Saturday, August 27, 2011

On the road to transformation: Spirit of Humility

Continuing on our journey of examining the character of Christ, and appropriating its beauty, we stop to gaze upon humility. This sweet spirit permeates the character of Christ and offers some remarkable points to consider. First, there is the seemingly bizarre contradiction of a fallen humanity, which puffs itself up, and the King of Kings, who lays His life down. Then, there is a rather incongruent truth in the fact that humility is both a foundational entry point and a pinnacle in the Kingdom of God. Humility is as simple as a child and as complex as our Lord.

The essence of humility emanates from a child-like faith. Unfortunately, instead of child-like trust, we tend to exhibit childish independence rejecting God’s help and substituting our own do-it-yourself plans. No amount of fruit gathered from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil diminishes the need for God. No amount of ‘pull yourself up by the bootstraps’ attitude shrinks our desperation for the power of God. Jesus demonstrated a completely different spirit. From childhood, He reminded even his own parents that His purpose was the Father’s business. Jesus clearly stated that His words and actions were those the Father gave to Him. Jesus came to do only the will of the Father; He never preferred his own plans or desires above the purposes of the Father. The spirit of humility acknowledges the right of God to one’s life with complete trust that whatever God deems will be best.

Growing in faith also necessitates continued awareness of our need for God’s perspective, plans and power. The pride of self-initiative hampers our Christian journey; only a humble spirit ascends the greatest heights in the Kingdom. The agony of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane passionately—gloriously--displays humility. Jesus poured out His anguish in tears, blood and words as He sought, verified and accepted the will of His Father. Jesus’ words to Peter during the arrest are the pinnacle of humility: “Shall I not drink the cup which my Father has given me?” The will of the Father was for Jesus to drink the cup of poison--the cup of our sins. Jesus drank so that we, His enemies, might live eternally as a co-heir with Him! His Spirit of Humility in us will show a willingness to drink the cup presented in our lives that we, too, might share in bringing life to undeserving sinners like ourselves. It is a glorious responsibility that demands exchanging our personal plans and purposes for the eternal, glorious plans of the Father! Let us beg Him to show us how to empty ourselves and let His fullness overflow!

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