“A man needs to see some mountains every morning so he stays humble.”
--Duane Boehm (Gideon Johann)
"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up."
--James 4:10 (NKJV)
Once in a while, I get to pondering. The pea-brain begins to swirl and I get to wondering about things. Well, over the weekend I was reading, and pondering about a verse so often quoted in this day. It is a vital verse, and a verse that is a promise and like all promises there are conditions.
"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
--2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)
This verse carried with it numerous things to contemplate, but I want to look at one small part of it--"humble themselves." How does a nation humble themselves? How does a person humble themselves? It is a thought carried in both the Old and New Testaments--to humble oneself. Notice it is place first in the conditions. Once a person does that the rest come more easily. A few verses later in 2 Chronicles we see the following:
"Now when the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah, saying, 'They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance....'"
--2 Chronicles 12:7 (NKJV)
"When he [King Rehoboam] humbled himself, the wrath of the LORD turned from him, so as not to destroy him completely; and things also went well in Judah."
--2 Chronicles 12:12 (NKJV)
"My people" in 2 Chronicles was Israel, but in the new covenant it is the people of God--Christians, the Church. This needs to be done as a unit, but also individually. The question is now, how does an individual humble themselves? Think on that. How can you humble yourself, what steps can you take? Be careful that you don't fall into saying "I'm so proud, I'm humble." In my reading I came across some words by Dale Schwarz that will help in our endeavor.
1) We humble ourselves by being with Jesus. God gives more grace to the humble. We need to get away from our selfish pursuits and simply be with Jesus daily in prayer, worship, and Bible study.
2) We humble ourselves by being likeminded with Jesus. We must decide to think like Jesus thinks and think of others like Jesus thinks of others.
3) We humble ourselves by obeying Jesus. We follow His example by trusting and obeying the Word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
4) We humble ourselves by suffering for Jesus. We need to be like Moses who chose to suffer with the people of God instead of taking part in the sinful pleasure or perks of the culture of the day.
It is also important to notice in the verses above that for healing in a nation to occur the humbling must begin at the top--the leadership. Our prayers should not be only for ourselves but that the Holy Spirit will bring them to their knees. The Word of God must be proclaimed throughout the land so that it may be heard and the people take heed and humble themselves.
"Humble yourselves," if not, God will humble us. He has all sorts of ways to bring us to our knees in humility to recognize Him. He does it through wars. He may use natural catastrophes, or even a pestilence in the form of a violence. But remember, there is always a choice. We can humble ourselves, we can let the Lord work and then humble ourselves, or we can ignore the warnings. Many in history have done so and God turned His back on them.
A proud heart in the person of leadership is a dangerous thing. A proud heart within the individual is a dangerous thing.
D. C. Adkisson