26 JUNE 2017

Getting a little Lower

Most people know I live in a desert – a dry, dry desert. When we say, “It’s a dry heat,” we mean that when you step outside, you can literally feel the moisture being sucked out of your body.

I took a brief trip once with one of my daughters to the beautiful state of Tennessee. Foreign country. I’m not just referring to the accent, the speed of life or the plethora of Christian radio stations. It’s green – without irrigation! Apparently, while you sleep at night, water comes out of the Tennessee air and condenses on the grass and flowers and then it actually stays there all day, even in the sunshine!

There’s another weird phenomenon: wherever the ground is depressed, water gathers! I’m not even kidding – the whole area is dotted and crisscrossed by bodies of water. Where I live, the low places are just extra dusty and give birth to dust devils. What an interesting concept to think of low places filling with water.

It made me think of my life and how I want to be filled with Jesus. However, He cannot fill something that is already full. I need to get lower – be less filled with concern for myself. More of Him requires less of me. It is a natural cause and effect. The more humble I become, the more of Him I will be filled with just as water flows to the deepest areas. This is how the humble are exalted, this is the honor of humility (Matthew 23:12). The humble are exalted because they are full of God.

Our task in life is all about coming to this place of humility and rejoicing in it. We come there by means of our realization of the magnitude and majesty of God and our realization of our place as created beings. We are His creations and are meant to spend our lives honoring, serving and communing with Him.

We cannot come to humility by self-deprecation, though that is our first instinctual attempt at humility. But the use of self-deprecation is merely an attempt to use a demonic devise to conquer a demonic condition. The devil is the author of pride and the accuser of the brethren. We must reject his condition (pride) and his methods (accusation).

Instead we must learn humility from the Author and best example of humility: the Lamb of God. We must attach ourselves to Him and match Him step for step (this is the essence of taking His yoke upon ourselves). We must learn from Him Who is “gentle and humble of heart” (Matthew 11:29). It is in this endeavor that we will become more and more emptied of ourselves and thus more and more filled with God. Martin Luther observed, “God created the world out of nothing, and as long as we are nothing, He can make something out of us.”

It is this reduction of self from the equation that ushers in every other glory. The glory of communion with God is birthed in the humble heart. Great service done in the Father’s name is only effective with a humble spirit. It is a heart of humility that keeps itself in proper relationship to the Lord that can also keep itself in proper relationship with those around and be an accurate representative of the Lord.

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” James 4:10