What is HUMILITY? Philippians 2 paints a picture of what true humility is through the example of our Lord, Jesus Christ. He “made himself nothing,” and, when it came to his relationship with God, became “obedient to death, even death on a cross.” (Phil 2:7-8)
Therefore, to be humble before someone is to make ourselves nothing for the sake of the other! When it comes to our relationship with God, humility means emptying ourselves of self to become nothing in our own eyes, and willfully and faithfully surrendering to him. Our humility also will manifest itself as obedience.
Without humility before God, it is impossible to be right with God!
Read Isaiah 66:1-4. What are some things we can learn regarding humility before God from this passage?
FIRST, Humility Sees the Greatness of God! Read verse 1-2 again. Note the image of God painted in this passage. Heaven is God’s footstool! God, by his own hand, has made all things! God does not need our religion or our offerings. We do him no favors and earn nothing by even our most righteous efforts. For he is God, and needs nothing from us. We, on the other hand, need everything from him. He sustains us! God gladly accepts our “religious offerings” of time, effort, praise, money, etc. when we give them with a humble and faithful heart–like a parent who accepts a gift or a penny from a child sincerely giving it out of love! But he does not need it. We can take no pride in our religion. Read verses 3-4. God desires men and women who seek to please him!
Read Isaiah 6:1-7, Luke 5:1-11, Acts 9:1-9. What impact did “seeing God” have on Isaiah, Peter, Saul of Tarsus! Does your level of devotion to God’s purpose for your life indicate a level of humility that comes from properly seeing God?
SECOND, Humility Takes Action! What action? What does humility do? What does the second half of verse 2 say? Who does God look on with favor (grace)?
HUMILITY ACKNOWLEDGES SIN! Read Luke 18:9-14
What is the lesson of this parable? Would you classify yourself as the Pharisee or the tax collector? Why? Read 1 John 1:8-10.
HUMILITY REPENTS! God shows favor to the contrite. The contrite are those who see their sin, feel godly sorrow for their sin, and repent (change direction). Repentance is essential for entering into and maintaining a right relationship with God. Repentance requires humility, for only the humble will see their sin, their need for change, and their need for God to forgive and help them. Only a person who sees such need for God will truly appreciate the grace and mercy he offers. Only a person aware of his grace, mercy, and love will be powerfully and consistently motivated to love and follow Jesus!
HUMILITY TREMBLES (at God’s Word)! How do you respond to the Bible? Are you truly convicted to live by it? Is God’s word truly the final authority in every area or your life? Does the Bible and your understanding of it truly dictate how you conduct yourself in your marriage, parenting, family relationships, at work, in your neighborhood, as part of the Body of Christ, etc.? Do you make your life’s decisions regarding how you behave, think, what you desire, focus on, pursue, etc., based on what you see the scriptures revealing about what is most pleasing to God? Or do you find it too easy to hold onto certain sinful habits, attitudes, etc., all the while convincing yourself you are okay? Again, are you the Pharisee or the tax collector?
HOW DOES ONE HUMBLE HIM/HERSELF BEFORE GOD?
Read 2 Chronicles 7:13-16. What are some evidences of humility found here? What “land” do you have in your life that needs healing? God wants to heal, but you must open the door for him to move in your life. The knob can only be turned by true humility before God!