Pride vs. Humility - The Door to The Kingdom

Pride vs. Humility

The Door to The Kingdom

          The U.S. Marines use a twelve-week training program to turn a raw recruit into a well-trained soldier. These twelve weeks are an intense mixture of, rugged hiking, body building exercise, torturous endurance training, swimming, firing practice, lectures, uniform dress codes, regular inspections, group training, group thinking, and weekly haircuts. At the end of the program these young men have learned more than just the technicalities of warfare. They have learned to lose their own identity into something much bigger than themselves. They have learned to think as a group. They have given themselves to a cause; the cause of the U.S. military. These young men could very well be placed on a battlefield where they could be blown to pieces and although their physical lives would be ended, the cause for which they gave themselves would continue. True significance is found in being a part of something bigger than ourselves.

        Although it is sad that so many people will give themselves to an organization whose sole purpose is to kill other human beings in warfare, the way a young marine learns, in the above illustration, to think as a group is a good example of humility for us to examine.

                Sometimes we may think of humility as weak tempered, inactive, complacency, but true humility is actually very powerful. It is the only way that we can enter God’s Kingdom and experience strength beyond ourselves.  Through humbling ourselves to God’s program we experience the synergistic power of group strength. Not until we lose the idol of our individuality to the cause of the Kingdom can we experience true honor and significance. In the same way that a dying seed is the source of new fruit, a life lost in humility is the fuel that makes Christs Kingdom shine as a light to a dark world.

                John the Baptist came as a humble profit with a clear message. “Repent, for the kingdom is coming; if you want to be a part you need to humble yourselves.” When Jesus began the constitution of His kingdom with the words, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” in Matthew 5, it was John the Baptist’s call to humility that had prepared many people’s hearts to hear. Most of the ones who rejected John’s call to repentance, humility, and righteousness, also did not accept the message of Jesus. The same is true today; we will not enter the kingdom without humbling ourselves.

                In James 4:6 we are given the sobering warning that God resists the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.  These are serious words! We would not want to find ourselves in a position where God has become our enemy, nor would we want to find ourselves cut off from God’s grace. On the flip side, Humility is the only way to experience God’s grace. “Grace” is a word that we have thrown around quite a bit over the years and it has come to almost mean the same thing in many people’s minds as the word mercy. However, grace is a bit different than mercy. A better synonym would be God’s power or divine influence. It is that stream of power from God into a soul that will transform a worthless life into one of beauty and value.

                Jesus gave us the story of the Pharisee and the publican. The Pharisee prayed a proud, long, wordy prayer intended to impress God, but all it did was made God resist him. The publican, came before the Lord with a humble prayer of repentance and went home with the grace of God pouring into his life. The door to the kingdom is a low one, and can only be entered on humble knees.

                So, what does humility look like in our lives? It is basically giving up that individualistic image which seeks to make a name for itself in exchange for an identity which we find in Jesus Christ. Think of who you want to be, the image you want to convey, how you want people to think of you, or the name you want to make for yourself. Humility, is setting all these dreams aside, by faith, and trusting God to give us whatever name He desires us to have.

                In the same way that a raw recruit will never make it through boot camp without setting aside all his earthly agendas, a true follower of Jesus will not complete his journey without giving all his identity to the kingdom. Will we be one of Jesus disciples who has left all and followed him, or will we be like the rich young ruler who went away sorrowful, because he had so many things that he could not give up. The choice is ours today.

 

                Many of these thoughts have been taken from the message I shared on 8-20-17

https://www.stcfresource.org/index.php/messages/message/8-20-17-jonathan-brechbill-pride-vrs-humility-3-attitudes-of-christs-church-mr-8-31-38-james4-6-17

Jonathan