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Devotions > Humility and Prayer

22 Aug 2014

How you ever considered your personal H Q?    H Q could represent your happiness quotient or your hopelessness quotient, or even your helpfulness quotient ….  but today we are considering the H Q that represents your humility quotient.

Before you decide to simply stop here close this page, consider this fact.   Your humility quotient is central and critical to every aspect of your life ….  spiritual, physical, relational and even financial!      Humility while by design is a small thing on the outside it is an enormous thing on the inside.    While humility is lightly honored by this world, it is highly regarded in heaven.   Our H Q is very critical in our relationship with our heavenly Father and also with His children.

God has done His best in His Word to make His position on humility clear.   Listen to the words of one of the most powerful kings to walk on the face of this earth:

 Daniel 4:37 (NASB95) 
37 "Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride."

The Holy Spirit speaks clearly through James:

James 4:6-8a,10 (NASB95) 
But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, "GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE." 
Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. 
(emphasis added)

And God has also spoken plainly through the prophet Micah:

Micah 6:8 (NASB95) 
He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? (emphasis added)

There is a variety of humility that is purely for the eyes of men.   This is simply pride dressed up to look like humility.  God will not be mocked.  True humility is to humble ourselves in the eyes of God and is motivated by our love for Him and our desire for His glory.    Anytime we seek personal glory our seeking results from pride and will lead to some kind of fall or darkness or death.   Yet in our self-centered hearts it is easy find ourselves regularly seeking our own glory.   Sadly when we seek our own glory we lift up ourselves in idolatry above God.

Humility is about who is being lifted up and who is being lowered.   True humility is not only lowering ourselves in our own estimation but it is simultaneously lifting up God to His rightful place of glory.   A non-believer can make his best attempt at humility but he will fall short in the eyes of heaven since humility has its essence, its foundation, in the humble submission of a man or woman to serve our God as King.

A classic passage regarding humility is found in Philippians Chapter two:

Philippians 2:3-9 (NASB95) 
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 
do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 
Have this attitude in yourselves 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. 
Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,

The context for this admonition is found toward the end of Chapter one:

Philippians 1:27 (NASB95) 
27 Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; (emphasis added)

Humility is at the core of unity.  Humility is like a magnet it gently pulls together the body into unity.   Pride is quite the opposite; it fuels every kind of dispute, argument and disagreement.. Pride separates us from God and from each other, because pride holds on to a hidden passion for self glorification, secretly lifting itself up above God and others.  Humility fuels authenticity while pride promotes hypocrisy.  Pride is constantly doing the work of Satan, while humility is consistently doing the work of God.

Obedience is highly regarded in heaven.  Obedience to the commands of God is required by every disciple of Jesus. (Matt 28:20)   Humility is a guide that directs our hearts toward obedience.   Pride conversely is the poison passion that persistently promotes rebellion and disobedience.

But what does this have to do with prayer?

Daniel 10:12 (NLT) 
12 Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer( emphasis added)

Psalms 66:18 (AMP) 
18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me;

Isaiah 66:2 (AMP) 
For all these things My hand has made, and so all these things have come into being [by and for Me], says the Lord. But this is the man to whom I will look and have regard: he who is humble and of a broken or wounded spirit, and who trembles at My word and reveres My commands.

Sincere prayer naturally flows from a heart of humility.  So how can I develop a heart saturated with humility?

Galatians 5:16 (AMP) 
16 But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).

If we determine in our hearts to walk in humility before God and men, true humility can be accomplished only by the power of the Spirit filling and controlling our lives.   And we must understand that every attitude we hold and every activity we execute make an eternal difference because God’s glory is at stake!  We are called His representatives, His ambassadors.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NASB95) 
19 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? 
20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

Authentic humility drives a passion for God’s glory and the Holy Spirit will provide for God to be glorified.  Short of an authentically humble heart it is impossible to glorify God.

Application Challenge:

For the next thirty days pray for yourself daily using a personalized version of Philippians 2:5-8 as your guide.   And invite the Holy Spirit to fill and control you and mold your attitude to be like that of Jesus.   These prayers prayed sincerely will change your life as the Holy Spirit empowers your choice to seek to humble yourself for the glory of Jesus and the Father.  

Jeff Williams