Humility: A Prerequisite to Grace
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." (Eph. 2:8-9). ". . . God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (James 4:6). "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age. . ." (Titus 2:11)
Humility is an absolute to the Christian life, for without it, we cannot grow in our salvation and knowledge of God. Many well-meaning Christians are stifled in their growth, because they have become full of knowledge and pride. Salvation and the deliverance of Christ is a lifetime experience in Christianity. We are saved, delivered by God’s precious wonderful grace. We must access His power (grace) that actually gives us the ability to rise up above the temptations of sin, the world, the flesh, and Satan’s influences. God’s grace teaches us sobriety and discernment. However, there is a prerequisite to receiving grace. It is a life of seeing our own neediness. It is a life of yieldedness. When we surrender in total trust to God with all our life circumstances without fear and with a teachable spirit, He rescues us! Do we stop God from moving in our lives by our pride?
"An opinionated person is an unbroken person." - Watchman Nee.
"Humility is measured by your willingness to allow others to see who you really are in your own weaknesses and in brokenness. Not what we would like for others to see." 1 Cor. 8:2, 1 Cor. 10:12. - Bill Bright.
"Our measure of humility is not how humble we are before God, but is actually measured by our humility before man and it begins in the home." - Andrew Murray.
"Humility and a real trust in God. It is also measured by our willingness to submit to those who are in authority over our lives, i.e. parents, elders, pastors, leaders, employers, officers, and the laws of the land" - Stephen Black.
Humility is a life marked with yieldedness to Christ and to others around us. Humility is a childlike life always seeking Him as hidden treasure and learning from the Master, Jesus Christ. -"All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matt. 11:27-30. We will actually learn from Jesus Christ by having a hidden life of prayer. It is in this beautiful secret place that our lives are transformed. This secret place causes the boundaries of our hearts to be enlarged where faith can grow. The following is taken from E. M. Bounds, "Prayer and Humility" a man not well known until after he died.
Humility is to be modest, lowly, with a disposition to seek obscurity. Humility retires itself from the public gaze. It does not seek publicity nor hunt for a high place. Humility never exalts itself in the eyes of others nor even in the eyes of itself. Modesty is one of it most prominent characteristics. In humility there is the total absence of pride. There is no self-praise in humility, rather it has the disposition to praise others. "In honor preferring one another." It is not given to self-exaltation. Humility does not love the uppermost seats and aspire to the high places. It is willing to take the lowest seat and prefers those places where it will be unnoticed. The prayer of humility is after this fashion:
Never let the world break in,
Fix a mighty gulf between;
Keep me humble and unknown,
Prized and loved by God alone.
It is imperative in prayer that we come to God as our Father as our Lord taught us, "Our Father, who art in heaven." It is in this childlike attitude and heart we understand that we are nothing without Him. The walk of humility does not come to God the Father in a demand, but in the recognition that Our Father is HOLY. Childlike faith is learning to be conformed into the very image of Jesus Christ for without it, in Christ's very words, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven," we do not enjoy heaven. Humble prayer does not have its eyes on self, but rather on God and others. It is meek and lowly in heart, learning what is pleasing to the Lord. This attitude and character asks and receives. God gives GRACE to the HUMBLE. God gives answers to those who desires HIS kingdom. And Jesus said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it." John 14:12-14. Our modern day problem is that many want their will, their desires, and have not really put their TRUST in God's desires. AMAZING, could it really be true? - If you ask anything in His name, WILL HE DO IT? I have found the problem isn't with God, but with me. There is still so much pride that needs to come down.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." (Eph. 2:8-9). ". . . God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (James 4:6).
"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age. . ." (Titus 2:11).