As we have examined the book of Luke over the last two Wednesday evenings, I have been impressed about how God uses the “unknown.” Everyday people who are faithfully living their lives and honoring God by the lives they live. They are not always in king’s households (though we know that God uses kings and rulers to carry out his will as well). Simple people being faithful to family and God, no matter what the cost, can and often are used by God to do great things.
I am impressed with Zacharias and Elizabeth, who had given up on the idea of having a child, yet were faithfully obeying the Lord’s commands, and lived “blameless lives.” Due to their faith, John the Baptizer was born. They were not seeking position, wealth or honor – they simply lived and did what God commanded. God uses the humble!
Mary was a young lady, and would never had thought that she would be the “virgin” of Isaiah 7:14. When told by Gabriel that she was “blessed among women” she could not figure out how she would become pregnant to have the Messiah. “How will this be, seeing I know not a man?” Yet she submits to the will of God, not knowing the future, nor how everyone will react to this news. Notice “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38). Humbly accepting what God’s will was, she is remembered to this day for bringing Jesus into the world.
The Bible commands us to have humble hearts. Note the following passages:
James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
1 Peter 5:6-7 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time; casting all your cares upon him for he cares for you.
Matthew 23:12 And Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and he who humbles himself will be exalted. See also Luke 14:11 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled (put down- margin), and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
2 Chronicles 7:14 If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility.
Proverbs 22:4 By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, honor and life.
Proverbs 29:23 A man’s pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will obtain honor.
Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not set your mind on high things but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
Matthew 18:4 Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Philippians 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Matthew 11:29-30 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle (meek) and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Humility before God is necessary for proper obedience and faith in him. We are not God; we do not know the reasons behind everything in the universe, and we struggle with what we do know and how it affects us!
We must have humility before service, because we cannot serve God unless we humble ourselves first.
Joseph was proud. He told his brothers and father that they would all bow down before him, They were already jealous. He was sold into slavery, and then wound up in prison because of a lie. Did God allow Joseph to be humbled before he used him to save Egypt and his family?
Moses thought that he would lead Israel out of Egyptian bondage (Acts 7:20-25), but he had to go through forty years in the desert before he could be used by God.
Can we serve God in a state of pride? Did pride factor in the decision in the Garden of Eden? Did God humble Saul (who later became Paul) so that Paul could serve God as he did?
Does God humble us in our trials? Why do we need to be humbled?
Trials make us rely on God – not ourselves
Trials reminds us that God is in charge.
Trials show us that we are not in control. We have to learn that life will not be what we think it is, and we have no control over the things in life we think we have! Control is an illusion. We need to be humble to be used by God! Has pride become a roadblock to us in our walk with God; in our treatment of others in the church and in the world?
None of us have the right to be proud when it comes to God. Are you humbly obedient?