Humility should be a cherished as a gift. Not only does it bestow one with dignity, but with the ability to follow God wholeheartedly. You see, it’s simply not possible to serve God, follow His will, and surrender your life to Him without humility. Humility before God is choosing to put His will before yours, doing what He wants you to do with your life instead of what you desire. Its submission saying “I can’t do this”, it’s acknowledging His power and taking part in His Kingdom by surrendering yourself. A good soldier can’t be on both sides. Humility cannot join forces with pride; they are opposites, direct enemies, adversaries.
Pride is the root of greed, selfish ambition, and lust. If you sit down and examine the motives of every individual sin, the most common familiarity between each one is going to be pride. When you sin, you do it in rebellion to the commandments of God which have been established for us to live a life of holiness. This is choosing your own path: not yielding to God. Pride is doing it your way and humility before God is doing it His way.
Now let me ask you, if you aren’t following God, what are you doing? If one isn’t on the right road, on what path is he? If I am divided, does God love my half-heartedness?
A very revealing article from the Gospel Coalition puts it this way,
C.S. Lewis helpfully wrote in Mere Christianity that, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” The tendency to be preoccupied with ourselves is a sure sign of pride. A heart inverted upon itself is sure to cultivate suffocating pride. It expresses itself in a fixation on ourselves. This selfishness is expressed in terms of worry, anxiety, thin skin, gossip, slander, lying, being afraid of what others think of you, laziness, being a workaholic, harshness, and a relentless clinging to your rights (just to name a few). In short it is a preoccupation with gratifying the flesh. 1
Though there are many resources and books I could quote on this subject, the Bible isn’t short of words either,
“By humility and the fear of the Lord Are riches and honor and life.” Proverbs 22:4
“The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, And before honor is humility.” Proverbs 15:33
“Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth, Who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden In the day of the Lord’s anger.” Zephaniah 2:3
“because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His words against this place and against its inhabitants, and you humbled yourself before Me, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you,” says the Lord.” 2 Chronicles 34:27
What can we take away from these verses?
By humility, fear, and reverence before God, we will obtain riches, honor, and life. What happens if we are not living this way, but instead are in a constant state of pride, rejection, and dismissal to God? The opposite of riches, honor, and life; which is spiritual poverty, shame, and death. If that’s where our lack of humility leads, then surely destruction will come.
Fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom. Before we are to receive honor we are to be humble. Now I’d think that these virtues are far greater than a life full of prideful actions only serving to gratify the self. Is humility honorable before men? Is it the wisdom of men? No. But this verse isn’t talking about earthly wisdom or earthly honor, but rather wisdom and honor given by God, the Creator of the Universe. Is it not better to obtain heavenly wisdom rather than live in a mindset, a passion, a dream where God is to a lesser or greater extent excluded and will only result in destruction?
In order to seek God, we must be seeking humility and righteousness through Him. Otherwise his wrath will be upon us. Why? Because in doing so we are submitting our will to Him; otherwise its pride, rebellion, haughtiness, and a path to destruction.
In the context of 2 Chronicles 34:27 Israel had fallen away from God. Josiah, one of the few good Kings of all Israel’s history, restored the worship of the Lord. The children of the land then started to follow God. Because they humbled themselves, God heard their cries. If we expect our prayers to be answered, we must come to God in humility and in humility only, otherwise the likelihood of being answered is low. God accepts a humble heart, but a prideful one he rejects.
In conclusion, it seems very apparent from scripture and from experience that humility is vital in relation to the Christian life. I exhort you to cherish the call to live for God with all humility, not in pride, but in steadfastness and prayer.
So, will you strive for humility, or will you pursue destruction?
Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, And before honor is humility. Proverbs 18:22