In this episode Saso and Ben talk about the topic of humility. Below are some notes and thoughts directly derived from this episode. Enjoy!
If you take a look around, in the news in social media you’d be hard pressed to find someone who is humble and is behaving with humility. The message out there is for you to be heard, and be known because you need to be a somebody. Then you have those that would frown on humility because to be humble means to be weak or perhaps not confident.
What does it really mean to be humble and is it required of a Christian?
Humility – Lowliness of mind; a modest estimate of one’s worth. A deep sense of one’s own unworthiness in the sight of God, self-abatement.1828 Webster’s Dictionary
What humility looks like
- The problem with our lives that this is the exact opposite.
- We feel the need to decrease God in order to promote self or we try to minimize Him to our standard instead, so our sin seems less like sin.
- What is the standard you are using?
- I am better than most?
- Remember the parable of the Publican and the Pharisee? Are you like the Publican or the Pharisee?
We tend to think that honor comes first and then everyone must show humility towards us whereas God ‘s honor requires that we show humility first. We are backwards in our thinking and we often tend to drift towards the way of the world instead of God’s way.
What humility is not
In 2016 the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA championship. Lebron James happen to be on the team that year and in an interview on ESPN he said this “That one right there made me the greatest player of all time” speaking to the championship they had just won. Now we can debate over who is the greatest player of all time, but thats not the point. The point is this. He is a self proclaimed G.O.A.T. For those of you that may not know what a G.O.A.T. is, it’s simply an acronym for greatest of all time.
But why does he get to make that judgment? Isn’t that self-serving?
That one right there made me the greatest player of all timeLebron James
What does the Bible have to say about pride, boasting, and self-glorification? Here are just a few verses.
- James 4:6
- Proverbs 18:12
- Colossians 3:12
- 1 Peter 5:5
- Romans 12:3
In Isaiah 14:12-15 we read about Satan’s self proclamation that got him kicked out of heaven and on track for judgement in the pit of hell. Here is what Satan proclaimed in those verses:
“I will ascend to heaven;
above the stars of God
I will set my throne on high;
I will sit on the mount of assembly
in the far reaches of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.”
In the book of Exodus we read about the 10 plagues of Egypt and how Pharaoh in his pride escalated the situation causing judgement upon all the Egyptians. Now you’d think that after the first 9 plagues that Pharaoh would have got the hint. However scripture tells us that Pharaoh hardened his heart and ultimately God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. Just think, if Pharaoh would have humbled himself after Moses turned the water to blood, the Egyptians wouldn’t have suffered the rest of the 9 plagues including the death of all the first born. You might even be thinking, if God hardened Pharaoh’s heart why should Egypt suffer? The answer is God is sovereign and yet men are responsible for their actions. I can’t tell you how the two connect but the Apostle Paul says this in Romans 9:18 “So then he (God) has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills”.
Saso and Ben both live in Phoenix Arizona which is dry dessert. Attempting to grow trees and plants here requires digging, however, digging a small whole is somewhat difficult because the ground is very dry and hard. Jeremiah 4:3 reads “Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.” Our hearts must be tender and ready to be in submission to God.
Where are you Christian? Are you tender? Do you need to break up that fallow ground?
Examples of humility in scripture
- When you are broken hearted, then you realize how precious the Savior is
- The more you dwell on Him and what He has done for you, the more you realize who you truly are
- A broken heart is a heart that is humble
We have an example of humility in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus was showing his disciples humility and servanthood as he performed a job that was considered less desirable. If Jesus washed feet, what should we be willing to do? Is there a job that is below us? Are you too proud to serve others? Do you lack humility in this area?
Jesus is our primary example of humility
What an amazing example of humility. Jesus, who is God, left the splendors of heaven, and lowered himself, or as the verse describes Jesus, he emptied himself, in other words he humbled himself. He did this of his own volition, because to put it simply, we aren’t worth saving. But Jesus looked on us with love, compassion and mercy and came to seek and save the lost.
What about Nebuchadnezzar?
In Daniel 4 we read how Nebuchadnezzar was exalting God. In Daniel 4:2-3 we read “It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done for me. How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion endures from generation to generation.
Sounds pretty good right? But you see King Nebuchadnezzar was not always that humble. In fact if you read all of chapter 4 you will find that Nebuchadnezzar was very prideful as he boasted in Daniel 4:30 which reads “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?
And then the funniest thing happened! God turned King Nebuchadnezzar into Nebuchadnezzar the Cow. The bible says he ate grass as an ox for 7 years and at the end of the 7 years this is what Nebuchadnezzar said in Daniel 4:37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.
Consequences for lack of humility
This was a humbling moment in Samson’s life and he was relived of his eyes and became a prisoner to the enemy. But before that happened, Samson was a great warrior. Here are a few of Samson’s proud moments in scripture. In each of these instances he was empowered by God.
- He simply shook himself of the device plotted against him found in Judges 16:15
- He took the doors and post of the city and took them upon a hill
- Slew 1,000 Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey
- Caught three hundred foxes “and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails.” He used this method to burn the fields of the Philistines
- Slew thirty men and took their garments
Samson committed all these greats acts but he soon forgot where his power came from, it came from the LORD which lead to his capture and eventually his death. Samson humbled and cries out to God in Judges 16:26. He realized his power did not lie in his hair but it came from the spirit of the LORD.
We often get this way as well as we become prideful in our own “spiritually” and don’t even realize that the Spirit of the LORD is not with us
Our Model for Humilty
In Acts 9, we read of Saul (Apostle Paul’s) conversion that literally threw him onto the ground as he had a personal encounter with Jesus. Would that humble you?
Jesus gave up all worldly endeavors and goals and pursued the things where were above, He was humble in this endeavor and did not seek his glory but he sought God’s glory
Do you pursue your own glory or are you surrendered to what God would have you to do?
I Corinthians 15:9
Paul was not some simple uneducated guy but was actually very intellectual and educated by the great Gamaliel. Yet he did not view himself in an earthly view but saw himself as God saw him, a sinner saved by grace.
I Timothy 1:15
Have you ever heard anyone walk into church and say, “Attention, attention, I was just wanted to let you know I am the chiefest of sinners!”?
What would be the reply of the people from church? “I’m sure glad I am not like that guy. I’m not perfect, but I am not that bad.”
We all look spiritual dressed in our Sunday best but are we clothed with humility by the standard in which God sees us in?
Jesus took upon Himself the form of man. Wow, how humbling is that? To be in the beauty of heaven and then have to come down to be like man.
Have you ever been worried about your reputation? Or been concerned with what others think of you as opposed as to what God thinks of you?
Where are you on the scale of humility? Are you more like Samson than you are the One who was of no reputation? What has God convicted you about from listening to this podcast?
Are you one that says, “That is just the way I am”?
Or are you one that says as David states in Psalms 139:23-24, “ Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Are you willing to allow God to search you and are you willing to allow Him to change you?
When you read God’s word don’t just read and forget what you read the minute you lay down your bible. Meditate on the scripture and take action.
Be sure to checkout the Stay in the Fight blog. Saso writes a daily devotional to encourage you in your walk with God.