November 29, 2012
- By Ed Powell
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"How can you believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?"
We do not have to look very far to see how deceiving our hearts are when we engage the applause of our friends and peers rather than the approval of God. We as believers often let our emotions yield to the praise of men that make us feel as if we have done something worthy and deserving of their notice and acclaim. Does this not encourage the base character of our old nature? Are we not feeding our ego and pride that are impediments to faith and trust? Are we in the place of exercising faith when we enjoy our importance before others?
Humility will never be a part of a person who is proud, arrogant, boastful, or feels his self-importance. Humility is the stepping-stone to holiness. It is the most important virtue that should clothe every true believer. You might say, "Why is humility so important? After all, I should have the right to receive the honor of men when I have accomplished something worthy of their praise." Did you notice how "I" was the important part of that question? That's our problem! As long as "self" is dominant in our life, we will never know what it means to allow God to be what He must be, the Lord of All.
Pride quenches the Spirit and stands in the way of God's blessing and power in our life. It exalts man and appeals to our base sin nature, which is at odds with God. Pride is the enemy of humility. When we jealously guard the glory and acclaim of men and the honor and praise they bestow upon us, we feed our starved ego but shut the door in honoring God and letting the Holy Spirit reign freely in our life.
How penetrating are the words of Micah 6:8, "He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly before thy God."
Humility seeks to follow the admonition of Paul, "Therefore, walk with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love" (Ephesians 4:1-2). Humility recognizes our utter dependence on God, our nothingness. It recognizes the truth and principles of God's Word that abhors the selfish pride that promotes self at every opportunity.
Paul was very conscious of the sin nature that was ever prompting its ugly influence. He said, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live: yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).
This is where we have difficulty. We do not want to surrender the control of our life over to Christ. It is the last citadel we will relinquish. But surrender it we must if our life is to be clothed in humility and pursue holiness. Satan confuses our minds into thinking we are sacrificing something that is beneficial and good for us. In truth, we are surrendering the chords that bind us and that hold us in prideful bondage.
When humility embraces our life, it opens our hearts up to His power and presence. He will also communicate to us His grace and holiness that will glorify Him and impact others.
How simple are Andrew Murray's words as to how we can conquer pride. He said, "Do what God says is your work; humble yourself. Trust Him to do what He says is His work; He will exalt you."
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?row=334&date=2012-11-29
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