Thursday, January 31, 2008

What is humility?

2 Chronicles 7:14

What is Humility?

 

“If my people who are called by My name, will humble themselves…”

 

What does it mean to be humble?

 

Des the spirit with which one approaches God actually affect our prayers?

 

How do we humble ourselves in prayer?

 

MISCONCEPTIONS:

1.                  Humble means to debase ourselves, “I am a worm.”

2.                  Humble means to think lowly of yourself, “I can’t do this.” (When you know you can.)

3.                  Humble is connected to “self-esteem.”

 

·        Humility is how we view others, how we view God, and our heart attitude in response to God.

 

I.                   Humility is about how we view others.

 

A.     Moses in Number 12.

 

1.                  “Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth”  [Numbers 12:3]

2.                  Problem: “Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses…” [Numbers 12:1a]

 

a.                         Miriam and Aaron were his sister and brother.

b.                        They were his supporting cast, necessary people.  Aaron was the “High Priest” leading the people in the ritual ceremony and Miriam was a “prophetess” leading the people emotionally.

c.                         Moses did not defend himself, God did..

 

“The anger of the LORD burned against them, and he left them.  When the cloud lifted from above the Tent, there stood Miriam—leprous, like snow.” [Numbers 12:9 – 10a]

B.     New Testament mandate.

 

1.                  “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” [Romans 12:3]

 

a.                         The idea of “do not think of yourself more highly than you ought” does not mean to run yourself down or play “poor-boy.”

b.                        “Sober judgment” means temperate and restrained.

c.                         The more “faith God has given you” the less you will want to seek honor and importance for yourself.  These things are not necessary.

 

2.                  “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” [Philippians 2:3]

 

a.                         “Selfish ambition or vain conceit” are excluded

b.                        The alternative is “humility” that would “consider others better than yourselves.”

 

·     A humble person is not one who feels shame for who they are… a humble person                        will not possess self-honor or self-adornment.

 

II.                Humility is about how we view God.

 

A.     We need an appropriate view of God.

 

1.                  “LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD.” [Habakkuk 3:2a]

 

a.                         “Awe” means “an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration…” [www.dictionary.com]

b.                        God is the only one who is “awesome.”

 

 

2.                  “And sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb:  "Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages. Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed." [Revelation 15:3 – 4]

 

B.     Humility is NOT putting ourselves down, it is raising Christ up!

 

1.                  God is exalted.

2.                  God is given proper place.

3.                  God is trusted.

4.                  God is reverenced.

 

“This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.” [Isaiah 66:2]

 

 

III.             Humility is about our heart attitude in response to God.

 

A.     We must be sensitive to God.

 

1.                  That means we deal with sin and barriers immediately and take action.

2.                  Case study: King Saul and King David.

 

a.                         Saul: 1 Samuel 13:11 – 14.

b.                        David: 2 Samuel 12:13 and Psalm 51

 

3.                  New testament understanding

 

a.     But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." James 4:6]

 

i.          “Oppose” is a military term, “to stand against in battle.”

ii.          We tend to blame others or demonic activity for opposition BUT maybe it is really God who is opposing us because of our pride.

 

b.     “Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”  [Matthew 18:4]

 

B.  Humility begins with yourself.  Try “eating crow” [C is for conviction, R is for repentance, O is for obedience, W is for work]     

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