~ 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 2), from Agathos Church – a non-denominational Christian Church in Columbus, Ohio by clicking here.
Humility is beautiful, protective, and powerful. It says “He is God and I am not!” That said, every time we think “God will use me because I ___________” we have just taken from the glory of God. ALL the glory belongs to Him. He gave us the gifts to use for His glory. He is not saying don’t glory in the gifts that He has given us – He is saying thank HIM for them! We can surely enjoy the delight that comes with being used by Him in a great way, but what matters is what you say in your heart before you retire for the night. What’s in your heart? Is it “man I am glad I am someone God can use like that” or some simple derivative of “thank you, Father”? At the end of the day, it is all Him. Thank Him for the gifts and thank Him for what He has given to you! Let him who glories glory in the Lord! It is not about ignoring the gifts, but instead recognizing that the gifts came from HIM!
I am the Lord, that is My name;
And My glory I will not give to another,
Nor My praise to carved images. (Isa. 42:8)
I mentioned in a previous post that God’s motive in reserving exclusive rights to His glory is not egotistical. 1 John 1:5 establishes the guaranteed purity of God’s motives about retaining His “glory rights.” It tells us that there is “no darkness in God.” Therefore, egotistical thinking cannot even exist in God! He definitely is not egotistical. So why will He not give His glory to any other? Not that it is our job to know God’s motives, but here are few reasons that are based on scripture:
1. To share His glory with someone would be coconspiring with a lie . . . “I can’t agree with you taking ownership of a gift I gave you.” This is a great offense to some of us. We want God to think like this. The trouble is that would make us both wrong :) God cannot lie. And He knows all the truth – He is THE TRUTH after all! So, knowing those two things, it makes sense to just go ahead and get in line with Him!
2. He knows sharing His glory with another would enable a wrong heart attitude in us . . . He is going to keep us honest and pure. God does not want anything but good for us, so He will orient us in the right direction. That is why the proud are opposed – not for “sport” but for “support.” How can God be supporting someone by resisting them? Think about that . . . to be resisted by God is a real problem for you . . . that means not a whole lot is working for you most likely! So, why would God resist someone? So that they would turn around! Think about it, let’s say you had a rebellious teenager who wanted to take your car keys to go to a bad-news teenage party . . . would you hand the keys over and facilitate their success in their current plans . . . or would you resist them? And if you would resist them, would it be out of spite or out of love? Restraint is not as restrictive as some think.
Pride doesn’t want correction. It doesn’t want direction. It wants its own way, because the origin of all pride is satan. Every time we act out of pride, we are literally acting out of a satanic influence and God will have nothing to do with it – and neither should we. If we are about to act out of pride, we literally should think “this is satanic” and get out of that heart stance ASAP! :) We will always have some need to work through the process of avoiding pride, but we can keep getting more and more pure before the eyes of God by simply not giving into pride. Little victory after little victory adds up. Most nuances become more noticeable the more you notice them. In other words, guard your heart with all diligence.
In the coming messages we will get more fully into what humility is exactly.