Why is it so important to be humble? If you read through Scripture, you’ll see it everywhere. Be humble. Be humble. Be humble. And whenever God says something once, it usually means it’s important. If he says it twice, it means we need to stop and read the words again because repetition is tantamount to screaming. But three times or more? If God thinks something is so important in our lives that He needs to tell us about it over and over again, that means it’s essential. It’s beyond essential. We can’t live without it.
So what’s so important about humility? Well, Pride was the very first sin, actually. It was the reason Lucifer was cast out of heaven. It was the reason Adam and Eve disobeyed God. It is the heart of every other sin we commit because we tell God that we know better than He does.
Today’s verse is Isaiah 57:15.
The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: “I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.
When I read this, I was a little surprised. Maybe I thought this was a different verse. I don’t know. But usually verses in Isaiah talk about God being in heaven and looking down on all of us like ants and grasshoppers, etc. But this verse is different.
It says that God is in heaven with those who are humble. And he follows up saying that he restores the humble and revives the penitent. And I got to thinking.
If you aren’t humble, you aren’t going to be sorry for the wrong things you’ve done. That’s just the way it is. You’re going to live your life the way you want to live it and it doesn’t matter whether God says you’re wrong or not.
But if you realize that God knows more than you do, that God is telling you to live a certain way to protect you, you’ll be sorry. But you will go beyond just being sorry, you’ll repent. To repent really means to change your mind. It means to be sorry and stop what you’re doing. But the first step in true repentance is humility because you’ll never truly repent until you realize you aren’t the end all of everything.
If you’re humble, you give God something to work with. Have you ever thought about that?
If you think you have it all together and you have all your plans made in spite of what God has told you, there’s not much God can do with you. But if you’re willing to step back and let God take hold of the puzzle pieces of your life and put them all together, He can make something of it that’s bigger and better than anything you could have created. But He won’t take the reins of your life until you give them over.
God is a gentleman. He never forces himself on anyone. We’re fortunate enough that He can use us even when we don’t want to be used, but that’s just because He knows everything and can do everything. But He won’t lead someone who isn’t looking for Him.
Being humble usually means that you’re going to get trampled on. It’s really just the way the world works, but those people who do the trampling don’t understand what really matters in life. And those who get trampled–the humble–usually do. If you’re humble, God can restore you. And if you’re truly repentant, God can give you courage to do things you never thought you’d be able to do.
But that kind of restoration and that kind of strength only come from God. You won’t get that on your own. You can’t achieve that by yourself. It’s part of the paradox of living a Christian life. You have to be weak before God will make you strong. You have to be broken before God can make you whole. You have to suffer before God can reveal what true joy is. Like Jesus said in Matthew, the humble people and the sorrowful people are happy because God can make a difference in their lives.
Want God to use you? Seeking God’s purpose in your life? Need courage to face the day?