Cultivating Humility

By:Ryan Shaw

As I have studied God’s Word over the last several years and sought to grasp His great heart more and more through prayer and waiting upon Him, I have confidently come to believe that the deliberate cultivation of a spirit of humility is one of the most critical of attributes a follower of Jesus can pursue.

  • In this hour, God is calling forth believers who shine brightly with humility and meekness. He is seeking those willing to be emptied of themselves in order to have the full life of God possess them.

He is after Message Bearers who give up their rights in order to be a humble witness among a people group bound in lies and deceptions for hundreds of years.

  • Why does God put so much emphasis on humility? Because it is the bedrock of all spiritual influence! Jesus’ ways are never like ours.

In His kingdom the way up is down. Humility is thoroughly counter-cultural – both for the one to whom the call to cultivate is committed as well as to the unbeliever who observes and watches such a person.

There is nothing that stands more against the sinful human nature then humility and meekness. There is nothing as unnatural as living this way. As a result there is nothing as powerful as a life marked by this grace. The only way to faithfully grow in it consistently is to throw ourselves entirely upon Jesus and to receive the lavish humility and meekness that He possesses for us. Pride, the antithesis of humility, is the original sin. No wonder humility and meekness is so difficult to lay hold of. It cannot be attained through self-effort. It is only through the overcoming life of Jesus Himself that we can ever put down our filthy pride and hope to walk as we ought in this arena. In this article we will look in detail at a powerful few verses unveiling some ideas to help us in pursuit of greater humility and meekness. 1 Peter 5:5-7 states:
Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

Mutually Submit
First, we are called to mutually submit ourselves to one another. This characterizes all followers of Jesus. No one is exempt. Every believer is to first seek to become a great follower. Even leaders are called to live in mutual submission with other leaders and to the great leader, Christ Himself. Doing so postures our hearts in a spirit of interdependence that can guard us from succumbing to the temptation of pride. No believer is an island and mutually submitting requires us to cultivate a spirit of humility. For humility is God’s way of unveiling grace upon the human heart. It can come no other way.

Be Clothed

Secondly, we are called to be clothed with humility. Humility is to be all-encompassing. It is not to be seen as just another one of many characteristics but is to actually be the anchor of all of them. To be clothed is to be completely covered by something. Humility is to consume us through and through. Our aim is to be fully clothed with the same mind and attitude of humility that marked Christ (Philippians 2:5-8). This humility is never a weakness. Some have falsely equated humility with weakness. Instead it is an attitude of dependence and complete reliance upon God alone in life and ministry. It is the very humility of Jesus being given the freedom to shine itself through our little lives. True humility is actually the greatest strength a believer can possess as it is a life lived through increasingly becoming less and less and allowing Jesus to truly rule and reign over every area. The greatest pride is to think that we can attain anything in the Christian life apart from Jesus Himself accomplishing it in and through us. As we deliberately surrender (and continue to do so) each area of our lives to His glorious leadership, we are cultivating humility.

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