Monday, September 3, 2012
1Peter 5:6 “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:”
James 4:10 “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
Humble - tapeinos (tap-i-nos')
Of uncertain derivation; depressed, that is, (figuratively) humiliated (in circumstances or disposition): - base, cast down, humble, of low degree (estate), lowly.
There are 3 aspects of humbleness that I would like to share with you and that we should be aware of, according to the Bible. The first thing that we should understand (and I don't want to make it sound like I fully understand these things) is how does God humble us? When does God Humble us and is humbleness rewarded?
Well, first we have to come to the understanding that humbleness comes from a mindset of knowing that we, (the flesh) cannot do anything without God. God wants us to know and understand this and so the Lord makes this clear in his word over and over again in the scriptures.
Genesis 6:12 “And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth”
Jeremiah 10:23 “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.”
Romans 7:18 “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.”
2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;
There are so many other references in the Bible that talk about this and the point is always the same, that we do not know the way in which we should go, and so we need to HUMBLE ourselves and tell God that we know we can’t do anything and don’t know how to do anything.
This is one of the ways that God humbles us, by bringing us to that place where we are totally dependent on him because we realize that we need him in our lives and so we always are looking to him for guidance and direction. The more that we grow in our relationship with Christ, the more He reveals this truth to us.
God humbled me in my life to bring me back to the church and walking with him. God gave me no choice but to walk with him. I knew that the Lord was working in my life, but I wasn’t willing to walk with him. The first thing that God did to humble me, was that he took away all my friends. (I didn’t have many friends anyway) The Lord started to make me think more seriously about my walk with him, but I was still very hesitant to coming back to church or “getting serious”. Secondly, the Lord took away my job. That didn’t seem to get my attention or humble me enough because I still wasn’t too concerned about my walk with the Lord. Thirdly and the one that made it apparent to me that God was a lot more serious than me and is ABLE to do whatever it takes to bring us (me) back to Him, he took away my car. For those who drive, you understand that having a car is freedom, in a sense. When the Lord took away my car, it was a lot more than that. I didn’t have a car or a job or friends.
My mom kept telling me that I should come to church with them. I was still reluctant to coming to church, even while I was brought that far down. The fourth and final thing that would bring me to church was that I had to SUBMIT myself to the hand of God and just face the facts that God would keep chastening me unless I changed.
The only way that I would be able to go to church is if I went with mom. That was a hard decision for me to make. I was still prideful, and so stubborn that I didn’t want to submit. Even the first weeks or maybe month that I was coming to church, I was not happy.
God had to bring me to the place where I had to choose to depend on him or keep trying my own way, which I was starting to realize, was a dead end.
We’re told numerous times in the Bible how WE cannot do anything ourselves and that we NEED to depend on God for EVERYTHING. God sometimes reminds us, by using humbleness, of how he has worked in our life before and how we NEED him in our lives and sometimes that’s just part of our growth process, we might even be walking with the Lord. He could use a little comment that is said to us or maybe even a whole circumstance that He allows in our life and in turn we’re drawn closer to him and maybe given more of a desire to know him.
Some of you here are really busy with school and volunteer work or sports, so it’s easy for us to get caught up in things and forget that we’re in the flesh, and it might not even be intentional. I think that the best time for us to remember the Lord is when we’re the busiest, maybe we could just sit and pray for a minute and ask God to help us in whatever we’re doing. Even better, we should pray that God would MAKE us humble in our lives so that we might be drawn closer to him. ___________________________________________________________________________________
The next thing that I would like to share is when God humbles us. Well, let’s look at some passages in the Bible that tell us the answer. In these passages, we’re told that the Lord will humble us when we walk away from him, but also we need to remember that when we ARE walking with the Lord, he might humble us too, as a reminder of how important we need Him to be in our lives.
Isaiah 29:15 “Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?”
Zechariah 7:12 “Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts.”
Forget- H5382 To put out of memory or attention
Genesis 41:51 “And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house.”
Jeremiah 23:39 “Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence:” (The Lord is talking about false prophets.)
Isa 44:21 “Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me.”
Forget-H7911 Literally to forget
Genesis 27:45 “Until thy brother's anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?”
Deuteronomy 8:11 “Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day:”
Psalm 10:12 “Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble.”
There are a couple different kinds of forgetfulness that is mentioned in the Old Testament. One is the way that we think of it today, just a genuine forgetting, and this is the one that is most common in the Old Testament, the other that we need to be aware of has the sense of consciously refusing or resisting something, and in this case, to fellowship with God.
There are times in our lives when we get caught up in different situations (as was just mentioned)… or even trials that we go through. Sometimes when we get caught up in different situations, we might forget to include the Lord in that situation. It might not even be intentional, but when we’re the most busiest is when we need to be the most mindful of God. This is another reason that we need to remember to spend time in God’s word every day, studying and spending time in prayer. We get so caught up in these different points in our lives that we forget to spend time with God. We might need a little reminder and that is when the Lord will humble us, to bring us to that place where we want to, and will, spend time with him in his word and in prayer.
Recently, I was having car trouble and I thought it would be easier if I just started to look for another car. I started doing some research and looking around, and of course, the Lord knew my heart and knew that I didn’t NEED another car.
I prayed and asked the Lord to help me and guide me in this, however, I was somewhat stubborn in my flesh and wanted to get a new car. The Lord had to humble me and make it very clear that this wasn’t the time and also that I have to depend on HIM for a car, when it’s HIS time. The Lord had to bring me to the place where I would open my heart up to him and be sincere. Ever since then, my car hasn’t been acting up like it was before. I believe that the Lord made my car have those problems so that I would try to buy a car, and not be able to, and look to the Lord in honest and sincere reverence.
I never thought that in the decision of whether or not to buy a car the Lord would draw me so close to him. Throughout the whole time, I was praying, but I was only being 95% honest with the Lord and in ANYTHING we have to be 100% honest with the LORD. It’s easy to convince OURSELVES of something, but the Lord knows, even when we don’t admit it. That is one of the purposes that the Lord humbles us. To make us ADMIT to HIM what is in our heart.
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
The last point that I would like to share with you that the Lord has been teaching me is whether or not God rewards humbleness? I believe he does and I would like to emind us of that.
I believe that the number one reward that we are given when we humble ourselves, is that we are drawn closer to God. No matter when God humbles us, whether or not we were walking with Him, he draws us closer to himself and embraces us in fellowship and his love. To me, there is no greater joy than to be in fellowship with God. I don’t always want to fellowship with God, but he is always faithful in bringing me to the place where I want to fellowship with him and reminds me of how precious that time is.