Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Practicing Humility

A man can counterfeit love, he can counterfeit faith, he can counterfeit hope and all the other graces, but it is very difficult to counterfeit humility. You soon detect mock humility. They have a saying among the Arabs that as the tares and the wheat grow they show which God has blessed. The ears that God has blessed bow their heads and acknowledge every grain, and the more fruitful they are, the lower their heads bowed. The tares lift up their heads erect, high above the wheat, but they are only fruitful of evil. If we only get down low enough, God will use us to His glory.” ~Dwight L. Moody 

How do you know when you are humble? An attitude of humility becomes evident in a person’s life when we empty ourselves with the ego of self-importance. First, avoid the trap of E.G.O. (Edging God Out). God hates an individual with an EGO. Remember that it was EGO that turned Lucifer into Satan. He said, “I will ascend…I will raise…I will sit… I will ascend…I will make myself like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:13-14).  Next, assume an attitude of an E.G.G. (Everything God Gave). Jesus Christ illustrated humility when He said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29). Moreover, Jesus exemplified when He  “made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant” (Philippians 2:7) and came to serve humanity clothed in poverty. When He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane directed to His Father in heaven, Jesus showed his selfless attitude, “Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39). Jesus can choose to skip the Cross of Calvary and walk away, but He didn’t for our sake. His love for us compelled Him to humble Himself and to receive extreme humiliation ending in death at the Cross. Thus, when a Christian life becomes fully empty of EGO, every “I will” becomes “God's will.”

Here’s a story to remind us to remain humble and at times to stay still and silent: The story is told of two ducks and a frog who lived happily together in a farm pond. The three would play together and amuse themselves in their waterhole. When the hot summer days came, however, the pond began to dry up, and soon it was evident they would have to move. This was no problem for the Ducks, who could easily fly to another pond. But the frog was stuck. So it was decided that they would put a stick in the bill of each duck that the frog could hang onto with his mouth as they flew to another pond. The plan worked well--so well, in fact, that as they were flying along a farmer looked up in admiration and mused, "Well, isn't that a clever idea! I wonder who thought of it?" The frog opened his mouth and said, "I did, and he fell..." (Today in the Word, April 1989, p. 34).

Remember that there are times when we need to shut our mouth, and there is a time to open it. When we choose to open it, make sure that we will not be in trouble or else, we will regret it like the frog. The Scriptures contained reminders that we need to take heed. Proverbs 29:23 states, “Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.” James reminded,  “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up” (4:10). Peter said, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time” (1 Peter 5:6).  I firmly believe that when we choose to wear the humility of Jesus on a daily basis, God will take notice. It is a decision that we must intentionally make. Take note that humility is NOT the opposite of pride. It is adopting a solid position to remain content in where God has placed us at the moment.

God has the final say, and when we choose to submit to His will, we do not lose anything. Instead, we gain a lot from Him because He sees the best place to bring us to our maximum satisfaction. Humility clothed with God's love removes self-importance to attain the honor that God gives in return. Try it and you will never be the same. Choose to humble yourself and in due time, God will lift you up (1 Peter 5:6).

Let’s talk again!

Source: Two Ducks and a Frog - Sermon Illustrations on SermonSearch.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.sermonsearch.com/sermon-illustrations/5074/two-ducks-and-a-frog/