Humility. This is a word that has been on my heart for a number of days now. As we started the New Year, I’ve continued to dive deeper into Scripture and working hard at walking with God deeper with scripture, prayer, and journaling my thoughts as I role through the morning. On Saturday, as I continued my read through Philippians. Something big stood out to me from Philippians 2. The humility of Jesus. Paul tells us to be humble, thinking of others over ourselves. In verse 5 that he writes that we must have the attitude that Jesus had. Verses 6-8 from the NLT read:
“Though He was God, he did not think of equality with as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up his divine privileges (emptied himself); He took the humble position of a slave and He was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”
This thought has crossed my mind before, but God really spoke this into my heart this week. Humility. The true humility of Jesus is something that we should look to have in our own lives. I just found this so powerful to think about. Here is Jesus. As Paul writes, He is God, yet, Jesus came as fully man. In his book, Beautiful Outlaw, John Eldredge, lays it out this way…
“The eternal Son of God, ‘Light of Light, Very God of Very God…one substance with the Father, spent nine months developing in Mary’s uterus. Jesus passed through her birth canal. He had to learn to walk. The Word of God had to learn talk. He who calls the stars by name had to learn the names of everything, just as you did. ‘This is a cup. Can you say cup? Cuuup.'”
It’s so fascinating to think about how this man, Jesus, humbled himself so much to walk on even playing field. But think about it. In order to open the way for us all, He needed to. We were lost before Jesus, but the Father had us in mind from before the foundations of the earth and has been pursuing us since. Jesus walking as the perfect lamb of God, fully human, although He was God showed us what we were always meant to be as God’s sons and daughters. Our story did not begin at the Fall. It goes way before that, to what we were created to be, inheriting a kingdom created and set aside for us. Jesus came to restore us, so that we could once again claim that inheritance if we choose to follow Him.
As this was on my heart, it was very cool to hear the teaching Sunday morning, which went into John 13. When I learned we were going there, I was floored, I knew God was really speaking this to me. Here, Jesus gives us an example of his humility as he washes the feet of his disciples including Judas, even though Jesus knew he would betray Him. Jesus humbled himself to serve others in this manner. He says in verse 14 and 15, “And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to was each other’s feet. I have give you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.” Jesus is showing us the humility that we should have in our lives. Not putting ourselves above others. Not striving for position or title, but rather living as who we are in Christ.
When I look back on my life, there was a time when I was all about striving for my own successes. Making it to those high positions. Striving for higher success and thinking that this was what mattered in life. More degrees, greater position, higher salary, etc. I have been humbled so much though in realizing that all of that led me to nothing. This is because none of my efforts were done with the motives of serving Jesus and serving others, other than my own success and supporting my family.
God has shown me another way and is leading me in a way to serve others, serve Him, and seek the lost for His kingdom. How humbling that all becomes. I was reading and journaling yesterday morning and I came up with this. “A life of self-reliance leads to emptiness and death. A life reliant on Jesus leads to a life of freedom, breakthrough, restoration, and coming fully alive.” If we put our own self-centered ambitions above everything else, we will be humbled very quickly in the end and will be left with nothing.
I think God put this on my heart to remind me that I all I am doing needs to be done with Him as my motive. Helping me to remember to not put myself above others. As Tim shared on Sunday, to seek God, not titles or position. Even as a developing counselor and with the work God is leading me toward, it can be so easy to exalt myself in that and seek position, whether in a counseling practice, church, or wherever simply to make myself standout. God’s reminding me that my efforts need to be only to seek His glory and advance His kingdom, not my own.
I’m grateful for this reminder God gave me. I pray that it helps you as well. Look at the humility of Jesus. He is the example to follow. Don’t think yourself above others. None of us are are greater than the other. We are all fallen. We are all sinners given a chance to be restored in through the finished works of Jesus Christ.
“The sufficiency of my merit is to know that my merit is not sufficient.” – Augustine