I spend my time doing this because you are anything but a waste of time, and because I’ve been entrusted with the good news.
Here is also my promise to produce 2, 3, 4, and 5 sequentially (although publishing 4 next would be fun) in week increments.
I want to tell you of who Jesus is without being too romantic. Not because the story isn’t at times romantic, and not because it doesn’t consume, because it is and it will. But limiting Jesus to a good story is so far from the truth that even the thought eats at me. You see, you wonder at His realness for that very reason. It seems like a bad fairytale. He’s this Savior who died for us (and why? And how is that enough? And why?) And Christians are either radical or hypocritical or magically both. Or they look no different and you wonder why we are having this conversation.
THAT is why I’m putting paws to keyboard. You are not ready to receive. Am I wrong? Let’s hope so –
Humility. Freedom from pride or arrogance. I like to think of it as freedom from self as god. Freedom from self as one who defines god. Freedom from self as one who tells God who god is. Freedom from self as one who has to discover God as though He were an element to be bent to man’s will. Freedom from self as one who has the right to ask God to prove Himself.
The last one isn’t my favorite to say because it isn’t anyone’s favorite to hear and, believe it or not, I really do wish there were an easier way to say certain things. And maybe there is. But easier isn’t always better. God does not have to prove Himself to you. If He is God. If He is not you might as well stop reading and go back to whatever thing it is you were spending your precious life doing. Especially if this is the only one. Because, my dear! Your life truly is so precious.
The prideful are not ready to receive. The arrogant cannot hear the truth. All is beneath them. There is nothing higher! The man who lacks humility is unteachable. He doesn’t need instruction. He doesn’t need god. He doesn’t need saving. He doesn’t need answers. He certainly doesn’t need answers he can’t find without HIS searching under the condition that HIS mind understands it according to HIS frame of reference.
Because he can’t see outside of it.
You felt secure in your wickedness and said, ‘No one sees me,’ your wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you; for you have said in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one besides me.’ Isaiah 47:10
If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions. 1 Timothy 6:3-4
“Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; but the righteous will live by his faith.” Furthermore, wine betrays the haughty man, So that he does not stay at home. He enlarges his appetite like Sheol, and he is like death, never satisfied. He also gathers to himself all nations and collects to himself all peoples. Habakkuk 2:4-5
The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him. All his thoughts are, “There is no God.” Psalm 10:4
Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; assuredly, he will not be unpunished. Proverbs 16:5
Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy; no one who has a haughty look and an arrogant heart will I endure. Psalm 101:5
The LORD will tear down the house of the proud, but He will establish the boundary of the widow. Proverbs 15:25
The proud look of man will be abased and the loftiness of man will be humbled, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day. For the Lord of hosts will have a day of reckoning against everyone who is proud and lofty and against everyone who is lifted up, that he may be abased. Isaiah 2:11-12
“For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says the LORD of hosts, “so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.” Malachi 4:1
If some of those words make you angry, I really do have just two questions: are you arrogant and you are okay with that as your fact? Okay. You have chosen your god. You are your own almighty. I would say good luck with that, but I have no hope in that alternative, so I will only say bye and thanks for reading. It’s my great hope that your feeling changes. If (still considering some of God’s words rubbed you the wrong way) you consider yourself humble, let’s go further and consider what that looks like. If we’re talking about two different definitions, it’ll be hard to agree regardless, right?
I have to commentate because gold! There’s gold in there!
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Philippians 2:3
Self. Not. Considered.
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Romans 12:16
Self. Not. Exalted.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10
Before the Lord. Do you hear that? This is an open acknowledgment of the hierarchy.
Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life. Proverbs 22:4
This is so important. If you do not fear God, you do not know Him.
Once more: If you DO NOT FEAR GOD, you do not know Him. We are not talking about the same God. And I can’t understand how the god you are talking about is big enough to bother worshiping. But what is the result of fearing this fearsome God? Riches and honor and life. Yes, this God worthy of being feared has the power to gift life.
*If you are a professing Christian and profess that God is no longer to be feared I kindly request that you check your answer Book (Bible) for that doctrine. It will not be there. What you will find is that even (especially) Christians still receive chastening from God while on earth. It’s our great privilege that He is punishing us to correct us, to conform us to the perfection of Jesus. The simplicity of it is grand and beautiful: we are always His children. We never grow out of that. So we always fear Him, even after we are “saved,” because, being still children, not out of the house (it’ll always be His house), we can still get a spanking.
(Thank God for the day when we are forever perfected so that we won’t have to struggle with temptation to sin. No more correction! Yay!)
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 1 Peter 5:6
Under His hand. He is always above. Always, always, always. Do you hear this, though? This is a willing submission. This is the grand difference between the child who is handled kicking and screaming and the one who does what he doesn’t want to do without fighting. Will you wait for the right time? Will you humble yourself to begin with?
If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
So many great key words. Humble yourself. Pray.
Seek. His. face.
Turn. Ahhhhh sweet, sweet change from misery and wretchedness! I can’t wait to talk about this. Article number 4.
He will hear, He will forgive, He will heal. Folks just typing those words makes my soul expand and contract. My God is mighty to save! Want saving? Be humble. Pray. Seek His face. Turn from your past ways. He will then do the extraordinary things that you cannot like fixing all the leaky places in your heart.
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Matthew 11:29-30
These are the words of Jesus himself. Stop and consider this. Jesus is God in the form of man. He humbled Himself – stooped so low as to live as a human – in order to one day become our sin, to take it on Himself entirely, to die under that unimaginable weight, to pay its incalculable price with His precious, perfect blood. The one Man who had every right to be proud and arrogant, who actually did know all things, who can truly learn nothing from us, that Man was humble and obedient, even to His death. He is the ultimate leader by example. Why be humble? Because even Jesus was. Incredible.
So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. Matthew 6:2
Why? Because we want to put a smile on God’s face. That’s the reward you want.
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
To live life as a walk with God. Again, chills. Get some! Whatever is keeping you back, forget it! Jesus is better. Every fiber of my being is screaming out to you with an inhuman surety that Jesus is definitely better!
Good and upright is the Lord; therefore He instructs sinners in His ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way. Psalm 25:8-9
It doesn’t say He guides the proud. Note that. In fear. Have you humbled yourself? Then note that with gladness. Because He will guide you.
My point here is simple: if you have not humbled yourself to the point where you realize that you did not create the earth and all that is in it and that you do not have the power over life and death, you will hear words of life and they will sound ridiculous to you.
If you think you are humble but still think that God is yours to define, I beg you to reconsider previous paragraph.
I send all the love possible through this medium, ideally captured in words of truth, and it is my prayer, in the worthy name of Jesus, that He even help you to humble yourself (because it is hard!) and give you what I will write of next week: 2. Soft Hearts, Open Eyes.