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4 Ways to Draw Near to God - Part 4

4 Ways to Draw Near to God Part-4
Humble Ourselves

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. James 4:10 (NKJV)

We're looking at a four part devotional series titled, 4 Ways to Draw Near to God.  In the first three parts we looked at our first three ways which were:

1.    Submit To God (James 4:7a)
2.    Resist The devil (James 4:7b)
3.    Cleanse Yourselves (James 4:8)
Let's take a look at our fourth way to draw near to God.

4.    Humble Yourselves in The Sight of The Lord (James 4:10)

Humility is the very essence of God.  We can see this about Jesus within the Scriptures.

And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:8 (NKJV)

We are told in Ephesians 5:1 to, Be therefore imitators of God, so being "humble" is what it means to be Christ-like or Christian.  It is to esteem others better than oneself. We can actually see humility is the very first of the beatitudes (Latin for "Blessings") that Jesus gave on the Sermon on The Mount as recorded in Matthew.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3 (NKJV)

The "poor in spirit" are those who are "humble."  We see in the Book of Luke Jesus giving a great example of a professed believer who was prideful - and of a sinner who was truly sweetly broken, humble, and repentive.

Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, "God, I thank You that I am not like other men - extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess." And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, "God, be merciful to me a sinner!" I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. Luke 18:10-14 (NKJV)

So we can clearly see that God is not looking at our attendance in church, how much we can recite scripture, or how much we look and act like a Christian outwardly -  He is looking at the Humbleness of our Heart. It is the "humble" heart that receives God's free gift of grace in Salvation - realizing they are unworthy and lost in their unregenerate sinful state.  And it is the same now that we are saved - we can now, with humble hearts say, "Apart from God I can do nothing, and there but for the grace of God go I."

ANY other attitude originates from pride - and pride is of the enemy. When we come before God truly broken and with repentive hearts, only then will we be able to humble ourselves.  It is this genuine humbleness God desires from us - not an attitude of self-righteousness.  We can see this type of humility in Isaiah.

So I said:  Woe is me, for I am undone!  Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts. Isaiah 6:5 (NKJV)

The Apostle Paul was this type of man as well -  we can see this by what he did, and by what he said as recorded in Scripture.

I am the Least of the Apostles (1 Cor. 15:9)
I am the very least of all the Saints (Eph 3:8)
I am Chief of Sinners (1 Tim 1:15)

Andrew Murray said, "The humble man feels no jealousy or envy. He can praise God when others are preferred and blessed before him. He can bear to hear others praised while he is forgotten because ... he has received the spirit of Jesus, who pleased not Himself, and who sought not His own honor. Therefore, in putting on the Lord Jesus Christ he has put on the heart of compassion, kindness, meekness, longsuffering, and humility."

Hey Christian, as we willingly choose to draw near to God and become humble before Him, He will cover us with His amazing grace, and He will gently lift us up.  I want to encourage you today to seek to be humble in spirit, to be gentle, and willing to yield.  Allow God to direct your steps and bring great honor to His name through your actions.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn in Luke 18:10-14 about being humble versus being self-righteous?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Do you find yourself being humble in spirit, or rebellious and contentious?

APPLICATION: Seek to imitate our Lord and Savior Jesus in all your ways.  When you look upon others who are making mistakes, be willing to pray for them and admit that you could just as easily be in their shoes.

Father, thank You for allowing Jesus to be my example of true humility.  Help me to see every area in my life where I am being prideful, contentious, or self-righteous.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000