role of Humility in Our Lives (part 6), from Agathos Church – a non-denominational Christian Church in Columbus, Ohio by clicking here.
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Phil. 2:5-8, ESV)
When He was on earth, Jesus was operating as a man – not as God. In Phillipians 2:7, we see that Jesus “emptied Himself.” He operated as a man, which means everything that Jesus did, we can do! Jesus did everything by means of the covenant that He has with the Father . . . which is the same covenant that we have with the Father when we accept Jesus into our lives! We are a joint-heir with Christ! We are an heir of the Kingdom of God and joint heir with Christ.
We can do everything that He does!
Jesus had an answer for every need, yet He never took credit for anything that He did. Jesus attributed His words and His works to the Father. Jesus knew it was the Father that was working through Him. Jesus said “I can, of myself, do nothing.” (Jn 5:30) Jesus emptied Himself and was walking on this earth as a man – and as such needed God to do everything . . . and so do we! Paul, catching onto this pattern and realizing what God was capable of through him, said “I can do all things . . .”
“through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13) We can do anything and everything so long as we are walking in humility. Pride literally stops the flow of God in our lives because pride says “I’m it!”
As soon as you say “I’m it!” God says “I’m out.”
When we say “God, You’re IT,” He says “I’m in!”
In ministry, there is nothing wrong with recognizing that the Lord is using us. For example, it is a beautiful thing to lead someone to the Lord! But humility sees the WHOLE PICTURE. Humility is grateful for having been able to share the gospel with the person, but remembers that it was the Holy Spirit giving you inspired words to speak to them, it was the Holy Spirit who was moving on their hearts as you spoke, it was JESUS who actually died for them on the cross, and perhaps it was their Grandma who had been praying for their salvation daily for the last 20 years. All of those elements are not lost on God, but if we are proud in heart, they can be lost on us. It is beautiful to minister to others, but humility sees the whole picture. Pride sees only “MY ROLE.”