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Drawing Near to God – Part 4

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

We’re looking at a 4-part devotional series titled, “Drawing Near to God.” In Part 4 we will look at one last requirement for drawing near to God, and this is being humble.  James rightly stated, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:10).  And this is because 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) 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, 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 takes a humble heart to receive God’s free gift of grace in Salvation—It is the realization one is unworthy and lost in their unregenerate sinful state.  And it is the same once we have been saved—it’s our acknowledging humbly, “Apart from God I can do nothing,” and “there but for the grace of God go I.”

ANY other attitude originates from pride, which is from 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."

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?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Let’s choose to seek to imitate our Lord and Savior Jesus in all our ways.  When we look upon others who are making mistakes, let’s be willing to pray for them and admit it could just as easily be us in their shoes.

LET’S PRAY: Father, thank You for allowing Jesus to be our example of true humility.  Help us to see every area in our lives where we are 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