If my people who are called by my name 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 Chr 7:14
I love this verse. We used to sing it in church, me and my momma…I miss singing with her in church (we’ve moved 3 time zones away from her and my daddy). This verse is part of the LORD’s conversation with Solomon when His beautiful temple is being dedicated. God is saying, This people, they will stray…but when they repent, I am here, holding out My Hand to them. Repentance is a humbling of yourself, which is painful. But meeting the outstretched Hand of the LORD is the great reward.
I find myself having to repent in my thought-life quite a bit. I am starting some new projects that are outside of my comfort zone. This can leave me feeling vulnerable. I will need to be careful not to wear my heart on my sleeve. And as a recovering perfectionist, it is hard for me to step out into unfamiliar territory, where I am bound to stumble periodically. The Lord is teaching me that I must approach every task He gives me with zeal AND humility. And I have to repent of the pride that causes me to feel so self-concious. He would have me simply obey…no matter the cost to my pride. I must be willing to be a fool for Christ, to be dishonored, to be weak (1 Cor 4:10)…all of this because I am meant to deny myself and pick up my cross, daily (Luke 9:23).
Staying humble in relationships is important too. It is my pride that makes me wear my heart on my sleeve. A humble heart is not easily offended. I need to remember what Jesus said: Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth (Matt 5:5). I love Matthew Henry’s Commentary on this verse:
The meek are those who quietly submit themselves to God, to his word and to his rod, who follow his directions, and comply with his designs, and are gentle towards all men (Titus 3:2); who can bear provocation without being inflamed by it; are either silent, or return a soft answer; and who can show their displeasure when there is occasion for it, without being transported into any indecencies; who can be cool when others are hot; and in their patience keep possession of their own souls, when they can scarcely keep possession of any thing else. They are the meek, who are rarely and hardly provoked, but quickly and easily pacified; and who would rather forgive twenty injuries than revenge one, having the rule of their own spirits.
We are promised this: Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up (James 4:10). This runs in opposition to the World’s philosophy of exalt yourself, protect your image, and never let anyone get the better of you. We have this as our example:
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name… (Phil 2:5-9).
If we keep our eyes on the Lord, remembering that He is the One we should seek to please, we will find peace, humility, and the great reward of His outstretched Hand. It is when we are motivated to please ourselves or others that we are bound to struggle.
In my heart, I have been working on keeping a clean slate with the Lord and yet I see more and more the nooks and crannies where Pride tries to creep in…all I can say is prayer and the Word…prayer and the Word. How about you? Are you walking humbly with your Lord? Or are you struggling with Pride? Pride is a real JOY-stealer. Don’t let it spoil your #SummerofJoy – kick it to the curb!