Prodigal Humility

humble man
“But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.’” ~James 4:6 (NKJV)
 
(Before I go too much further I have to confess that this writing is going to come from some notes that I found on my desk that I know came from a Keswick conference. I just don’t know from whom I got them from or how long ago I got them. So if what I write looks familiar to what you spoke on…let me know who you are, you musta gave some sermon that time period)
 
One of the things I have been encouraging folks to understand is that humiliation only pleases Satan. If we were to go back to the beginning of The Book everything Elohim created was good until Satan showed up. It was in humiliation that Adam and Eve covered up their disobedience their own way and when YHVH asked “Where are you?” it was all over, shame set in. Now here we are, in the 21st century and very few of us can truly say it’s “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” and it’s all because of this skewed view we have of humility (thought I was gonna say humiliation, didn’t you?) Anyway…
 
So often in the Christian world we tend to parley humility to each other. If you treat me with humility, I’ll treat you likewise. So from the view point of a guy that greets everyone at the front door of the church he attends, every now and again, parley is no way to handle humility. Now, at times, when I hand out bulletins to people with a gracious smile, a big ole’ “GOOD MORNING” what I’ll get in return is a growl of “…morin’…” then off they go. Now if I parley my composure for the next time I see them they might just get “…mornin’-ing…” themselves. In essence it is no way to show Christian humility, however, when it does come to showing Christian humility we’ll go philia before agape every time. Sad…but true!
 
Now God’s Word makes this one point very clear, God gives grace to the humble. That in and of its self should blow us away. Our problem is that after we’ve gone through a time of brokenness we relax and get comfortable, pride creeps back into our everyday and then it becomes all about us again. But then on the flip side there is a widespread misunderstanding of this whole sense of humility. Like what was written back in the 6th century by a monk named Benedict. He had these 12 steps to humility and in the 7th step he suggested to other monks that they look at themselves as the lowest and vilest of men and quietly say to themselves, “But I am a worm and no man, the reproach of men and the outcast of people.” Not sure about you but I ain’t saying nuttin’ like that! God don’t make no junk like that…besides God already created worms. Can’t question The Creator.
 
So I guess we need to wrap our minds around what motivates humility in our Christian walk. Andrew Murray wrote that there three motives that should urge us to humility…I like the second one. Humility should “appeal to us in our fallen state, and points out the only way through which we can return to our right place as men” (or women). It’s being oriented away from ourselves and being there to serve the interests of others. But what it’s not is a license to keep screwing up so we can get back to a contrite position with God. If you have been saved and truly believe it is by grace that you have been saved, then you should already be at the contrite part. It’s not sin that makes you humble its grace…got it?
 
Well this is about as far as I can go today but in the next few Freedom Fighters I hope to be able to work us through humility in the parable of The Prodigal Son. It is my view that Jesus does us a great favor by flipping the script on what was once look upon as humiliation to levels of humility we get the rest of time on earth to achieve. And yes I am proposing that you have the rest of your time here to work on humility. I think one of the greatest disservices we do to ourselves is we think we have to have this all together at the moment we’ve confessed with our mouths and believe in our hearts that Jesus saves. Au Contraire…I believe that God wants us to keep working at it because it shows Him that we love Him enough to pressing on. Amen?
 
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (November 2003), is married with two adult children (who you may remember from summer staff) and serves on the Deacon Board at Trinity Alliance Church in Cologne NJ.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 76; Proverbs 16

Click Here to Download our 2016 Daily Bible Reading Plan

Daily Quote: “When I look back on my own religious experience, or on the Church of Christ in the world, I stand amazed at the thought of how little humility is sought after as the distinguishing feature of the discipleship of Jesus. “ ~Andrew Murray

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. ~ Jeremiah 29:11  (NKJV)

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