Continuing this important subject, Gire points out that in the same verse (James 4:6) that God is opposed to the proud. Not just less favored or who received less grace from God but opposed. And it is an opposition from none other than God Himself. Would we want to be such a person, to have the Almighty going against us?
It is also in the epistle of James that records for us the verse, “In humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.” (James 1:21) Again, we are reminded that humility is that which prepares the soil to be receptive so that God’s Word will stick and stay in our hearts. When that happens, the seed of God’s Word can germinate and take root in us, transforming us to His likeness.
Consider this then that the Word of God have been placed at the mercy of human hearts. That the harvest of heaven depends on such earthly receptions is itself a picture of humility. Isn’t God’s Word powerful and can do wonders in our hearts? Yes – but if our hearts are proud and remain stubbornly proud, the “ground” of our hearts will reject it, choke it and the Word will fail to take root in us. Let us humble ourselves so that God’s Word may take root in us and transform us to His likeness day by day.
Jesus’ conversation with Simon the Pharisee in Luke 7:36-50 is instructive. The woman who anointed Jesus’ feet with her perfume and tears and who wiped His feet with her hair received commendation. It was not her sin that humbled her the most but the grace of our Lord Jesus. Truly, as Andrew Murray remarked, “It is the soul, led through its sinfulness to be occupied with God in His wonderful glory as God, as Creator and Redeemer that will truly take the lowest place before Him.”
Gire believes all of us desire humility as a virtue. But who is willing to be humiliated in order to be humble? The woman in Luke’s story was one such example of one whose humiliation of moral failures put her in the position to receive God’s grace for Jesus affirmed her and said, “Your sins have been forgiven, your faith has saved you; go in peace.” She heard these beautiful words at the feet of Jesus. It was humility which brought her there. Are we willing to be humiliated for the sake of letting God’s Word take root in us?
Similarly, Gire believes that it is humility which enables us to receive these words, giving the Word of God a fertile place to germinate and take root and to grow, and not just only to grow but to produce a bountiful harvest that only heaven knows, harvests that over time would result in the seeding of God’s Word in the lives of others.
I also agree with what Murray further said, that, “…humility is something infintely deeper than contrition,” and as we “accept it as our participation in the life of Jesus, we will begin to learn that it is our true nobility.”
I believe that it is a vital and essential ingredient in our growth and maturity to Christ-likeness for the epistle of James in 1:21 says, “In humility receive the word implanted which is able to save your souls.”
Will I embrace humility, brokenness and contrition in our walk with God? Will we all do that?
Wasn’t it the apostle Paul who said, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities (weakness / humbleness), that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Cor. 12:9)
James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He shall lift you up.” Peter too echoed that in 1 Peter 5:6, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” Most of all, consider the example of Christ who humbled Himself as He lived and walked amongst us some 2,000 years earlier.
May God teach us to be humble, to be nothing in His presence and to know that this is the “highest attainment” and the fullest blessing of the Christian life. It is only in the possession of God that we begin to lose ourselves and know that God is truly awesome and be swallowed up in Love’s immensity! It has been said that the highest glory of man is in being only a vessel, to receive, enjoy and show forth the glory of God.
We can only do this when we are willing to be nothing, absolutely nothing, so that God may be all! That, is a critical mark of true discipleship.