~ Agathos Church is a non-denominational Christian Church in Columbus, Ohio. This blog post is an adapted excerpt from a sermon by Pastor Brad Ettore. You can hear the whole sermon, The Role of Humility in Our Lives (part 8), from by clicking here.
We will only value what we understand, and we will only pursue what we value. When we understand humility, we will value it, and when we value humility, we will pursue it.
The fruit of the Spirit is produced when we make our soul subject to our born-again spirit (the Spirit of Christ – who is living on the inside of us). We make our soul subject to the Spirit by living according to God’s Word – by renewing our minds so that our thinking does not block the flow of the Spirit. When we give room for the Spirit to move through us – He produces the fruit of the Spirit in our lives – for us and others to benefit from! Humility is the starting point of this whole transformational process! Humility is the gateway for ALL the fruits of the Spirit. What a powerful truth! Humility is the gateway through which all the fruits of the Spirit come! If you are not experiencing the fruit of the Spirit in your life, ask yourself: “am I walking in humility right now – or pride? Am I concerned with ‘ME’ or ‘others’?” If you are in pride – praise God because now you know what to do – just straighten your heart out and get back into the grace that flows through the gateway of humility! The fruit of the Spirit will soon be re-appearing in your life!
Here’s another way to look at humility: Humility is a lightning rod to attract the grace of God! When we are in a situation where pride has the opportunity to rise up and we decide to say “no” to pride, we make space for grace! Humility attracts the grace of God.
Humility is a radical blessing to all who possess it!
Humility has the mindset “I am not going to concern myself with “me” because I am trusting “me” wholly to God.” When we are about the Father’s business, He is about ours! God can take care of us SO MUCH BETTER than we can! Entrusting ourselves to God is a good deal for us! Think about it – we get Him and others get us . . . we get the best end of that deal! If we will choose to get “ME” off our minds, and be about God’s business, He will take care of us!
Humility says “Regardless of what other people might do, I am not even going to concern myself with ‘ME.'” God wants us just to love others and allow Him to take care of us. God gives grace to the humble!
Humility = Liberation
Pride = Bondage
Not having to worry about self-preservation, self-reliance, self-promotion is liberating! That is the liberation of humility! Pride has to protect self. Pride has to concern itself with its own reputation. Pride is full of upkeep. Pride has a litany of work to do – to take care of “ME”. Pride is pure bondage.
God is saying “Trust Me with your life!”
Paul said it like this: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20) You can kick a dead man, you can spit on a dead man, but he will never argue with you; he will never fight back. When we allow our life to be hidden with Christ, we no longer are working for self. We are called to die towards self and live for Christ! When we are in that mindset it is PURE JOY – total freedom! When you step back into pride, you can feel the weight of it – it is bondage!
Humility is freedom! As a result, humility brings you into rest. It brings the blessing of God. Pride will keep you all stressed out and make your life a mess.
Humility = Rest and Blessed
Pride = Stress and a Mess
Here’s a declaration: “I am going to make space for Grace. I will not step into pride.”
God is not opposed to you being exalted in your life. “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time . . .” (1 Pe 5:6) God actually wants to lift us up! He wants to exalt us! But He wants to do it when we are in humility – so that it is by His grace! When He does that, we know that we are being lifted up BY GOD – and therefore we don’t get prideful about it. When God lifts you up, you know it’s God, and it’s beautiful! He wants to lifts us up – but His Way! If God was to lift up a person full of pride, they would do so much damage in a position of power. People say that “power corrupts.” Wrong. Power does not corrupt. All power does is magnify what was already in the person who now has power. Positions of power simply give people the opportunity to do what they have always wanted to do. When a person has been humble before the Lord, now He can lift them up – He will put them in positions of power. What’s in them (humility) will be shown – and God wants humility to be shown!
God wants to exalt us, but we have to first make the commitment to humility.