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Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 53 – Be Humble

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 53

Be Humble

Lord, please give me a picture of what it means to be humble. What would You have me do walk in greater humility? How do You want me to serve others? I confess that I am prideful, and I request that expose my pride every time it surfaces. Help me to see the error of my ways.

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

Dear one, I am your Father in heaven, the Sovereign Lord of all, everlasting God, Creator of the ends of the earth (Isaiah 40:28). I speak and even the wind and waves obey My voice (Mark 4:41). I rule and reign over heaven and earth, yet I gave the life of My Son for you. Jesus Christ is the picture of humility. He humbled Himself, taking on flesh of a man, in order to reconcile you to Me so that we could share an intimate relationship. He came to earth not to be served, but to serve (Matthew 20:26).

Jesus, My Son, bore the weight of all the sins of humankind: past, present, and future; once for all. This is real—it’s a personal sacrifice—He humbled Himself and died for your sin. He laid down His life in exchange for yours. He suffered the worst possible death, hanging on a cross—a sentence reserved for the worst of criminals. He did it willingly in obedience to His Father’s will. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:13). You are My friend, and My Son did this for you.

I now ask you to do the same: lay down your life for Me. Humble yourself and I will lift you up (James 4:10). Serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13). Value others above yourself, not looking to your own interests but to the interests of the others (Philippians 2:3-4). Set your heart and mind on things above (Colossians 3:1-2), not on earthly things of your own desire. I favor the humble and contrite in spirit (Isaiah 66:2). Clothe yourself with humility toward others, because, I oppose the proud but show favor to the humble (1 Peter 5:5).

In your heart, you make your plans, but it is I, the Lord, who establishes your steps (Proverbs 16:9). Your own plans may fail, but My plans for you are better than you can conceive or imagine. Lay down your pride. Do not be so independent; but be dependent on Me. I hate pride and arrogance (Proverbs 8:13). Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor (Proverbs 29:23). Sow pride and reap destruction; sow humility and reap honor. Love Me with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind. Love your neighbor as yourself. Do this and live (Luke 10:27-28). I do not say love yourself only and take pride in yourself, but love Me first with your whole heart and love others as you have been loved by Me—unconditionally.

Prayer:

Thank You, Lord. I have a better understanding of humility. Please help me walk out your desires. I submit myself to Your Spirit and ask that He would guide me, convict me, and empower me to live according to Your will. May my words and actions be a beautiful aroma to Your senses. Please continue to speak to me even more personally now as we meet one-on-one. Thank You so much. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father, please list some specific ways I have been prideful recently. (Record every thought He gives you.)

 

  • Jesus, you are the ultimate example of humility. Help me remember all you’ve done that I might live in a similar manner and bring glory to Your name. Lord, in what areas do I need to get rid of pride? (Write everything you think and hear.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, bring Your conviction upon my heart. I confess that my pride shows through in these ways that you have convicted me with just now:_______________ (fill in the blank). Please forgive me and help me live into the new creation You made me when I accepted You as my Savior and Lord.

Review God’s thoughts and impressions you’ve sensed and written above. What Scripture comes to mind as you review your notes? Use the concordance of your Bible to look up an impression from God’s Word. Record the verse or passage here. Write all insights and encouragement the Holy Spirit illumines for you as you read God’s Word right now.

Prayer:

Jesus, thank You for humbling Yourself and taking on the nature of a man, so that You would be the perfect sacrifice to bring me into a saving relationship with my heavenly Father. Thank You for exposing my pride. Please help me to live in Your humility and victory demonstrated on the cross. As I become the lowly in spirit—the servant—may You become greater and be glorified in me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Deuteronomy 10:12, And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to Him, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?

1 Samuel 3:10, The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”

Psalm 25:9, He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way.

Psalm 149:4, For the Lord takes delight in His people; He crowns the humble with victory.

Proverbs 8:13, To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.

Proverbs 11:2, When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdonm.

Proverbs 16:5, The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.

Proverbs 16:9, In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

Proverbs 22:4, Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.

Proverbs 29:23, Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.

Isaiah 40:28, Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom.

Isaiah 57:15, For this is what the high and exalted One says—He who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”

Isaiah 66:2, “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at My word.”

Zephaniah 2:3, Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you who do what He commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger.

Matthew 11:28, 28“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Matthew 20:26, “Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

Matthew 23:12, “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Mark 4:41, They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!”

Luke 10:27-28, 27He answered, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 28You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied, “Do this and you will live.”

Luke 14:11, “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Luke 22:27, “For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.”

John 12:26, “Whoever serves Me must follow Me; and where I am, My servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

John 15:13-14, 13“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14You are My friends if you do what I command.”

2 Corinthians 10:1, By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am “timid” when fact to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away!

Galatians 5:13-14, 13You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather; serve one another humbly in love. 14For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Ephesians 4:2, Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Philippians 2:3-11, 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; 7rather, He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! 9Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and 11every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Colossians 3:1-2, 1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Colossians 3:23-24, 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

James 4:6-8, 6But He gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God and He will come near to you.

James 4:10, Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.

1 Peter 5:5-6, 5In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” (Proverbs 3:34). 6Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Roadblock #4 – Worry – The Enemy of Trust

Worry does not add anything to our lives; in fact, it sucks the life right out of us. Worry equals not trusting fully in God. When we don’t trust God for everything, we distance ourselves from Him. Not relying completely on God to care for us, protect us, and provide for us, we detach ourselves from Him and His enormous power. God is omniscient: He knows our every need. God is omnipotent: He is the almighty, all-powerful, invincible Lord. God is omnipresent: He never leaves us; He’s always with us. God is the All-Sufficient One: He is enough. God is trustworthy: He will do what He promises.

God does not ask us to have blind faith and complete trust in a human being. He does ask us to put our trust and confidence in Him alone. We can rest in the assurance that He will take care of us. He is the Most High God. He is dependable, reliable, and faithful.

Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? …Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:25, 27). Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” God wants us to be completely dependent on Him for everything. Not depending on God and trusting in Him completely may put distance between Him and you.

God loves children and speaks to them. Perhaps He does so because children are more dependent. Are you approaching God as a child? Are you dependent on Him? Remember the story of the boy Samuel? After God had spoken to him, Samuel didn’t question God; he listened and obeyed. (See 1 Samuel 3 for the whole story.) God spoke to the boy because he practiced humility and willingly served the Lord. He did not have preconceived ideas about how God would talk to him. Samuel did not practice the freedom of self-sufficiency. He enthusiastically listened to God however God chose to speak to him, and then he obeyed.

This story offers encouragement. God speaks to people of all ages and all spiritual maturity levels. He doesn’t stop calling you just because you don’t recognize Him. He keeps pursuing you until you learn the sound of His voice. He will speak to you when you are still and ready to listen.

And yet, hearing Him is not enough. God looks for people who are dependent on Him, ready to listen to and obey Him. When we practice our independence and do what we please, God may choose not to speak to us. Depending on God and obeying His lead will keep the doors of communication open between you and the Lord.

To hear God’s voice, you must become like a child: humble, with a simple faith and reverence for the Lord. In Matthew 18:3, Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” In Mark 10:15, Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Become like a child and surrender to the work and power of the Holy Spirit within you. Trust God, and depend on Him for everything. Walk in submission to God by being sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit and acting in obedience to His instruction.

Trusting in the Lord, rather than in ourselves and others, proves to be the most stress-free way to live. Giving our cares over to God, Who controls all things, prevents us from being stifled in our spiritual growth by depending on our own limited understanding. Put your trust in God today, and acknowledge His supreme influence, power, and authority in your life. Permit yourself to relinquish all control and worry to the One who rules and reigns over everything on earth and in heaven. Purchase your copy of 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speak today and trade in the following lies for the truth in God’s Word.

#1: God won’t provide for all my needs.

#2:  I can’t trust God because He let me down in the past.

#3: I need to take care of things myself because God isn’t.

 

Click here to purchase book now.

Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series

 

 

Roadblock #3 – Pride – The Enemy of Humility

Independence, control, and comparison. Those words don’t sound prideful when spoken individually. However, when we rely on ourselves for everything and don’t depend on God for anything, He could view this independent spirit as arrogance or overconfidence. Likewise, it often feels good to be in complete control of ourselves, our lives, an event, a situation, another person, or his actions. The haughty monster of pride rears its ugly head in the condescending creature of control. And when we compare ourselves to others and always come out on top, a conceited nature triumphs over humility in our souls. Be careful—this sounds a bit like sitting in the judgment seat, and that’s not a position you want to claim for yourself. Judgment is reserved for Almighty God alone.

Pride is mentioned in Proverbs 6:16-19 as one of the seven things detestable to God. Pride manifests itself in these forms: arrogance, conceit, self-importance, egotism, vanity, haughty eyes, condescension, scorn, disrespect, snootiness, loftiness, and contemptuousness. The Lord despises proud actions and attitudes. Here are a few of the many verses that describe how God feels about pride:

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6)

The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. (Proverbs 16:5)

Though the Lord is on high, He looks upon the lowly, but the proud He knows from afar. (Psalm 138:6)

If you are not hearing God’s voice, you may want to perform a pride inventory in your spirit. Do you practice humility and selflessness, or are you responsible for behaviors that are detestable to God? The verses above assure us that God will punish the proud of heart, and He doesn’t go near individuals who are full of pride. If you hold pride in your heart, confess it and ask God’s forgiveness. Get rid of all pride, arrogance, conceit, self-importance, haughtiness, disrespect, loftiness, and condescension before you seek the Lord to listen to His voice. Treat others as more important than yourself. Assume the position of the lowly, the meek, and the servant. Don’t take it to the extreme so that you resemble a doormat, but approaching the Lord with a contrite heart, in humility, opens the door to receiving God’s words of grace, encouragement, and wisdom.

Unfortunately, pride comes much too naturally to all of us, including me. Read about the fall of humankind in Genesis 3. From the very beginning of time, self-importance snuck into human desire. Satan tempted Eve with the idea that she could be all-knowing and wise, like God, if she ate the fruit from the forbidden tree. Deceived by the devil, Eve ate some and gave some to Adam. Pride initiated a sinful response when the evil one presented his temptation.

The need for independence and superiority continues to be the cause of some of our sin today. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” The truth of this verse rang loudly in the Garden of Eden. It still rings true thousands of years later.

Another example of haughtiness is found in Ezekiel 28, the prophecy against the king of Tyre. In verse 17, the Sovereign Lord says, “Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.” God detested his arrogance. The king’s pride preceded his destruction.

In Proverbs 8:13, the wise Solomon says, “To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” Fear in this case is the same reverence for the Lord that we talked about in the previous blog. When you respect the Lord, you will detest all pride and arrogance, as He does. Yet arrogance sneaks into all areas of life. Recall that pride inventory we talked about? It may be necessary to make that assessment daily, even hourly.

If pride in any form resides in your life, don’t expect to be close to God and hear from Him regularly. Psalm 138:6 says, “Though the Lord is on high, He looks upon the lowly, but the proud He knows from afar.” As another passage I’ve already quoted says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you” (James 4:6-8). God spends time with humble people who submit themselves to Him and make time for Him. God distances Himself from the self-righteous, prideful, judgmental person.

When the needle on the pride-o-meter registers anywhere on the gauge, take action immediately to dispose of all forms of pride. Humble yourself before the Lord. Submit yourself to Him and exalt Him, rather than yourself. Show the Lord how much you trust in Him for everything. Relinquish your control to the Most High. Place the desires of others ahead of your own. Do not judge any person or behavior. Assume the servant position in God’s kingdom.

Do you struggle with judging others or promoting yourself to a higher pedestal? What alerts you of your arrogance? I can tell you truly, when I do not practice the humility of a servant, I should not expect God will speak to me. No matter my standing or position in the world, I am but an unworthy sinner, forgiven and saved by God’s grace alone. I am no better than anyone else. If I do not treat others better than myself, God has no business with me, and therefore no reason to talk to me.

Anytime I have seated myself on the judgment throne with regard to another human being, God has given me an opportunity to experience the same affliction, position, or experience as the one I judged. Very soon I’ve gained a new appreciation and respect for the one I condemned because I have walked down a similar path. Becoming the object of my own pride rapidly and effectively cuts me down to size. When the roadblock of pride comes down, my reception of God’s voice dramatically improves.

The Bible provides many significant illustrations of humility. Jesus, God’s own Son, displayed the ultimate humility when He left His throne in heaven and came to earth to be the sacrificial Lamb and die for our sins. Another dramatic demonstration of Christ’s servanthood took place when He washed the feet of His disciples. We can imitate this kind of humility when we selflessly serve our own subordinates, or, better yet, those we judge. This foot washing can be accomplished literally or figuratively. Think of a way you might take an unassuming position with someone you lead, manage, or influence. Is there any type of metaphorical foot washing you could perform for him or her? Maybe picking up a towel and basin of water is what you really need.

Let’s examine some of the enemy’s deceit in our thoughts, which gives birth to overconfidence. You might believe you can take care of yourself; you know what’s best for you. Or, you might think you are in control of your own life. Is it possible that thinking you are better than someone else for any reason could be hampering your clear reception of God’s voice in your thoughts? Grab your copy of 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God’s Voice today, and begin identifying what stands in your way of hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit, who makes your heart His home.

Click here to purchase this book now.

Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series