Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Power Of Humility


I always marvel at the power of it.

"Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 'The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.' " - Matthew 23:1-12 ESV

Interesting. Notice how Jesus doesn't tell the people to rebel against the Pharisees or refuse to cooperate with them.

Other men teach rebellion. They teach a person to fight in a moral framework. Christ is harmless. He creates life in what was dead and that life takes over.

In God's economy the humble person is the one who is exalted. God's economy is a grace economy. God doesn't favor those who carry heavier burdens or those who demand others carry heavy burdens.

In our desire to reclaim a sense of perfection that has been lost people get very concerned with right and wrong. Things being right and others getting things right becomes hyper-important. This isn't mysterious. When things are wrong life becomes uncomfortable.

God is holy and His things are in order but they are that way not because of effort but because of God's nature.

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you." - 1 Peter 5:6-10 ESV

"Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?" - James 4:10-12 ESV

Humility produces integrity not rebellion. The humble person isn't a doormat for evil. Evil is recognized and resisted but the focus is on God and not the problem.

When we focus on God we are humbled.

I see person after person in the scriptures who were put in situations that challenged them to trust God and not in the power they themselves could muster up.

We face the same challenge. Will it be might or integrity? Will we rage against injustice or will we humble ourselves and let God work through us to be part of the solution?

"Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain." - Philippians 2:14-16 ESV

God does amazing things though people who are being humbled by grace and rely on Him. Heaven's history books are filled with stories we won't hear about here on Earth. If we cling to grace and life in God's economy we are like salt and light wherever God has us.


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