“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.” James 4:10 (ESV)
Recently I had a dream where I was on a battle field and the fighting was intense. The enemy was firing automatic weapons as we were pressing in against them. Many of our soldiers were being taken out. I had to lay on the ground, face down, hugging the earth, getting as low as I could, to avoid the bullets that whizzed past, just missing me. I could feel and hear these projectiles flying over my body. I looked to my side and to my horror saw others who were not face down being mowed down, especially the officers by the shower of bullets. Shellie had to wake me up as I was crunching and pressing myself into our bed.
The Lord quickly spoke to me about the vital need for humility in this hour and that the enemy is especially going after the “officers,” that is, pastors and leaders who are carrying pride and unwilling to get on their faces. Later that day, after the dream, I was praying with some friends at Wesley and I felt I needed to get on my face and press myself into the ground. With every breath I pressed a little harder. The rough carpet actually hurt against my face. I realized that the kind of humility the Lord is requiring will hurt!
Adrian Rogers, a Baptist legend, now with the Lord, defined it this way… “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less!” That is a great description! God is not wanting us to deny who we are and what He has given us, but He does want us to think less of ourselves. Jesus Himself is our example. We are told that He emptied Himself, putting others ahead of His own rights, desires and comfort (Philippians 2:1-11). Jesus modeled humility, but He never became less than who He was, the Son of God. Humility is not losing who we are in God, but who we are in ourselves. Humility is embracing who we are meant to be, thanks be to God! But going lower will hurt
Hell’s anthem is, “I did it my way!” Heaven’s song is, “I did it Jesus’ way!” Humility attracts God, pride, even a little bit, repulses Him (James 4:6). Humility says “I can do nothing without You!” Pride says, “I can do it myself!”
Pride comes in many forms. When we are offended by someone, this is pride! We should be unoffendable! When we depend on ourselves instead of God, that is pride! When we carry secrets and are afraid to confess them, yep, pride is operating! Fear is a form of pride because we’re saying we can’t trust God in this area. Pride is a mockery to God and repels Him from us.
And let me just finish by saying the enemy is looking for officers, that is pastors and leaders, who have pride, in any form, to take them out!
In Jesus’ final hours with His disciples He said that the prince of the world, the devil, is coming, but he has no hold on Me (John 14:30). The devil had no claim or nothing in common with Jesus, because Jesus walked in sinless humility. And remember, Lucifer fell because of his pride!
Ask the Lord for mercy, and grace to see every trace of pride in your life. Confess it, turn from it, and ask Him to grant you the grace to look at others as more important than yourself. Ask Him to make you more like Jesus who emptied Himself, but was never less that Himself! Ask God to expose pride in your pastor and set him free to go as low as he can. Remember God exalts those who humble themselves. And He is looking for people in this hour to lift up, to exalt and to lead in this great awakening! God is looking for humble people whom He can turn the world upside down with! As it requires humility for unity, please pray for an outpouring of grace for humility across our city!