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Devotions > Humility and Prayer

23 May 2012


This morning during my time with the Lord He seemed to be saying that the key to receiving what we want is to give up what we want and turn to Him in humble obedience.    This idea may be best demonstrated in the passage below, Philippians 2:5-11.   This passage seems to point to the fact that obedience follows humility.   We know that obedience follows faith.   But can faith thrive in an environment of pride?  Could it be true that without humility we cannot function in true obedience?    Many are familiar with the fact that obedience and faith are required to please God.  But where does our seeking to humble ourselves fit into this picture?  

Jesus calls us to follow Him.    In the passage below we see the path that He has taken.   Should we not follow Him in this path of humility?     Jesus was used of God like none other.   He has made more impact to further the kingdom of God than all other men for all eternity.   How did He do it?    Take a careful look at the passage below.     

5 Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained,
7 But stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being.
8 And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross!
9 Therefore [because He stooped so low] God has highly exalted Him and has freely bestowed on Him the name that is above every name,
10 That in (at) the name of Jesus every knee should (must) bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 And every tongue [frankly and openly] confess and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.   -
Philippians 2:5-11 (AMP)

Henry Blackaby comments in his Study Bible on Philippians 2:5   entitled: “ A Humble View” as follows:

“Our major impediment in life is pride; it defies God’s right to our lives.  When we release our pride, give ourselves away and humbly obey God, something miraculous happens: We see the humble Christ by our side.  In His presence, we are carried into God’s throne room and we see His activity to redeem a lost world.  Then God uses us for His glory.”

When our Father instructed Solomon regarding His requisites for spiritual renewal, the first requirement of His conditional promise was that we must humble ourselves [ 2 Chronicles 7:14 ].   There is much concerning the reality of humility that I do not understand.  However what is clear is that to humble ourselves we must first get the size of God and the size of ourselves correct.   This size idea is not simply physical, but it is mental and emotional and spiritual and no doubt aspects that we cannot even fathom.

For our personal humility to have practical traction we must begin to consistently see God in our hearts as He is revealed to be.   Our understanding of the magnificence and majesty and holiness and power and glory of God  and all the aspects of God that make Him God must be both accurate and present in our unvarying awareness.

A.W. Tozer succinctly stated: “What comes to mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us”   When we see God accurately as He revealed Himself and we see ourselves truthfully as well;  we will involuntarily begin to tilt toward humility.

God reveals that He hates pride.   Pride, God tells us, inspires Him to oppose the possessor of it.   In 2 Chronicles 7:14 the second condition for spiritual renewal is prayer.   From God’s perspective, with pride in the heart of the praying one, can prayer gain a powerful hearing in the heavenly realm?   Could we find ourselves gravitating toward the position that humility is a condition in many cases for answered prayer?

2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

It is clear that our land is in dire need of healing.  However we must be careful not to place too much focus on a symptom.   The condition of our Nation is simply a symptom of our condition, the condition of our collective relationship with God.    We must focus our prayers on the problem not the symptom.    As we look at the instruction of God above we see that every aspect of change and action He instructs is clearly centered in our relationship with Him.   Here is where we need change.   This is clearly our part.

How do we begin?    I will boldly propose that we begin by seeking to humble ourselves.   Not as an adjunct activity but rather as if our lives depended upon it.   Some lives no doubt will depend upon it.

May we say along with Evan Roberts, a man greatly used of God, LORD BEND ME, and mean it! 

Jeff Williams