“… for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” ~Luke 18:14
The following quote by Thomas Guthrie really sums up this verse. “A true Christian is like the ripening corn, the riper he grows the more lowly he bows his head.” God will honor the faithful. If we stop putting all of our focus on self and start to focus on being humble, God will exalt us!
“Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honor is humility.” ~Proverbs 18:12
However, if we are unwilling to set our pride aside, we can not exalt the Lord. We must be humble if we are to submit to God. If we try to run our lives all on our own, we are in a state of pride/self-centeredness rather than submission to God. There are only two choices, pride/self or humility/surrender. Humility is God-consciousness. Pride is self-consciousness. Just remember, all sin begins with pride.
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” ~Proverbs 3:34 ESV
So, how do we become humble? How do we step out of self-centered pride and into a state of surrender to God? We need to apologize; how else can we ever develop a humble heart? If we aren’t willing to admit and confess our sins and feel a true sense of remorse in our hearts, we are not dying to self, nor are we surrendering to God.
There is an enormous power to apologizing. It allows us to dump the guilt for our wrongdoings and be filled with God’s power and peace. You can’t get filled with God if you’re already full of guilt and grief.
Jesus tells us that humility (surrendering to Him/praying for His help) brings joy, and that pride (self-serving/I can do it myself thinking) brings grief.
“By pride comes nothing but strife . . . ” ~Proverbs 13:10
“The humble also shall increase their joy in the Lord . . .” ~Proverbs 29:19
Humility is a willingness to become subordinate, to submit and surrender to God. Satan promotes self-sufficiency because he wants to control us. God promotes surrender, not because He wants to control us, but because He knows Satan is trying to. God also knows we can not win this battle against Satan without His help. By standing down and surrendering to God, we are becoming empowered to beat Satan by allowing Jesus to go into battle for us!
“You must not fear them, for the Lord your God Himself fights for you.” ~Deuteronomy 3:22
Let’s look at the meanings of these words:
Humility: a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness. Humbleness: is a quality of being courteously respectful; modest, meek, unassertive; lack of pride, lack of vanity, the quality of submissiveness.
The opposite of humility is vanity or self-centeredness. This is where we get stuck in the fantasy that we are the bomb; it’s all about me, I can do it all on my own!
Vanity: excessive pride in or admiration of one's own appearance or achievements; conceit, narcissism, self-love, self-admiration, self-absorption, self-regard, egotism. Vanity also means useless, futile, and meaningless!
Self-centeredness: concerned solely or chiefly with one's own interests, welfare, etc.; engrossed in self; selfish; egotistical—independent, self-sufficient— centered in oneself.
“Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I had toiled; and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.” ~Ecclesiastes 2:11
We are wasting our time living solely for ourselves. If we are self- absorbed, we are worshiping self, rather than worshiping God. We must learn to die to self . . . because vanity is futile and meaningless. Living for self-centered purposes to gratify our fleshly desires is worthless and of no lasting value.
“For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.” ~1 John 2:16
Q: Are you willing to die to self?
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