I will continue today in what I have written about Andrew Murray’s Humility: The Journey Toward Holiness (Bethany House Publishers, Minneapolis, MN 2001).
Humility doesn’t need to be an optional thing for our lives. When we demonstrate a humble heart, we see God for who He is and can join in the work He is doing. Just imagine how much more God wants to do through a humble servant? Yet, humility is so difficult, especially when you are in ministry. We all want to be someone great for the Kingdom- reaching the thousands. What if what God really wants you to do is to be the one showing love and encouragement to those around you? You can be inspired by the person with the powerful video message or the big conference stage, but more often than not, the person making the biggest impact in your daily walk is the person who has chosen to be there for you when you need it. (46)
I know that is harder to be the person that is there for others than to just say you want to be that person. Investing in people is difficult. Lifting up your head from your normal routine to really see the needs of others takes time. I am not an expert in this field, maybe more like a novice at this point. I prayed for God to use me in ministry, thinking one day these crazy thoughts might be a book and I might be a speaker at an event somewhere. What I didn’t expect was that God would open my eyes to see those hurting around me. Now that I had the time, I could pray with the heart broken woman at the gym, bless some friends and neighbors, spend hours listening to a friend explain the extremely difficult season of life she is going through, and feed the neighbor kids who I know could use some food and some love. These things aren’t going to get you the big stage or the accolades of others and that is okay. I have fed my monster of pride too many years. As I have the time to serve, I am getting training on how to walk in humility on a daily basis.
The more you realize your need for Christ’s power to cast out pride, the more subtle Satan’s attack becomes. He will remind you of your past hurts, how you have hurt others, change your circumstances, and do whatever he can to make you want to take back control of your life. The temptation will be great in those times to not trust God. The power Christ has over our pride has to transform us, so we take captive those thoughts/circumstances and give them to God. God will never be surprised and because of that we can find rest and peace in those times. (47)
The indwelling power of the Holy Spirit will transform our lives. He will turn our nature to His and make us into the true servant. We will become what He longs for us to be. May I never be satisfied with tainted service to Christ; service done with a proud heart. I want humility to be the heartbeat of my life. A life that bears much fruit for the Kingdom of God. (48-49, 54)
A person with a Christlike attitude always draws people; especially in today’s society. A life that shows the kindness, meekness, and compassion of Christ is alluring today in a world that is caught up in itself. It really messes with people’s minds when you are kind and show compassion when it has not been earned. You can see the look in a person’s eyes. It is confusing to people when you start to look like Christ. The truth is, you show compassion and mercy, because you have been shown grace and mercy. (56)
I don’t deserve the mercy and grace of Christ. If you take a look at how God feels about pride, then you know I deserve the wrath of God. There are more than thirty times in scripture where we are warned about pride. Proverbs 8:13 puts it pretty plain, “To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” Then in James 4:6(b) says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” In my pride, I am something God hates and something He is actively opposing. There is a short list of things God hates and things He goes out of His way to oppose. My pride put me on that list. Oh the grace of God that he has chosen to not only forgive me of my pride, but to give me grace in my humility!
That is how we can show grace and mercy to those who we feel don’t deserve it. We know how it feels to be needing grace and mercy. We know the confounding truth about Christ. He forgives when we are our worst, because we need it. We will fail over and over again. My sin of pride will be with me the rest of my life; looking for any opportunity to wreck the work of God in my life. When I fail, I need to fall back to the promises of Christ. Failure does not mean I stop trying. If anything, it should bring me back closer to the grace of Christ. Praise be to our merciful God. (57)