By Ryan Samaniego
“God sends no one away empty except those who are full of themselves.” – D.L. Moody
If we want to be filled with the love of God, there must be a removal of self. This leaves the room we need for God to pour his love into us. This is a message that all of us need to hear and remember often. Philippians 2:3 tells us “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vein conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourself.”
Humility begins with how we think. What are we doing in our lives for our own selfish ambition? I don’t know about you, but I struggle from the moment I wake up in the morning with chasing my own wants, ambitions, and plans first and foremost.
Let’s pause and talk just a moment about what humility is. Humility is not a self-deprecating thing. God doesn’t want us to think badly about ourselves! The Greek word for humility here is tapeinophrosýnē which means living in complete dependence on the Lord, i.e. with no reliance on self (the flesh).
Humility is a virtue that comes from comparing ourselves to Jesus, not others.
Think for a moment about how much time we spend each day thinking about what we want to do next. There was no “me” time when it came to what Jesus did on the cross. “So, who is going to take care me?” God will. We must be conscious of our “me” thoughts.
Humility is proven by how we live. This means that being humble isn’t passive. It doesn’t happen by chance. It takes intentional action. In our marriages, at work, in our relationships, among strangers, its not about what we can get out of it, its about what we can put into it!
Philippians 2:4 goes on to tell us “not looking to your own interests, but each of you to the interests of others.” What if we all showed up to church on Sunday not seeking to be greeted, encouraged, refreshed, inspired, or cared for ourselves. What if, we all came to church only to greet others and to encourage everyone we saw that morning the best we could. What if from the first handshake we were seeking to inspire and refresh our church family. How amazing would that be? How would it change our family?
Yes, if we all tried it Jesus’ way our needs would be met ten-fold because the rest of our friends would be caring for us in the same way. When we are tired, hungry, stressed out, or distracted we need to pause and pray for God’s help with our humility. Even when we think we already have it, go to the Lord. The moment we think we have it figured out, we are back at square one.
Verses 5-8 go on to tell us that “In your relationships have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who being in the very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death- even death on a cross!”
The kind of humility we are talking about is impossible without the help of Jesus. We can do nothing about it without the life-rocking power of Jesus Christ.
Apart from Him, we deserve hell, not praise.
This only happens when we get to the foot of the cross and take our eyes off the mirror and on Jesus.
Be encouraged. God can change the way we think! Then he will change the way we act. Let us confess specifically the instances of pride in our life and turn from our sin to give Him the glory.
Help me Lord to see your greatness. Increase in me humility, so that I may not be found in pride but blessed in humility. In Jesus name. Amen!