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Thoughts on Humility

By Mary Craig

It starts in the secret place. God clothes the soul with humility as the Holy Spirit convicts and convinces us of who we really are and who He really is.

Jesus, conscious of the power of the Spirit within, subordinated Himself as Son to Father. He lived in relationship. This One in whom all the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily (Colossians 2.9) humbled Himself. He did nothing of His own initiative (John 5.19, John 8.28), but only that which He saw the Father do (John 5.19, 20). He never sought His own will (John 5.30, John 6.38) and so never asserted His will against or counter to the will of His Father. He honored His Father.

Jesus never sought His own glory (John 8.50) and refused glory from men (John 5.41). He didn’t come here of Himself (John 7.28), but was sent (John 8.42). He didn’t even speak from out of His own "self," but only as the Father gave Him to say (John 14.10). Even His teaching was not His, but of Him that sent Him (John 7.16).

As the Son of the Father, Jesus was nothing that God might be all. Jesus lost nothing in such self-abnegation, for the Father honored the Son. The Father honored this total trust and honor given by the Son to the Father. Regardless of what people did or said around Jesus, regardless of the surrounding social, civil, economic, political, and religious systems, Jesus kept focused on pleasing the Father only. Jesus had but one value, one joy.

The Bible tells us that we who are believers in Jesus Christ are being conformed to His image. We learn from Christ that conforming to His nature involves:

      1. Acknowledgment that self has nothing of value to assert (Galatians 2.20)
      2. Surrender to be empty vessels filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5.18)
      3. Refuting any and every claim of self to be or do anything (Philippians 3.8)

A meek and lowly heart consents to letting God be all, consoles itself in perfect dependence upon the Holy Spirit’s comfort, and conforms itself to its destiny to reflect the glory of its Creator and Covenant Lord. A meek and lowly heart walks in a raw honesty and naked humility, vulnerable but for the walls of salvation and the defense of God. Content to be nothing but a vessel through which the living God can manifest the riches of His wisdom, power, and goodness, the meek and lowly heart receives first from God what it gives to others.

Jesus humbled Himself…therefore God highly exalted Him (Philippians 2.8, 9). The one who humbles himself shall be exalted (Matthew 23.12). Indeed, we are to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord, and then He shall lift us up. (James 4.10) God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble, and thus we are to submit to God, resist the devil, and draw nigh to God. We are to cleanse our hands and to purify our hearts and to be single-minded (James 4.6-8).

Charles Spurgeon reflected on humility. He considered corn growing in the field. While green, it stands with head erect, but when mature, the ripened ear hangs its head in graciously. So it is also with fruit trees. Branches bow as the fruit ripens. Spurgeon has stated: "Growing Christians think themselves nothing; full-grown Christians know that they are less than nothing…The more grace, the more the need of grace is felt. He may boast of his grace who has none, he may talk much of his grace who has little; but he who is rich in grace cries out for more, and forgets that which is behind."

To see Jesus in His humility is to see the death sentence to our souls. To see all our life in Christ, He must increase, and we must decrease.

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