Humility through Obedience
“Blessed are the humble, for they will inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5
Reading this verse made me think of something the Lord showed me a couple of weeks ago. I came across Philippians 2:8
“He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death — even to death on a cross.”
Humility comes by being obedient. It isn't thinking less of yourself or more of yourself. It's thinking of yourself as God sees you but it is also seeking to be obedient to Him out of will, not obligation. When we seek to obey Him because we want to, there is no room for anything but humility. You can't be proud when you are in a posture of submission and obedience.
When you aren’t obedient you are saying you know better or what you want is more important than what God is saying to you or prompting you to do. The root of this thinking is pride. Self above all. The antithesis of pride is humility. The antithesis of obedience is rebellion. Whether you want to admit it or not, when you know the right thing and don’t do it God calls it sin.
“So it is sin to know the good and yet not do it.” James 4:17.
Purposeful disobedience, even if you don’t want to call it that, is sin and it’s root is in pride.
By being obedient to God we humble ourselves as Christ set the example for us to do. His obedience brought Him to death on a cross. How far are we willing to be obedient?
Being obedient to Him does not only mean His Word. It also means those things he speaks to you, those things you feel He is wanting you to do. When we don’t obey those promptings it’s also disobedience. Say you feel in your heart that you are supposed to say something to someone at the grocery store “Hey, I don’t know you but I just feel like Jesus wants you to know that He loves you.” Maybe something like that and you say no way I don’t want to look like an idiot or no way they will think I’m crazy. If you really read those words again you’ll see self lift itself up over what the Lord is asking you to do.
What looks like self humility or thinking less of self or even fear is actually self preservation which can be a form of pride.
You don’t want to tell them what the Lord is asking you to because YOU and afraid YOU will look stupid and the last thing YOU want is for YOU to look stupid. Do YOU see all those YOUs? I don’t think any of us really realize how much of our decisions are informed by self. We want to think of ourselves as humble but are we? The test is how obedient we are willing to be.
I’m not talking about legalism though I do believe we should strive to live a holy life being empowered by the Holy Spirit to do so to the best of our ability and repenting and receiving grace and mercy WHEN we mess up but I’m talking about those promptings. Those things you know He’s asking you to do but you just can’t bring yourself to it. Maybe it’s giving up something that isn’t good for your health. Maybe it’s taking a break from social media because all that negativity is affecting your attitude. Maybe it’s being more bold in your faith. I don’t know what it might be on any given day but I do not that we aren’t going to inherit the earth if we aren’t humble and we aren’t going to be humble if we aren’t willing to be obedient.
Here’s something else to think about. God says in James 4:6-7 “But He gives greater grace. Therefore he says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” So, in order for me to be able to resist the devil I HAVE to first submit to God.
Submission = Obedience = Ability to Resist the Devil.
If you find yourself reading this and thinking ooh man that’s me, I realize that I’m not being obedient in this area or that. It’s totally OK! Because God LOVES when we acknowledge where we are missing the mark, when we repent or turn away and receive His forgiveness, mercy and love and then say YES to Him. He LOVES IT! Even that in itself is an act of obedience.
I want to encourage you today to take a look at your life, I know I am. In what ways am I allowing self to dictate what I’m willing to be obedient about? Do you know that you can also ASK the Lord to help you be more obedient? You can even ask Him to help you to WANT to be obedient. Do you know that He knows every thought you’ve ever thought? Do you know He knows more about your heart than you do? Terrifying and wholly freeing at the same time! Trust Him and know that you don’t have to figure out the how on your own. You can ask for His help in every way. Help to WANT to love Him more. Help to WANT to desire Him more. Help to WANT to read His Word more. Help to WANT to be obedient. When He says He will GIVE you the desires of your heart it doesn’t just mean your wishlist. It can also mean that He will make HIS desires YOUR desires. How amazing is that?