Summary: If we exalt ourselves, we hinder God’s work and His ability of using us for His work and glory.
Every time a missionary came to our church when I was a young person, that was where God was calling me. We had many missionaries come to our church at that time which created a lot of confusion for me.
I wanted to serve God but I did not have any confidence as to where God wanted me to serve. I really did not know who I was.
A college professor was fond of saying, “If you can do anything else but ministry, do it.”
Jerry Jenkins says, “Nobody should write unless they can’t not write.”
A. W. Tozer, in his preface to The Divine Conquest said this: “The only book that should ever be written is one that flows up from the heart, forced out by the inward pressure. When such a work has gestated within a man it is almost certain that it will be written. The man who is thus charged with a message will not be turned back by any blasé considerations. His book will be to him not only imperative, it will be inevitable.”
The essence of ministry is an inner compulsion driving us in a certain area. The one thing that keeps us from our ministry is a spirit of arrogance. Let me explain my meaning.
Every parable reveals to us life qualities associated with kingdom living. This parable introduces the subject of arrogance versus humility.
The thing I want to impress is that arrogance comes naturally but humility comes only by discipline.
Arrogance is confidence in self and what we can do for God.
Humility is confidence in God and what He has called us to do.
The key to this parable is seen in verse 11.
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
This is based upon several passages in the Old Testament. Let me just give you two primary passages.
Proverbs 25:7 “For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.”
Matthew 23:12 “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.”
If we exalt ourselves, we hinder God’s work and His ability of using us for His work and glory.
What is lacking today among many Christians is a profound sense of spiritual etiquette. We take too many clues from the world and drag it into the service of God.
There are two forms of worship.
(1) Cain worship. Man giving his best to God. Arrogance.
(2) Abel worship. Man obeying God. Humility.
We know the God rejected Cain’s worship and accepted Abel’s worship. The reason he accepted Abel’s worship was because it was based upon obedience; obeying what God said.
Let’s look at two aspects that Jesus gives us in this parable.
I. Arrogance (8-9)
 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him,  and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place.
This is the curse of ambition: exalting self.
The basis of arrogance is fear. By that, I mean we always believe that there will be somebody who is…
• Bigger than we are.
• Smarter than we are.
• Richer than we are.
• Younger than we are.
• Better looking than we are.
No matter who you are or what you are, you can always find somebody who is better than you are in just about every regard. This brings to us a sense of insecurity. We are afraid somebody will find out how bad or weak we really are.
This is really the root of a bully. They are insecure and are trying to put up a false front, hoping other people will think they are bigger and better than they really are.
A bully is really a coward and when someone stands up against him, he always cowardice in defeat.
Arrogance is the great blight of ministry today.
Question… Why are you doing what you are doing now? The answer to this question, if it is honestly answered, will tell a lot about who you are.
Really, it’s not all about you.
II. Humility (10)
 But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you.
Humility is not something that comes naturally but something we need to work at with all diligence.