The Rarity of True Humility
The Lord’s Servant (True story)
A woman – who served the Lord faithfully in the church – died; and no one noticed or bothered to know because she was poor. Before her death, this poor woman would turn up secretly to clean the whole church. She would also intercede for the church, especially the pastoral leaders. She did this for a long time before the Lord called her home.
One day, a guest speaker was invited to minister in this church. While ministering, a word of knowledge came forth from the Lord to the guest speaker and he began to speak, “Thus saith the LORD, My servant is no longer in this place.”
The guest pastor looked at the church pastor and there he was still seated on his seat. So he began to wonder within himself and he thought, “Lord, your servant that invited me to preach - he is still here.”
Well, as he went on ministering, by the leading of the Holy Spirit, he got a clear revelation of this woman that the Lord was talking about and described her to the church. This poor woman - who did not even get a single visit after her death - the Lord referred to as His servant and it was NOT the church pastor. This woman - whom the guest speaker had never met before in his life – was described so well to the church through the revelation given by the Lord. The church pastor then got up and took the microphone from the guest speaker and declared to his congregation that this word of knowledge should not be taken so seriously and that the guest speaker wanted to scatter his church. As he was still addressing the people, suddenly, the exact word of knowledge came again, this time from amongst the congregation, and the Lord spoke through one of the members. The church pastor could not suppress the voice until the Lord spoke expressly about this poor woman who had died. Only then did the church pastor believe that it was the Lord speaking. He burst into tears while at the pulpit and the whole congregation was shaken.
In the entire church, not one person was worthy of the Lord's commendation except this poor old woman who used to clean the church secretly and interceded regularly, especially for the pastoral leaders before her death. This woman – who never got a single thank you or any acknowledgement from men – received the greatest honour of all from the Lord that day.
What a remarkable display of servant-hood and humility this woman portrayed; it was worthy of the Lord’s commendation! The Lord gave her the greatest honour! She did not seek to be noticed or to be esteemed by men by announcing loudly what she was doing. She did not even complain about the fact that nobody was helping her and she did not look to her own outward circumstance of being poor. But with great zeal and spiritual fervour, she served God wholeheartedly, knowing that her reward was with the Lord.
In a world that is very self-centered, self-sufficient, independent from God and rebellious towards the One who created the heavens and the earth, it is not surprising that true biblical humility is a rare jewel to be found. Humility is a precious treasure in the sight of the Lord. What does the Bible say about humility?
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
Jesus – though He was the King above every king – left His glorious throne in heaven and made Himself of no reputation amongst mere men by coming in the form of a baby and living a life of sacrifice in accordance to the Father’s will. He did not seek His own glory (John 8:50), nor did He accept glory from human beings (John 5:41) but sought only to give glory to the Father who had sent Him. Therefore, let us imitate Christ, who is our greatest example of what it means to be truly humble.
For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will but the will of Him who sent me.
Jesus taught that “whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave - just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many." Matthew 20:25-28
Jesus didn’t use His authority to abuse or to lord over people but instead, He came to serve and to lay down His life for you and for me. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth (Isaiah 53:7).
And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross!
How humble is our King! There is no other king (nor person for that matter) in history that has done what Jesus did. There is a huge difference in what the world thinks being humble is, and what the Word of God tells us it actually is. For example, the world thinks that humble people do good charitable works (giving money to the poor, lending a hand, etc) and then they announce it all on the news, facebook, etc. and let everybody know how good that person is by doing that deed. That is not humility. That is vain exaltation and seeking self-glory. The Bible tells us that God is a rewarder of those who do things in secret, and those who get praise from men will certainly not be getting praise from God.
“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
The Bible tells us that God opposes the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. He looks kindly on the lowly but He keeps His distance from the proud.
Godly humility is the opposite of pride.
A man's pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit.
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
“All these things My hand has made, and so all these things came to be,” declares the LORD. “But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at My word.”
Godly humility must be a distinct mark in the life of the believer because it is the very thing that God delights in. Humility does not mean that one has to constantly beat themselves down by getting trampled on by others and being a doormat, but rather, it is knowing who we are in Christ and recognising what He has done for us and realising that we in ourselves cannot do a single good thing if it were not for Him. It is recognising our position; that all of us are sinners and that He is GOD. God knows how to lift the humble sinner up and to clothe him with robes of righteousness! When we are humble before the Lord, His grace and favour is towards us and we know that we can ask Him for help in our situation. We can ask for His forgiveness. We have peace with God and confidence approaching Him when we have the right attitude of humility.
Godly humility and wisdom go hand in hand. It teaches us the fear of the Lord, to admit we are wrong and to repent of it when the Holy Spirit convicts us of something that is not in line with His Word, to live our lives in full surrender to God, to not be afraid to ask for prayer and help from others when we need it, to love our enemies, to forgive those who hurt us even when they are in the wrong, to be the first to say sorry, to answer a harsh word with gentleness, to turn the other cheek and be able to rejoice in persecution and when false accusations come against you, to not indulge in the flesh but to serve and to give the glory to God in everything, and to value our brothers and sisters above ourselves. There is much strength and courage in godly humility!
Brethren, let us do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above ourselves as Christ did for us, not looking to our own interests but to the interest of others.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
Beloved, let us remain humble before the Lord and cast down all arrogance and pride because pride has no place in the Kingdom of God. Just as the woman in the story, be encouraged to keep doing what God has called you to do according to His good purpose in Christ Jesus to the glory of the Father. The One who sees in the most secret of places will reward you in the open – even before the hosts of heaven at the appointed time.
Unto God our Father be glory forever and ever! Amen.
-- By Judah Ayling