What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word humility?
- The opposite of pride?
- Having a low opinion of yourself?
Does the word have a positive or negative connotation?
In my younger years, I thought of “humility” as a weakness rather than a great strength. However, with time and especially through humbling circumstances, God has shown me that humility is something to be desired rather than avoided. I have heard it said that you can either “be humble or be humbled”. Life has a way of taking the wind out of your sails and humbling you, doesn’t it? You can be humbled by:
-Weakness of mind or body
-Others poor choices that affect you
Yet, could it be that God uses the harshness of life to get you to a place where your only option is to be humble and rely upon Him rather than yourself?
Yesterday, in my Bible reading, I came across a familiar verse . . . James 4:6, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
As I studied the key words of this verse further, this is what I found:
Opposes = to range in battle against, to oppose oneself, resist
Proud = with an overweening estimate of one’s means or merits
Grace = the aid of divine grace
Humble = lowly in spirit
When you are “proud” by relying upon your own strength/abilities, not only are you limited in your own abilities, but in fact, God Himself is in opposition against you. What a sobering and scary thought that God could be against you, all because you rely upon yourself rather than Him.
So how do you turn it around and allow God to be on your side? The answer is actually quite simple, (though not always easy) you admit your need for Him. You rely on His wisdom, strength and ability more than you rely on your own wisdom, strength and ability, which in comparison is quite limited.
When you do this, something wonderful happens. God no longer opposes or resists you, He is for you. He steps in with the help of His divine grace and favor. What was too difficult for you is possible with Him. He gives you His ability to face what life throws at you with dignity and grace.
Do you want God to be for or against you? Do you want to rely upon the benefit of your own (limited) help and resources alone, or do you want to rely upon the true benefit of God’s (unlimited) resources and help?
Humility is the key that unlocks the door to God’s help and favor!
Heavenly Father, thank You for this reminder! Please forgive me for the many times that I rely upon myself, rather than humbling myself and relying upon You. I don’t want to “be humbled” to come to You, I just want to “be humble” and come to You. Thank You that as I do, You give me Your unlimited resources, help and favor. May your Spirit continue to draw me to Jesus. It’s in His name I pray, Amen.
Your Friend in Ministry,