“Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” – Matthew 11:29
It is truly remarkable that the one who even approaches having the amazing grace of humility never thinks himself or herself humble. The one who is closest to being humble never claims he or she really is. In truth such humble people think they are actually prideful, while at the same time they continually strive to slay that pride.
They participate as we all do in this life-continuous-battle acknowledged in the quote: “I am convinced that the purpose of life is to be humbled regularly.” (Dennis Prager) They understand this fray while accepting the plan God has laid out for them.
They see their life lived out under the hand of God’s sovereignty, while all the time doing constant battle with His arch-enemy, Satan. This fallen angel has a consistent goal: stir up and sustain in every human creature the very same trait he introduced to the hearts of Adam and Eve: self-pride!
He blatantly lied to Eve that she and Adam could be just as God if they ate the fruit God forbid them to eat. Their eyes would be opened, he said, and they would be equal with God.
Of course, on its very face, such is impossible. No one can be made equal to the Creator of all, to the One and Only God, to the One who has no beginning and no end. The Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit simply is! And no one or thing even approaches Him as the eternal being. All else and all life is begun and is created. Otherwise it simply isn’t!
God said of Moses that he was very meek, more humble than any man on the face of the earth (Numbers 12:3). It would do well to study the character of Moses in the Scripture to get a better picture of what humility is.
Jesus described himself when he said. “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and you shall find rest to your souls” (Matthew 11:29). Study the person of Jesus to get a true sense of what it is to be humble in your heart.
Meekness is humility. Practicing meekness is expressing a humble spirit. Yet, the meek Jesus expressed righteous anger when he drove the money-changers out of the Temple and called the Pharisees white washed tomb stones.
We get in our heads a wrong understanding of humility. It is not something we highly respect or aspire to imitate. You need to look to Jesus and to Moses to seek to imitate their humility as the pillar of your character. But it is not easily gained. It requires putting yourself to death. And that is not something we really want to do.
Philippians 2 expresses the essential elements of humility when it says you should imitate the mind of Christ in yourself. “Do nothing from self ambition or conceit, but in humility count others as more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
Think this through with the firm intention of becoming like him! If you are not intentional and you do not follow through in the grace of Jesus it will never happen. You must be convinced that you want to have the mind of Christ more than anything else in life! You strive to be humble, but you never believe you are. To you it is truly unknowable and unattainable. But it happens as you surely and steadily put the Lord Jesus Christ on your own self!
“I ask thee for the daily strength, to none that asked denied, a mind to blend with outward life, while keeping at thy side, content to fill a little space, if thou be glorified.”
(3rd verse of Anna Waring’s hymn, “Father, I Know That All My Life,” 1850)
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