~ 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.
God knows everything about us and why certain things are hard for us. If we understood what God does about others, we would be incredibly patient with them! We often only perceive what someone is doing in the moment. Therefore our hearts may respond “HOW DARE YOU!” Yet, if we had the understanding God does about them . . .
we would have compassion.
Even when Jesus had been beaten beyond looking like a man while on the Cross and He said “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” If people could see into the spirit realm, they would understand that many negative thoughts and actions are not coming from us at all . . . and we would therefore not do them! When prompted by pride, we would cast that imp off of our shoulder! We have to be on guard to never allow ourselves to be used by the enemy. Satan is wanting to use us all – and at all times. We must be on guard at all times and walk in humility towards others.
Humility sees the whole picture. If we think we are great at something (e.g., job, sport, hobby, ministry, etc.) it is probably because we have not met the many other people that are probably just as good (if not better) at it than we are. That said, humility is not a matter of beating ourselves up. Humility is simply acutely aware of its surroundings. Pride is ignorant of its surroundings. God can work through a person who is humble. God can raise up a humble person – they won’t get a big head because that person is acutely aware that God could have raised up anybody for that role. Scripturally, God can raise up a donkey to prophecy and rocks to praise! (see Numbers 22:28 and Like 19:40)
Ever since Adam and Eve, the entire human race has been swimming in pride. The reality is we are not as great as we think we are . . . in and of ourselves. In the natural, we are swimming in a deception. We need to come way down in our opinion of our natural selves. In Matthew 5, Jesus instructed us to be “pour in spirit.” Being “pour in spirit” is recognizing that we are nothing in and of ourselves. In John 15:5, Jesus says “without me, you can do nothing.” 1 Corinthians 8:2 says “And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.”
In short, the Word says that on your own accord: you are nothing, you can do nothing, and you know nothing.
You may quote Phillipians 4:13 though: “I can do ALL things!” That’s great, but don’t stop there! Read the rest of the verse! “In (through) Christ who strengthens me!” The power, the ability to do anything great is all through Christ! In the natural, we need to really bring ourselves down to the reality of who we actually are on our own, but then we need a whole other renewing of our minds to bring ourselves up to the reality who we really are in God!
We are off-the-charts incredible IN GOD!
For instance, Romans 12:3-8 speaks of differing gifts that we are given to each of us by God from birth. The Greek word “charis” is grace; “charisma” is gift. Therefore a Romans 12 “gift” is a grace given to us by God. In addition to gifts He gives us from birth, God will add certain amounts of grace to you throughout life as well, but everything we have is a gift from God!!! So, you and I, apart from God, are NOTHING. We, on our own, are mud pots – empty shells . . . dust with no life breathed into it. God has put everything in us that we have! We need to remember our emptiness apart from Him!
That said, IN God, we are actually way greater than we even realize! We are incredible IN God! When we realize where everything praiseworthy comes from, there is no room for pride. How can you be prideful about something that has been given to us as a gift?!? Hopefully this encourages all of us that we need to be more humble before God.
But, we need to humble ourselves. It is a choice.
In our spirit, it is natural to be humble, because our spirit is humble. In our flesh, however, it is not natural to be humble. We have to transform our flesh by submitting to humility (i.e., turning down pride).