#172 "True Humility"
October 5, 2010
"I know that You can do all things; no plan of Yours can be thwarted. You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know." (Job 42: 2-3)
I have been young and now I am old. Well...older. I have lived half of my life as a committed follower of Jesus Christ. I have rejoiced with God in many good times and hung on to Him, sometimes only with the very tips of my fingers, in the bad times. I know me some Word, and I can wield a Sword of the Spirit with the best of them. But there are a couple of things that I thought I understood, until lately, when God told me, "Girl, you didn't have a clue!"
If you've followed my writings for any length of time, you know how much I absolutely love to give you Hebrew and Greek transliterations of the words in Scripture. When we are able to see the meanings of our common words in the original language, they are so much richer and so exciting. Today, I will just write to you out of my heart.
Let's chat about humility. Phillip Brooks made an apt comment when he said, "The true way to be humble is not to stoop until you are smaller than yourself, but to stand at your real height against some higher nature that will show you what the real smallness of your greatness is." (Quoted in Burning Out for God, E. Skoglund, p. 11) Ain't it the truth? Ain't it the truth? Humility isn't making little of ourselves. It is not that common thing we do when someone gives us a compliment. You know how we do. "Oh, thank you, but it's not me, it's God". While that is the truth, we tend to confuse humility with false modesty. We take an "I'm no good attitude" and pass it off as being humble.
True humility is seeing yourself for exactly who you are. A created being on her knees before a magnificent Creator. A created being whose very next breath is in the hands of the one who formed and fashioned her. True humility acknowledges its gifts and talents. It acknowledges that it is made in the image and likeness of God, therefore it is wonderful, but knowing full well that everything we have and everything we are comes from the hand of God Almighty.
Humility comes when you've prayed, when you've cried, when you've believed with every fiber of your being, but your God had another plan. Humility comes when you've been knocked over and are laid flat, because everything you stood on crumbled beneath your feet. True humility will cause you to lift your tear-stained face to the Heavens and acknowledge that there is One who knows so much more, and so much better. It reminds us that no matter how smart we are, no matter how rich we are, no matter how well versed in Scripture we are, no matter how serious of a prayer warrior we are, no matter how much faith we have, no matter how much we love, how much we serve, how much we give....there is a God. He trumps it all. We can put no confidence in the flesh or the things of this earth. God is above all and over all.
When we are looking forward to an expected end, and things turn out just the opposite, true humility can echo the words of our Christ and say, "Not my will, but thine be done", and mean it from the bottom of a broken heart.
True humility sees who we are and more importantly who we are not. God spoke some very harsh words to Job when he questioned Him in the midst of his tragedy. I don't know what you are going through today, but the Bible says that "the Lord answered Job out of the storm". (Job 38: 1) Perhaps He will answer you out of your own personal storm, as He did me. Take some time to read Job, chapters 38-42 today. Hear the word of the Lord. Take notice of Job's response and the end of the matter.
Up until now, I thought that I knew the meaning of humility. I was blind, but now I see. I see so clearly the smallness of my greatness. God was right. I didn't have a clue.
All my love,
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