Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Anointing of Humility

  When I look through the bible at the many heroes who served and loved God with all their hearts,  one thing stands out to me. They were men and women of great humility. They often did not believe in their own ability to do anything for God. But their total obedience to Him caused them to step out into territories that on their own abilities, would cause them great fear and trepidation. Joseph was such a man, even as a young boy. He was totally obedient to his father, taking  food to his brothers. He loved his God and paid attention to the dreams God gave him. He spoke those dreams to his family who mocked him and cruelly treated him like a stranger instead of a member of the family.  When accused wrongly, he humbly took the punishment in spite of the facts. He continued to love his God, in prison, in rejection, though ridiculed and later forgotten, by both his brothers and fellow prison-mates. He acted  with honor and integrity at all times, as a representative of God’s  household.  Revenge was not in his vocabulary. He could have imprisoned his brothers, withheld food, and had them beaten. Instead he choose to take a higher pathway.  He loved them   in spite of their previous bad behavior, throwing him down a well, selling him as a slave to a caravan,  and then lying to his father about his whereabouts.  Normally. Most red-blooded Americans would  have taken the occasion to rant and rave, then inflict punishment , imprisonment, torture or whatever seemed appropriate. But Joseph loved God above all else. Though he arose to great power in Egypt, he  remained humble before his God. It is a picture of Jesus, who came before His accusers, having done nothing wrong, nothing worthy of death or  even punishment—-and who took all the pain, all the punishment, all the inconvenience and  all the mocking rebukes of carnal men. Even to the high price of dying on a cross. Philippians 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Both Joseph and Jesus had an anointing of humility that caused them to rise above the situations they faced, never turning aside, never giving in to anger or vengeance. They were unusual in every aspect.
  Humility is often something we do not like to talk about, because mere mention of it seems to point to the fact that we think of ourselves as being humble people. Most of the time we are not. We are however, learning and growing daily to be more and more like Christ. 
  I have noticed in the scriptures that talk about humility, we have two basic choices. We can humble ourselves and reap a reward and favor of the Lord, or, we can let God humble us as He punishes or  takes us through hard times.  Moses was a very humble man, yet the people he led into the wilderness were not. God allowed them to experience hard times to bring out the humility as they slowly realized who was really in charge of their lives—God.  Numbers 12:3 (Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.) Deuteronomy 8:2 Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.
  All too often we have the arrogance of heart that produces such irreverent pride, it is revolting to God.  I believe one of the reasons that He gave us all the power of the Holy Spirit, was so that the Holy Spirit could convict us of our sin of pride. The more time we spend in the presence of a Holy God, the more we tend to realize that we are lacking in humility. Nothing we can do or say can cause us to be righteous in His eyes. We need hearts that recognize the greatness of our God, who  see God as the answer to every shortcoming we have.  We have all met some arrogant people in our lives. It tends to gag me when I meet them in  ministry leadership roles. I pray for them, praying that God will reveal Himself to them and that they may realize that their pride and arrogance is objectionable to both God and men. However, the spirit of humility, tends to attract us as we see them sharing the love of God with transparency and love.
  Having gone through major illness this last year, I have discovered many lessons in humility. I watched as the certified nursing assistants did their job with servant hearts, cleaning up their patients, not just because that’s what they got paid to do, but because it was ingrained deeply in their hearts to be a servant to those in need.  They took abuse, extreme discomfort, criticism and a severe lack of appreciation. Yet they were stronger for it.  I am grateful for their loving humble care.  All they wanted was some kind words and an occasional “Thank you!”
  When we humble our hearts before God, we become repentant, and repentance brings revival! We all want revival. We want the next generation to experience intimacy with God and we want them to be able to pass it on to their children. It can only happen when we allow the anointing of humility to flow through our lives.
  Lord,  anoint us for humility, and deliver us all from the need for approval, that we may only love you. Deliver us from the need for words of praise by men, and instead seek your words of encouragement as you did for your Son, Jesus. Matthew 3:17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”  Teach us to praise you and appreciate your loving heart.  Let our spiritual beings be anointed with the oil of humility that we may reflect Jesus to all we meet. Its not about’s about Him. It’s not about my desires,...but His. Lord, keep me from the fear of being forgotten, ridiculed or wronged. May you be glorified though my life and behavior!
  J. Johnson