Overwhelming Evidence

Have you ever tried to wrestle with why the Bible is so emphatic about humility, submission, repentance and brokenness?  One need not read much of Scripture without being confronted with the reality that God calls His people to humble themselves before Him continually.

Here are just a few noteworthy examples of an otherwise massive subject:

…if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14

23 Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”

Jeremiah 9:23-24

25 With the merciful you show yourself merciful;
with the blameless man you show yourself blameless;
26 with the purified you show yourself pure;
and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.
27 For you save a humble people,
but the haughty eyes you bring down.

Psalm 18:25-27

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Psalm 51:17

12 “Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
13 and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the Lord, your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
and he relents over disaster.
14  Who knows whether he will not turn and relent,
and leave a blessing behind him,
a grain offering and a drink offering
for the Lord your God?

Joel 2:12-14

He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?

Micah 6:8

He must increase, but I must decrease.”

John 3:30

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Matthew 10:39

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Luke 14:11

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

James 4:6-10

6  Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7  casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:6-8

You will admit the evidence is overpowering.  There are many more passages that could be referenced.

Why is it that the Bible so clearly and succinctly calls God’s people to brokenness, repentance and contrition?  So, WHAT is it?  Better yet, WHY is it?  Why is God so overwhelmingly calling us to a life of humility?

If the Lord is willing, I will attempt to wrestle with that question next week.  Until then, why don’t you do what I plan to do this weekend, and meditate on the aforementioned passages?  I think in doing so we will all have keener grasp of the reality to submit.

Until then, grace always.


7 Responses to “Overwhelming Evidence”

  1. 1 pastorron7
    November 7, 2008 at 8:36 am

    I read somewhere that humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less. I like that. Thank you for reminding us that humility is indeed one of the defining characteristics of a redeemed life.


  2. 2 Lee
    November 7, 2008 at 10:14 am

    Humility is indeed paramount to walking by faith and not by sight. I pray we all remember also it is the virtue by which we define our fellowship with the slogan, “It’s not about me.” Given pride is the greatest sin and the one believers are the least aware of in themselves, the remeberance “it’s not about me” should be our beginning thought before we begin to ponder any other thought in our meditations. To God alone be the glory, and on him alone may we focus our attention and efforts.

    Ryan, thank you for your attention to the need for rememberance. I love you and thank you for your submission to our leader.

  3. 3 Lee
    November 7, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    I’ve been wrestling with a truism in another context but it fits beautifully in this one too: “Attitude reflects leadership.” Humility is the reflection of surrendering “self”-control to the leadership of God.

  4. 4 Roxie
    November 7, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    Ryan, what a reminder of years past. I don’t want to display pride but maybe someone can relate to this also. God broke my heart into little pieces when I finally came to the realization that I had hurt my Lord with my pride, boastful, and better-than-others attitude. Our sin is against Him and Him only when we display pride in who we are, where we are, and what we have become, because we have left Him out. Been there, done that. And I still see that pride creep back into my life all the time. But I have come to hate it and God has helped me to hate it.
    Repentence has given me the hope in Jesus that I need. His cleansing blood overwhelms me when I see my sin and ask for His help to turn from it because I don’t have the strength to overcome my own sin.
    The result is humility and submission to His will. I have a long way to go to see this in my life but God is working on me everyday. Praise His Holy Name!
    Peace be with you!

  5. 5 Mr. BBQ
    November 8, 2008 at 8:53 am

    This came to me during my quiet time this morning. It is from page 6 in The Valley of Vision.
    God the Source of All Good

    I thank thee for they riches to me in Jesus, for the unclouded revelation of him in thy Word, where I behold his Person, character, grace, glory, humilation, sufferings, death, and resurrection; Give me to feel a need of his continual saviorhood.

    Continual Saviorhood

    In recoginizing God’s ultimate Soverignity I must realize who and where I am.

    I cry with Job, ‘I am vile’
    with Perter, ‘I perish’
    with the publican, ‘Be merciful to me a sinner’.

  6. November 9, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    Thank you, Roxie. I’ve been waiting for a sister to chime in:) Timely today. It’s our ‘Who’ not our ‘Do’. Thankfully my do could never outdo His Who which is in me:)”Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world”.

    Wrestle…yes. All the time. It’s the toughest position to choose as a child of the King, under elders, as a parent to His children, and especially as a wife. With each generation respect for authority seems more rare. Light cannot shine through unbroken vessels. What God breaks, He mends. What He empties, He fills. What He redeems, He revives! (not original with me…mixture of sources)If we let Him. Isn’t it still so hard to let Him at times? It takes courage and gut-level, no nonsense honesty. Great lessons which coordinate with sermons at CrossPoint. God bless you all.

  7. November 10, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    Mr. BBQ (I wonder who this is???????)

    Here is my response, it’s short, here it is, very short, here it is………………………………………………………………………………………….BUT GOD! AMEN

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