We finished our discussion on humility this week. God has a humble heart and He chooses the humble to carry out His plans.
Have you ever felt inadequate? Unworthy? Have you ever been overwhelmed with fear? I have.
We talked about Moses and his journey. When God called Moses, all Moses could see was his inadequacy. When God called Moses close, he was all too aware of his unworthiness. When God commanded him to go and accomplish great things, Moses was overwhelmed with fear and wondered how even God could accomplish so much through him. Many years before this, Moses made a huge mistake and ran. For 40 years he lived in total obscurity, hiding, under the radar, hoping no one would find him. Moses was being humbled. God was getting him ready. But like so many men (the analogy of white water rafting, going under, nearly drowning and dragging up on shore vowing never to take risk again), Moses let his failure define him and he hoped to live his life out in hiding. Then someone lit a bush on fire.
He was described as “A very humble man, more humble than any other man on the face of the earth.” Numbers 12:3 God values humility perhaps above any characteristic – that humility is the most reflective of the essence and character of God Himself. Certainly Moses had other great qualities – he was a leader, he was a good communicator, etc. It is interesting that God is not impressed with talent nearly as much as He is with character and as we’ve learned, character comes out of humility.
It is also interesting that of all the crimes against humanity Pharaoh was responsible for, God went after his humility. His simple question to Pharaoh was, “How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me?” Exodus 10:3
You see, God will restore broken people. He will restore you if you fail. He will not oppose you or put you aside or reject you. But God will shelve you if you are too proud. He doesn’t reject the sinful, He rejects the arrogant. This is why it brings Him so much pain when we reject Him when He so humbled Himself to reach us.
Jesus came to teach us that God is humble. We are created in His image and our souls thrive in humility. To be more like God, we need to choose the path of servanthood. It is only the humble that God entrusts with His power and glory.
Jesus J Curve – we grasp the idea of servanthood and we are OK with that – I am willing to be a servant for a short while as long as I know it ends in me being a king. So we’ll give things up and serve others and diminish ourselves and fall low on the curve for a time with the hope that we rise up to a glory on the other side. But here’s the thing, Jesus thinks servanthood is the ideal, the pinnacle. In John 13, right before He went to the cross, at the pinnacle of His power, knowing He possessed all of God’s power and authority, Jesus got up and washed His disciples feet. He got in the dirt and humbled Himself even to the cross. We come from the dirt and to the dirt we return.
The goal is to live this life as God designed us to live it – a life of courage. We’ve learned courage comes out of integrity – where we make decisions based on our character instead of the opportunity – and integrity is born out of humility. So we start with humility, with understanding this concept of “Rising downward” and next week we move into integrity. Read Chapter 4 “Turned Inside Out”.