"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." ~Col. 3:12
Very recently, God sent me back into the workforce. One of many things He said to me beforehand was "Humility." What I sensed that meant for me was that He purposed this job assignment to do a work of humility in me and that humility would be a key for survival. Whoa, was He right!
Divine humility is the opposite of pride. It is confidence in God, not self. It is unpretentiousness at its finest. It was the walk of Jesus, and it can be ours if we choose it or, as in my case, thrust into it.
Contrary to some beliefs, true humility is not passive, pathetic or weak. Rather, it is divinely powerful. It does not pause at or placate to foolishness. Rather, it ushers in unity. It does not damage us or grieve the Holy Spirit. Rather, it honors God, and God, in turn, honors us when we exercise it according to His plan (Proverbs 15:33). Like truth, humility is a swift and divine weapon of righteousness, unity, love and wisdom that we can choose to wield.
Many of us understand that we are to humble ourselves before the Lord. But what about choosing humility in the face of false accusers, persecutors, people who intend to harm us? People who compete with us? People who react out of fear and insecurity? The ones the enemy uses to separate believers and thwart divine plans. The ones God uses to test us? Jesus chose humility. His example was an important demonstration for us, a divine strategy, an assignment from The Father.
Surely, as He painfully hung on the cross with undeserved insults hurled at Him, His flesh and His heart ached for relief. But He knew He was on a high mission to save a world of people for generations. He knew His role of obedience and love, of priority, of divine purpose. He knew divine truth in the face of ignorance. He knew His Father and the humbling power of His love and mercy, and He was obedient to the call, even though it opposed man's limited understanding.
Jesus did not fall to the enemy's devices. He needed no man's approval, only His Father's. He trusted in His Father's plan. He understood that humbling Himself unto the Father also meant responding with humility to man (Titus 3:2). He knew that God's grace would sufficiently carry Him through the mission and that His divine purpose would be fulfilled regardless of man's actions. Indeed, God was in control.
It is difficult to provoke a truly humble person into a dispute because they will lean into God's powerful love, peace and mercy when attacked, just like Jesus. Simply put: Humble people do not react to other people's issues. They are not controlled by them. They respond in the Spirit because they do not feel the need to prove their worth to others. They know their security and identity rests in Christ, even if others do not. They are committed to the Lord's ways, and they are purposed. They are too dedicated in seeking the Lord's righteousness and humility to give way to futile, self-exalting spats. They hold onto God's power like a lifeline, and they are not willing to foolishly let it go.
You will know humble people by the fruit they bear and the mercy, peace and sincerity they exhibit (James 3:13-18). This is because God can work His virtues through a humble person, whereas, with a prideful person, this cannot be. Rather, selfishness rules, leaving little space for God to operate. When we choose selfishness, we get what we choose: Our limitations.
Conversely, the humble journey is a true adventure. There is great freedom and excitement in soaring with our trustworthy God. Yielded to Him, He will take us higher than we can venture on our own or even imagine. Yielded to Him, we receive His supernatural power, favor, rewards, strength, provision, love, grace, mercy and strategies to complete divinely-appointed assignments that are larger than we. Is there any greater thrill?
Who among us couldn't use more divine humility? I am challenged daily to respond to circumstances like Jesus, in His strength, His power and His love. It is a process, a lifestyle, a series of moment-by-moment choices, a walk. If you would like to break out of the prison of limitation, repent and take hold of the Lord's hand. Choose to trust Him. Soar with Him. And prepare to be awed like never before!
Margaret D. Mitchell is the Founder of God's Love at Work, a marketplace outreach purposed to share God's greatest power source - the love of Christ. This devotional was adapted from Margaret's forthcoming book, Enduring Grace. All rights reserved.