Summary: When do we stop learning when pride sets in. You can also listen at www.preaching.co.nr
"I used to think that God’s gifts were on shelves one above the other, and that the taller we grow in Christian character the more easily we should reach then. I find now that God’s gifts are on shelves one beneath the other, and that it is not a question of growing taller, but of stooping lower, and that we have to go down, always down to get His best gifts. "
Jesus began His "sermon on the mount" (a sermon aimed at Christian maturity) with the subject of humility as it should come before every other virtue (Matt 5:3), Jesus said humility brings entrance into the Kingdom of God (Matt18:1-4) , God is constantly looking for humility before He exalts His servants (Jam 4:10, lPet 5:6), Revival begins with humility among God’s people (2Chor 7:14), The importance of humility then as a Christian characteristic goes without question,
Humility simply means ’to lay low’. This laying low relates to how we think of ourselves in comparison to God and others, The AV of the Bible often renders humility as ’lowliness of mind’ (Phil 2:3). This does not mean that we should have a low opinion of our self , we should have an honest opinion of our self in the light of God’s greatness and grace
Humility is some times thought to be ’putting yourself down’ in conversation, refusing to receive complements or encouragement.
"It was said of one great man whose characteristic was humility; It was not that he pretended he was very bad. It was he had forgotten he was very good."
Humility is thought to be materialistic poverty, people can live in humble surroundings yet in their hearts be as proud as the Devil. People who are shy or quiet are some times said to be humble.
Humility is not self criticism, material sacrifice nor is it a personality disposition, humility is a spiritual quality that is to be found in the heart a Christian, Paul speaks of a false humility that hides sinful secrets (see Col 2:6-23).
HUMILITY OF THE MIND
Paul tells us "not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought" (Rom 12:3).
Whenever we truly think upon the greatness of the Lord, we will think of ourselves as nothing. Isaiah said "I am a man of unclean lips" when he seen the glory of God, Elijah covered his face in the presence of God, John the Baptist said "I am not worthy to even untie His sandals (Isa 6:5, lKig 19:13, Mk 1:7).
Paul then encourages us to think of ourselves with "sober judgement and in accordance with the measure of faith God has given", We are as nothing in comparison to God but God is great in grace and He gifts highly those who think rightly of themselves.
Paul says "in humility consider other better than yourselves" (Phil 2:3, Rom 10:12), We can’t do this by comparing ourselves to others, because we can only compare appearances and gifting. It is as you humble yourself before God sensing your nothingness that you will see others as better than yourself, considering their needs more important than your own.
HUMILITY AND PRIDE
Pride is the enemy of humility. Pride is not simply boasting (Gal 5:26). Pride is all about the big ’I’ in pride which is selfishness.
Humility submits to God, to others and leaders (Jam 4:7, Eph 5:21, Heb 13:7).
Pride on the other hand submits to no one, saying "I’ll do it my way" Humility says "I’ll do it God’s way" and boasts in the Lord (1Cor 1:31).
Pride is our spiritual down fall (Prov l6:18), Pride is nothing more than idolatry of the big "I" (lSam 15:23).
"Pride is deliberately choosing not to acknowledge and work out God’s character and Lordship in our lives. Instead the proud exalt their own way of doing things and say to God "I’ll do this my way, don’t interfere in life, when I need you I’ll call" ’F. McClung’
God promises He will humble the proud, however much we would like to humble them Cod says He will do it in His time and in His way (Deu 8:12 & 16, Isa 2:11-17)
"It is better to be humble than to be humbled by the hand of God" C.H. Spurgeon
The Bible calls us repeatedly to "walk in humility before God, to humble ourselves" (Mal 6:8, 1Pet 5:5-6, Eph 4:2)
What must we do then to become humble in the sight of God? In becoming a Christian we have begun to humble ourselves before God, because we have said to God "I cannot save myself, will you Jesus come into my live and forgive me of my sin." (Matt 18:1-4)
When seeking to humble ourselves we must be careful not to focus on ourselves and seek to beat ourselves into humility. We must focus always on God who will humble us when we need it.