One of the requirements for being a Christian is to be humble. Humility is not a popular character trait in today’s culture. Can you define humility? Humility is the opposite of having an exalted viewpoint of one’s own self-importance. It is knowing that you do not have all the answers to everything – and are in need of a lot. Humility is trusting in God and not in self. It is having the proclivity to put the needs of others before our own needs. Humility is the opposite of being lifted up and exalted. It comes only by eliminating every trace of pretence and jealousy. It is having a modest view of our own selves. Humility is a virtue that allows one to work with those who are not humble. Jesus set the pace for us with His perfect humble mindset.
1Peter 2:23 Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judges righteously:
Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Brethren, we need to understand the urgent importance of developing a mindset of humility in our Christian life. Speaking of the Messiah in symbols, Isaiah spoke of how Jesus would rearrange the ways of this present evil world; because God must be exalted and man must be humbled.
Isaiah 2:11-17 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low... And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.
John the Baptist took from these words in introducing the Messiah. He reiterated these words of Isaiah about Jesus Christ. John said:
Luke 3:5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low [humbled or humiliated]; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth.
James took these words of Isaiah and John, and said it in plain English:
James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
God almighty possesses perfect humility. To become like God it is necessary that we humble ourselves in all that we ever do – and in that way we are walking in His steps. Micah is telling us that God is concerned with our having a right and proper relationship with Him. When we walk humbly with God, our life will demonstrate the characteristics that are evident in God Himself. We must ask ourselves this revealing question, “Do we walk boldly with our Lord, or humbly with our Lord? When Micah adds, “walk humbly with your God,” he is saying that we must be in a right relationship with God.
Micah 6:8 He has shown thee, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.
The beloved apostle John put it this way:
1John 2:6 He that says that he abides in Jesus ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.
Humility is a key to the process by which God brings us to salvation. Humility is giving God all the credit – for everything. Paul fully trusted that it was God who gave the growth in real Christians. He did not take the credit, knowing his abilities came from God. He had confidence in God through Christ because he had a humble mindset. Paul confided of himself:
Acts 20:19 Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me...
Paul realized that everything he accomplished came by the hand of God, and not as a result of anything special that he contributed.
2Corinthians 3:4-5 Such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.
Humility is trusting God in all things. Trusting in God provides the assurance that God is with us at all times, even when our troubles seem overwhelming. It enables us to work through trials and not be overcome by them. Trust in God is the antidote for depression and discouragement. God expects Christians to develop trust in Him as He opens our minds to understanding His truths.
Peter explains how the high will be made low, and the low made high. It is when we are able to learn God’s humble way of dealing with our fellow man.
1Peter 5:5-6 …All of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.