“But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ ” James 4:6 (NKJV)
In our last Our Hope session we explored STRENGTH. Strength is a character trait that all of us would like to have a larger portion of, but we really need to understand that it is not necessarily the amount of strength we have, but how strong that amount is. In other words, God has balanced out the things He gives us so that we are perfectly prepared for His ministry. We have a measure of faith, and an ounce, sometimes more, of strength. Having strength is a huge responsibility, and that is because we can very easily become consumed with it, and forget the fact that it is not our strength, but the strength of Jesus that He gives us.
When we forget this, we can easily become big-headed. We start to believe we can do anything we set our minds to, and that there is nobody on earth who can stop us. When this happens, we have turned away from Jesus, even if for a very brief time, because we are claiming that which is His as our own. When this happens, we become ineffective to His ministry.
We must temper strength with humility. Being humble is not a sign of being weak. Being humble takes courage, and it takes perseverance. It is not easy to walk back our natural boastful ways, but it is necessary. We must always keep Christ as our center, our portion, our safe place. He must always be given the glory for anything we are able to accomplish for good. He, after all, is the one who equips us. We cannot equip ourselves. We do not have that ability. It is He who instills within us the ‘want to’, the will to serve Him. He gives us the strength, but He will also give us the dose of humility that is spot on for each of us.
Jesus walked in humility during the years of His earthly ministry. He was not weak in any way, but He walked in deference to others. He showed love and compassion, patience, and yes, even anger when necessary. But He was always of a humble heart. If we are to model ourselves after Him, it makes sense that we would walk humble as well.
“He must increase, and I must decrease. He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.” John 3: 30-31
Jesus must increase. This refers to Him in us. And in order for Him to increase in us, we have to decrease, or put ourselves aside. We must learn what His purposes are, and make them ours. We must adopt the way He walks and talks, and abandon our way. We must do the things we are called to do, and lay our plans aside. For His plans are perfect plans, while ours are not. When we allow Him sway within us, we will become humble. We cannot help it, we cannot change it. If we follow Jesus, humility will come with the strength.
Jesus is Our Hope, and because He is, He will give us portions of all the things we need to be fully equipped to do His work. And part of His work is what He is doing in each of us. We are, after all, His mission. He does not stop ministering and teaching us the moment we are saved. He continually refines us. When we can admit that anything of good that we have or are able to do comes directly from Him, then we have achieved humility. We must ask Him to help us to retain it, to renew it every day, because our flesh is very strong. But Jesus gives us the hope of a better tomorrow, each and every day. His grace reaches out and blesses us, and brings us closer to Him than we were the day before. His strength will lead us and His humility will make us the light that cannot be hidden.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5
When have you had to back up a few steps to regain your humility? Please comment here or go to www.mystoryofgrace.com, and share your story with us!