I will continue today in what I have written about Andrew Murray’s Humility: The Journey Toward Holiness (Bethany House Publishers, Minneapolis, MN 2001).
Jesus spent time in his ministry teaching about humility. One of the first places when he taught humility is in what has been labeled the Sermon on the Mount. This passage of scripture starts in Matthew chapter 5 and runs all the way through the chapter 7. The Sermon on the Mount starts with what have been called The Beatitudes. When you read through this passage of scripture (Matthew 5:3-12), you begin to see what theologians call the Upside-Down Kingdom. Jesus starts off by talking about the people who are blessed, and they are not who we normally consider #blessed. We have the poor in spirit, mourning, meek, hunger and thirst for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, and the persecuted all listed as blessed and with a corresponding blessing with them. God wants to prove something about Himself and His Kingdom by confusing the thinking of the world.
The attribute that many people would most associate with humility in this group is meekness. The way we understand meekness in our culture would be the person who doesn’t stand up for himself or herself. The person who is quiet with his or her ideas and then becomes the doormat to the more dominant people in the group. However, if you look back in the Greek, you will see the word praus which was used to describe a war horse. I really like David Guzik’s definition
“In the vocabulary of the ancient Greek language, the meek person was not passive or easily pushed around. The main idea behind the word “meek” was strength under control, like a strong stallion that was trained to do the job instead of running wild.” (https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/guzik_david/StudyGuide2017-Mat/Mat-5.cfm?a=934005)
The meek, as Jesus would have described, were not the pushovers of the world. They were the ones who were strong and humble. They had the strength to act, but were obedient and had self-control. They knew that Jesus was everything that they needed to have self-control and show mercy when it was hard, everything that they needed to make the peace and not hold a grudge, and everything that they needed to face persecution with the hope of a kingdom in heaven. These were the kind of people who have rest and peace. Emotional and spiritual rest come when you know in your inner self that God will satisfy your needs. (37-38)
What has stolen that rest and peace in my life more times than I would like to admit, has been comparing myself to others. Even in the church, you can find yourself comparing yourself to others who are serving in the church. Who is best with the kids? Who is the better mom? Who is the best cook? Who can sing that part better? Who has the best-behaved children? You can go to church and leave disappointed because, instead of worshiping or serving, you were comparing yourself to others. Notice, I didn’t even put in anything about appearance or clothing in that list, because you know there is always a competition about that (maybe not for me because I am the no make-up, pony tail kind of woman). Then there is the competition about who can serve best. Here’s the thing, God doesn’t care about what we bring to the altar (Psalm 15:22 and Hosea 6:6), all he wants is our open humble heart. Comparison in service takes our eyes off Christ and put them squarely on ourselves. It is hard to grasp who we are in the sight of God when our eyes are on ourselves and not on Him. (39)
Pride hardens our hearts and makes us numb to it. We fail to confess our pride and fully embrace humility when we fail to see the need for it on a daily basis. Humility needs to be a daily desire where we empty ourselves so that Christ can be all in our lives. When Christ is our all, then we can truly serve in a way that bears much fruit. (40)
Pride is when our eyes are focused on our own issues and plans. Instead of surrendering our lives and plans to Christ, we keep thinking about what we can do to attain our goals. When you begin to surrender your life to Christ, Satan will be right there, telling you that a life of humility robs you of your personality and boldness. In that moment, understanding that you are an empty vessel for God will allow Him to fill you to the fullness of God. God will pour out His supernatural power into your life- a strength you could never gain on your own and a boldness to which even hell cannot overthrow. (41)