Humility is really, REALLY important to our God! Of all the qualities God desires for us to own, humility tops the list. It’s because humility is the currency of Heaven. God’s Kingdom actually runs on humility because HE is humble. Jesus said in Matthew 11:29 “Come to Me…for I am gentle and lowly (humble) in heart…” and we know from Hebrews 1:3 that Jesus is the exact representation of the Father’s nature. That’s our King, One who never calls us to something that He doesn’t already perfectly possess. This is so that we must depend on Him to walk out the things He has called us to.
(See 2 Peter 1:3).
Of course, the enemy hates humility and, in its place, promotes the counterfeit characteristic called pride. Pride is, of course, what got the devil kicked out of Heaven to begin with and he has never stopped promoting it in whatever way possible. Pride is the opposite of humility. It promises all of the things that humility alone produces; namely peace, purpose and fulfillment. Pride is so embedded in our human nature that we often operate in it unknowingly. We need help! We need the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to the true definition of humility that Jesus modeled for us. Here it is:
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name… Philippians 2:3-9
What a statement! We need to get this passage into our dialogue with God. We need to memorize it, journal about it, speak it out loud and meditate on it daily! Based on this Philippians 2 chapter, here’s my attempt at defining Biblical humility:
True humility is maintaining a right view of God, yourself and others.
See, when we focus on ourselves we make ourselves much bigger in our own eyes than we actually are and in turn, we become increasingly more prideful. But when we set our attention and affection on Jesus—through consistently speaking His Word in prayer, meditating on His goodness and learning to hear His voice—we begin thinking of ourselves less. And according to one of my favorite authors, therein lies the essence of humility itself.
Humility isn’t thinking less about yourself,
it’s thinking about yourself less — C.S. Lewis
I must add that this “setting of the heart” on Jesus must come from a sincere heart—it won’t work to merely go through the motions and “check the box” as it were. You have to want it. Oh but to those who want it! God is wealthy and willing to pour out the gift of humility until your heart overflows with it. And humility is truly a gift. Humility frees us from ourselves because the humble person is no longer consumed with self-serving entanglements. Humility is also a gift because it attracts the favor of God in our life.
But He gives more grace, therefore God opposes the proud but He gives grace to the humble. James 4:6
That word “grace” used in James 4:6 isn’t talking about salvation grace. James is talking about heavenly power—he’s talking about favor. I also like that word “more”. God gives more grace. There is more power available for you when you choose to walk in humility. God’s favor rushes like a river to the lowest heart.
Our heart is like a magnet, either repelling or attracting God’s favor. Pride repels, humility attracts.
Jesus is the ultimate example of humility. He was the King of kings, but he was humble enough to get down on the floor and wash His disciples’ feet. And he did that at the very time when He was most in need of being served Himself. On His way to the cross, and knowing all that He was about to face, He cared for His disciples and put their needs before His own. You better believe there was heavenly power and favor flowing from the Father to His Son in that moment.
See, this “grace” that the humble enjoy brings confidence to their calling, contentedness to their circumstances, calm to their chaos and completeness to their character. These things are available for you as well—if you set about the hard work of humility. Remember, the Holy Spirit is in you to accomplish this! We must cry out for revelation to truly see what Heaven sees about this invaluable attribute (see Ephesians 1:17-20, Romans 8:6, 2 Corinthians 4:7 and 1 John 4:4).
Humble people have a heavenly perspective.
So give it a try…ask the Holy Spirit to show you the humility of Jesus in a greater way today and ask for grace to carry your heart in the same way.