Humility

Tuesday Devotional: Daniel 10

bibleRead Daniel 10

Set your mind to gain understanding.

Humble yourself.

Be weak.

What God requires from us and what we are supposed to do as Christians is relatively simple.  We often complicate our orders or commands because to take them at face value would simply hurt, demand and cost too much.  But we MUST take them at face value if our faith is to have any value whatsoever.

Set your mind to gain understanding.

You do not understand the mysteries of the world that you live in.  Most times you do not understand the mystery that is you.  We learn, we grow and we understand more, but we are always creatures of inquiry with much to ask.  The world suggests and in some ways demands that we obtain knowledge by a certain age.  The world promotes learning in childhood and becomes less and less patient with the learning process as we grow older.  If we follow the forceful encouragement of the world to profess knowledge in the things that are impossible to know confidently we find ourselves the most foolish of all.  To know God is to know that we are limited beings created by an infinite God.  Therefore, admitting that we don’t know is actually the beginning of knowing.  To admit our ignorance is the first step in gaining the wisdom of God.  It is impossible to know God if we profess knowledge that exists apart from Him.  To know that you do not need God is to openly admit that there is much you do not know.

Humble yourself.

Admitting that God exists or that there is need of God in your life is one thing.  Humbling yourself to obey what He says is totally different.  Many profess faith in God but then do what He clearly says not to do.  To follow someone requires that we trust them as the authority and we acknowledge our need to be led.  To follow someone also requires us to submit our plan for the sake of a better plan made by a more proficient planner.  Humbling ourselves is not easy, often aggressively resisted by our sin.  For some, to be humble is to be wrong or weak.  However, by humbling ourselves to God we find that while we were wrong on our own, we are now eternally right, following the commands of a perfect God.   While we were weak before God we are now eternally strong in the hands of the creator God that holds life itself in His hands.  To be humble is to admit reverence to someone, something greater than us.  To know that you do not need to submit to anyone or anything prevents God from being God and therefore makes it impossible for you to know the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ.

Be weak.

Many people come to know God at a low point in life.  They find themselves at the bottom, all alone, completely without. They feel that while everything else has failed, perhaps God will lift them up, comfort them and provide what they truly need.  Many people who profess faith in Christ have never seen this place of weakness.  While this is an entirely different problem, there are also many who have seen this place but then have ventured far from it, never to return.  The common mistake people make is to believe that this place of weakness is to be grown out of and moved on from.  The truth is that to grow out or move on from this place of salvation is to grow out or move on from the very thing that saved them, Jesus Christ.  A Christian is eternally raised up by Jesus in the resurrection, eternally comforted by Emmanuel, God with us, and eternally fed by the Bread of Life.  Weakness is daily present in the life of a Christian, not to exhibit weakness for weakness’ sake, but to reveal and testify to the presence of the living God for Christ’s sake.

 

Tuesday Devotional: Philippians 2

bibleRead Philippians 2:1-11

The nature of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is displacement.  It is shifts and redirection.  There is nothing stationary or static about the Gospel, nor the life of one overcome by it.  The gospel moves and initiates movement.  This motion begins with the radical dislocation and displacement displayed by Jesus Christ.  The Gospel is anchored in the fact that God himself was dislocated from his rightful place of dominion to a place of disgrace, humiliation and suffering.  Jesus Christ came into this world as a servant. It is then impossible and contradictory for any who profess faith in him to model a character different from his.  As Christians, our lives are anchored by the fact that God humbled himself to be what others needed him to be, and rather than what he knew he deserved. It runs in the face of the Gospel to expect anything different in our own lives.  As Christians, the source of our faith begins with Christ’s service.  It is then reproduced in our lives in service to others.  This service then unites us with Christ and his character, fueling us with daily perseverance to overcome the suffering in this world by knowing that we are of one mind with him.  If division or disunity exists in a fellowship of believers as a result of selfish ambition or vain conceit, Christ no longer has a place in that fellowship and it can no longer rightfully claim to bear his name with any integrity to the Gospel.  The church cannot disconnect itself from the life of Christ nor can it survive without him.  The church ceases to exist if the spirit and character of Christ ceases to exist within it.  One cannot enter into fellowship with Christ or other believers and remain unchanged or unmoved.  At the heart of Christianity is the shift from what we feel we deserve, to what we know he deserves.  It is complete submission to his character and the power of the Holy Spirit to recreate that character within us.  This submission requires the willingness to be dislocated from places to which we have so firmly planted ourselves in the past.  Service to others essentially has nothing to do with whom you are serving and everything to do with why you are serving.  You are serving each day because the God of Heaven and Earth came into this world and served in a way we could never serve.  Therefore, service is not humility to what is being served.  Service is humble acceptance of the truth of Christ’s service and the need for service to be present in our lives if we expect God to be present in our lives.