Resolved to Grow
What humbles you? The Bible points us to the conclusion that humility is an essential part of any life which brings glory to God. Certainly, we are to humble ourselves as Scripture commands (Exodus 10:4, I Peter 5:6, James 4:10), but, if you are anything like me, God has to ensure that the job gets done whether you want to cooperate or not. So, He orchestrates circumstances that are designed to bring us low — He makes us breathe in the dust to remind us that, apart from Him, that’s all we really are. Dust.
What is God using to humble you today?
Job was the most righteous man of his day and yet God let his life fall apart as the means to bless him. David sought to genuinely serve his suspicious and jealous King, but Saul wanted only to kill him. Hannah had a barren womb and was humiliated by her husband’s second wife to the point of breaking her in desperation. Jacob walked with a limp, Mephibosheth couldn’t walk at all, Peter sank while attempting to walk. Jeremiah was a faithful prophet and they threw him in prison because of his message. Old Testament Joseph spent decades living in his integrity and he endured betrayal, accusation, and abandonment. And, of course, we cannot fail to mention the Apostle Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” that so grieved him he begged God repeatedly to take it away; yet Paul was only to hear the Lord declare that He would leave things as they were while supplying the grace to endure.
Then there was Jesus. What did He receive? Thirty years in obscurity. Three years of rejection, ridicule, betrayal, abandonment, humiliation; thorns burrowed into His head, nails in His hands and feet, and the wrath of the Father poured out upon Him as a punishment for our sins. Yes, even the Son of God was humbled — “he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
It is clear to me that God’s plan is to continually humble me. I’m too inflated. Too much swelling of the soul exists in me and the same is true of you, no matter who you are. Pride inflates and defaces those who were created to live as the image of God, but pain can lower us and cause us to depend upon the sufficiency of Christ once again. This is a continual cycle; just when you think the process is over, God engages you again and again and again.
When does this humbling end? It ends in the exact moment when there is no trace of sin left in you. That happens when you see Christ! The unobstructed view of His glory and a brand-new glorified body will purge you from sin forever. Nothing short of being in the actual presence of Christ will rid you of your need for further humbling. There is no humbling in Heaven because there is no purpose for it — the humbled will be perfected and perfection needs not be brought low. What a day that will be! No more sin needing to be painfully purged from our lives, for “when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (I John 3:2).
2019 might be the year our Saviour returns in the clouds for us, but if not, one thing is for sure: He will continue His purging work in our lives. Not because He’s angry with us, but because He has committed to love us by stamping His image into us.