Chapter 4: Greatness Demonstrated
I can’t do it…
Do I have to go there again?
You have got to be kidding me…
I don’t want to deal with her.
These are just some of the thoughts that enter my mind when God is calling me to humbly respond to a difficult situation or when dealing with difficult people. When we wrestle internally with what we want and what God expects of us, it is evident that humility only comes as we learn to die to ourselves—our wants, desires, rights, expectations, etc. We may think that we can’t but in Christ, we can actually learn to live in humility.
“He [God] has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8 [NIV]).”
Our greatest example of humility is Christ.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name (Phil 2:5-10).
Going “down”—dying to ourselves—is actually the way “up” in the Lord. Christ humbled himself and the Father exalted him. Jesus, himself, offers the same teaching and promises to us: “The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will b exalted (Matt. 23:11-12, Luke 14:11).”
In the case of humility, there is no shame in taking the low road. The low road of humility leads to true greatness, and we need Jesus to help us in this pursuit. C. J. Manahey reminds us that, “We cannot free ourselves from pride and selfish ambition; a divine rescue is absolutely necessary. Jesus is seeking to impress this message on each one of us: ‘You’re lost. Your situation couldn’t be more hopeless. And on your own, you’re incapable of altering or escaping it’ (pg 52).”
As I reflected on this chapter this morning, I was reminded again that our humble service should point others to the sacrifice and death of Christ, and that Jesus’ life and death has freed us from the bondage of this world. “What a powerful death! The cross ransoms, the cross liberates, the cross transforms (58)!” And we must be willing to die.
Scripture Reading: Mark 10 (to remind you of our need for God’s help and what Christ has done on our behalf)
Personal Reflection: In what areas is Christ calling you to die today? Will you?
© Natasha Sistrunk Robinson 2013