People all over the world have various definitions of the word “humility”, but I like to define it as “total dependence upon God to do in me and through me what I know I cannot do myself”. Humility is living the life of faith because faith is confidence that God will do exactly what He said He would do. It is a total dependence upon God. Humility knows who you really are and what you really are. There is no being puffed up with pride or arrogance in thinking you are something that you are really not. There is no need for titles or recognition for your position in some hierarchy of lording it over others. Jesus Himself was God in the flesh, but He humbled Himself as a servant and told us that if we wanted to be great in the kingdom of God learn to be a servant to all others.
Philippians 2:5-8 — “Have this attitude in yourself which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in the appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
Matthew 20:25-28 – “But Jesus called them to Himself and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall 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.”
You are a vessel that carries the life of God within it. You are His dwelling place, or house, or abode. You are a branch that allows the life of God to flow through to produce the fruit and the power that are His. You are His servant, or His co-laborer, yoked together with Him in a blood-covenant. You can do nothing of any spiritual significance upon your own apart from yielding to Him to do the works through you. It is a life of total dependence upon Him.
Humility is actually the opposite nature of those who have the nature of the kingdom of darkness. The root nature of those in the darkness is pride, or the exaltation of the “self” nature. It is the nature that wants its own way and wants to do its own thing. It wants to make all the decisions as to what it believes is right or wrong and good or evil. It is the nature that was derived from eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that God warned His human creations named Adam and Eve not to eat from. It is the big “I” in our life.
Isn’t it amazing to you when you walk into a bookstore, even a “Christian” bookstore, how many books there are in what is called the “self-help” section of the store? Why do we in the kingdom of God want to help our “self” nature become stronger and more dominant? Shouldn’t we avoid that section and focus our attention on books that help us learn how to live in the kingdom of God and how to allow the Spirit of God within us to develop more of the nature of Jesus? Jesus told us in John 15:5, “…for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
For the majority of my life, including as a Christian, I had the attitude of “if it’s going to be, it’s up to me”. It was always about what I was going to do for God, what I was going to teach, what my goals were, what I wanted to accomplish in my life, who I wanted to be friends with, where I wanted to live, what people thought of me, what I wanted out of my various relationships, where I wanted to go on vacation, what programs I wanted to watch on TV or at the movies, how I wanted to spend my day off, etc. Can you see the problem here? Everything in my life was centered around “ME”. That, my friends, is the nature of the kingdom of darkness. God very clearly tells us in the Scriptures that when we become a Christian we “die” to that old life of being “me centered”. He says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
Once we have come into the kingdom of God we are no longer our own. We have been purchased by the sacrificial shedding of the blood of Jesus. Yes, when we have become “born again” we become part of the family of God and we have a Father-son relationship with God the Father. Yes, when we have become “born again” we become brothers with the Lord Jesus. Yes, when we have become “born again” we receive the greatest gift of all into our lives, the Holy Spirit to enable us to “be” what God desires for us to be. We all want the glorious benefits of this new life and these new relationships, but I wonder if we have forgotten what God’s “immediate” purpose for bringing us into His kingdom really is? We all want to have the great blessings that are now available to us and we all want to go to heaven and avoid hell, but is that the purpose for God saving us from a life of destruction? If the whole reason for us coming into the kingdom of God was to get us to heaven and bless us, why didn’t He just take us there the day we were born again? He said we died to our old life; why didn’t He simply enable us to die peacefully and take us to that great retirement center in the sky? Could it be there is a lot more to being born again than what we want for our own “self-centered” lives?
Scripture tells us that we are no longer our own. We have been purchased from the kingdom of darkness by Jesus. He paid a very dear price to “redeem” us — His very life blood.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.”
1 Corinthians 7:22-23 – “…; likewise he who called while free is Christ’s slave. You were bought with a price, do not become slaves of men.”
2 Corinthians 5:14-15 – “For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all die; and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.”
Have you ever wondered why Jesus is called “Lord” and that He is the “King” of all kings and that He has a “Kingdom”? A kingdom is the domain of a King; a place where a King reigns as the supreme authority; a place where the King’s will is done as the King has directed. If we have been redeemed, or purchased by blood, and transferred from the darkness into His kingdom, why do we think we can simply continue to do our own thing any way we want to live our lives? The word “Lord” comes from the Greek word “kurios” which means the supreme authority; that there is no one with more power or authority. Jesus was always referred to as “the Lord Jesus” and Scripture tells us that God gave Jesus a name that is above every name and that at His name every knee will bow and every tongue will declare that He is the Lord, not just our “personal Savior”. If this is true, then how do we get away with simply going to a meeting of the church and having some fellowship group meetings and continuing to live as though nothing has really changed in our lives except being more religious in our activities. God did not take us out of the domain of Satan in his kingdom of darkness and transfer us into the kingdom of God to continue to live as though nothing had changed and we could continue to live according to our own plans. He had a very specific purpose in calling us out of the darkness as His “ekklesia”.