Let us kneel before the LORD our maker. Psalm 95:6
God is the humblest person in the universe. From His high and lofty position, He condescends to associate with fallen men. Jesus humbled Himself and died on the cross to pay our ransom (see Phil. 2:8). Majesty bore our misery that He might redeem us from the curse of sin. God’s modesty is immeasurable. He, the highest, took the lowest position at Calvary. Now He calls His praying children to follow Him in a life of humility.
There is no spirit in man more opposed to the Spirit of God than that of pride. This culprit called pride is the most noxious vice. C. S. Lewis called pride an “anti-God state of mind.” Pride denies God and defies God. Outward sin is merely the fruit of sin, but pride is the diabolical root of every evil thing. Nothing breeds antagonism in the heart of God like the sin of pride. Pride cast Adam and Eve from paradise. Pride changed angels into devils. Pride is the central sin of humanity. It naturally follows that the humility protocol is imperative to entering God’s presence.
The dictionary defines “pride” as “inordinate self-esteem” or “conceit.” Pride seeks credit where no credit is due. In fact, pride believes that we ourselves have accomplished what God and others have accomplished in us. Pride has been described as the disposition to exalt ourselves, or get above others; to hide our defects; and to pass for more than what we really are.
Pride hides behind a mask of pretense. Before I started elementary school, my older brother brought home a math book with triple-digit addition and subtraction problems in it. He had worked out each of the arithmetic problems with a lead pencil. For some reason, he erased all his work, leaving only the impress of the numerals on the page. My young eyes saw the impressions made by that sharp No. 2 lead pencil, and I carefully traced every numeral. It looked like original work. I then took the book and handed it to my mother, who turned to the pages with those meticulously traced mathematical equations. This gave her the impression that somehow I had worked out those problems. Most mothers are prone to believe that they have exceptional children, and my mom was no exception; she believed that I was a mathematical genius. She thought she had a child prodigy on her hands, until she later discovered that she had a child problem on her hands! Pride loves to make false boasts by giving inaccurate impressions.
Roy Hession, in his book, referred to humility as the willingness to know the truth about ourselves and the willingness to let others know us as we really are. Saved people have no one to impress and only One to please. The way to please God is by being real. At first the idea of being transparent can seem traumatic and frightening. But as we grow in grace, we find great freedom in humbling ourselves before God.
Humility is the way to get God’s attention. The Bible says, “To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word” (Isa. 66:2). The humility protocol is the key for admittance into heaven’s throne room. God looks for and listens to the humble and contrite heart. Humility attracts God’s favor and grace. The apostle James said, “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (James 4:6). God resists proud people, but He immerses the humble in mercy. There is nothing that God will not do for the man or woman who will humble himself or herself under His mighty hand.
Humility means telling God the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Proud people are blind to their true condition. They refuse to approach God in total honesty. Pride is the only disease that makes everybody but the person who has it sick. When men cover their sin, it is an act of pride. But when God covers confessed sin, it is an act of grace. How inviting it is to bow before the Lord without pretense. What a powerful sacrifice Jesus made to cover all our sins! What a blessing we find by humbling ourselves under His mighty hand.
True humility is right thinking about God and about ourselves. We must see God in His high and lofty position. He is authoritative, all-knowing, all-powerful, the judge of all mankind, and so holy that He cannot even look on sin. An accurate view of God puts us in our place—and grace puts us in a place of unspeakable blessing.
Pride always involves comparison. Conceit says, “I’m cleaner than you. I’m stronger than you. I’m smarter than you.” This arrogant mind-set puts a person at odds with God. A humble God and a proud heart will never get together. It is impossible to draw near to God with a proud heart. God keeps the proud in heart at a distance, but the humble heart He knows close up.
Humility is more than admitting our wrongs. It is believing the almost unbelievable good things that God says about His blood-bought children. Many churches have a strong theology of depravity and a weak theology of victory. But God says that we are justified, adopted, accepted, sanctified, more than conquerors, and the righteousness of God in Christ (see Rom. 8:15; 37; 1 Cor. 5:21; 6:11). We are forgiven. We have new spiritual fingerprints. We are partakers of the divine nature (see 2 Pet. 1:4). We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (see Phil. 4:13). How humbling it is to realize that God not only loves us but also likes us! Listen, we are new creations in Christ. Yes, the flesh is still in us, but we are not “in the flesh” (see Rom. 8:8–9). Christ is in us (see Rom. 8:10). We have the very same power that raised Christ from the dead resident within us. Wow! How humbling to accept what the Bible says about our identity in Christ.
The humility protocol is the most beneficial way to get God’s attention. It attracts His amazing grace. This is the prescribed way to enter His presence: “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker” (Ps. 95:6). It’s the humility protocol.
- God is the humblest person in the universe. Christ humbled Himself and identified with sinful men that we might be identified with Him by having His righteousness accredited to our accounts.
- There is no spirit in man more opposed to the Spirit of God than that of pride.
- Humility is the willingness to know the truth about ourselves and the willingness to let others know us as we really are. This contrition of heart attracts grace.
- Since God feels a special kinship with the humble, we qualify for His grace every time we bow before Him.
- Humility gets God’s attention: “To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word” (Isa. 66:2). Take some time to humble yourself before the Lord right now.
- Stop disliking people because of things you’ve heard about them, and be thankful that God does not dislike you because of what He knows about you. Don’t look down on anyone. Guard against an attitude of superiority.
- Bless the Lord for the declarations in His Word about your saved self. God says that we are justified, forgiven, adopted, accepted, sanctified, more than conquerors, and the righteousness of God in Christ. We are partakers of the divine nature. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Humbly acknowledge the many truths about what your salvation has accomplished.
- Learn to recognize the subtle uprisings of pride in your soul. Determine to be a deliberate practitioner of humility every day.
This chapter was written by Harold Vaughan. It is taken from Approaching God’s Throne: Biblical Protocols for Prayer.
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