Bible Lesson 58

Humility Before Revival
Isaiah 57:14-15

In our past lessons, we have made the point that there is a serious problem within the visible churches of our day; and the problem is that we have not kept the church pure. We have been willfully ignorant, to increase our numbers, and consequently our successful appearance as a group, denomination, and overall the church. We have failed to apply the Word of God to those who have come seeking membership with our groups. As a result of that negligence, we now have more people as a rule in our congregations who are church members but not Christians than we do true Christians. It is no secret to those who are aware of what is going on in the churches that a great percentage of all church members are lost, people. The greatest mission field today is in the congregations of the visible church.

That means that there is a great need in the church. That need can only be satisfied by the church?s confession of the problem, and then working to either convert or evict those who will not come to the knowledge of the Truth. That is done many times by revival, or refreshing by the Holy Spirit’s work. The church is in this awful condition because it has not obeyed God in its supposed service to God.

We do things for everyone in the community except God! Our service, first and foremost, is to be our obedience to God according to His Word, the Bible. We have stood that on its head and now we serve the church or each other or the community without any real thought of what God would have us to do. We have become babysitting, athletic centers; and when anyone enters they are more likely to smell sweat than they are the Holy Spirit of God.

We do a lot of good things but we do them to look good or to attract new members. We have forgotten what Jesus had to say to the Church in John 12:32 when He said: “And I if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me”. What we have begun to do is to lift up programs, people, talent, athletics, politics, and conveniences?.every thing except for a crucified Savior, and what He did to redeem a people “but those people were people who would obey Him”. (See Hebrews 5:8-9).

One of the great needs in our visible churches is that of genuine humility, and I like to define humility as our seeing ourselves as only God can see us. When we have done that we will be humble enough to seek God as the only solution to our problem. As a general rule, every one of us has lost the ability to properly relate to others but especially to relate to God. I know that is the truth because I see absolutely no humility in most people that I meet in this age. There would be some who would say that they are humble, but if you watch their lives you would have to agree with me that there is not much humility in this society. We have been taught, and we have taught our children, not to be humble because that is seen as a weakness in our time. If that is true, perhaps it’s because we have lost the real truth of what humility is about. What does the Bible teach about humility?

That means that there is a great need in the church. That need can only be satisfied by the church”s confession of the problem, and then working to either convert or evict those who will not come to the knowledge of the Truth. That is done many times by revival, or refreshing by the Holy Spirit’s work. The church is in this awful condition because it has not obeyed God in its supposed service to God.

We do things for everyone in the community except God! Our service, first and foremost, is to be our obedience to God according to His Word, the Bible. We have stood that on its head and now we serve the church or each other or the community without any real thought of what God would have us to do. We have become babysitting, athletic centers; and when anyone enters they are more likely to smell sweat than they are the Holy Spirit of God.

We do a lot of good things but we do them to look good or to attract new members. We have forgotten first let me say that the Bible teaches nothing to the unsaved person, except that they are lost and undone and need the Savior. With that said whatever I say about humility is something that can apply only to the person who has been born again, and is obedient to the Lord. The person who has been truly saved is ready with Isaiah to say “Here am I” (Isaiah 6:8); but only because He has said “Woe is me!” when he had seen Himself in the light of the holiness of God. (Isaiah 6:5).

None of us who has not received that revelation of our desperate condition, as we live in the flesh, without hope, and without God, could ever be humble. I ask you again, what does it mean to be humble, what does a humble person look like” The Bible teaches that a humble man looks like Christ (See Philippians 2:5-11; John 13:12-17; Matthew 11:28-30).

Should we as humans try to look like Jesus Christ” We don’t have a choice in the matter because we are saved to be conformed to His image! (See Romans 8:29). We have not been taught the manhood of Christ. Jesus Christ, as He walked here on the earth, was one hundred percent man, and one hundred percent God. Supernaturally He kept those two personalities separate, and as He walked with us, He was very much a man”s man!

Yes, he did, in the end, submit to the Father”s command to go to the cross and die; because that was planned before the foundation of the world; but in all other situations He was a man who was humble but who manifested great strength. Who, as we read this lesson, can we say that there is anyone of such strength, so strong that they would take on the sins of all who would believe; and then go to be nailed upon a cross to hang as God the Father extracted a just penalty for every one of those sins” None of us would, and that points to the great inner-strength and humility of the one who loved us enough to die for us.

Would you like to have some instances of humility or the lack of it” There are many instances of men and women who have gone to the mission fields of the world? William Carey comes to mind and he said and lived by this principle, “Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God”. We have many men today in uniform who have answered their nation”s call for military service and they face hardships and death at every turn, yet they are unflinching, that is humility. I am dealing with a Pakistani preacher, who puts his life on the line as he preaches Christ crucified in a nation that is predominately Muslim. That’s humility! Some men and women remain nameless and faceless who daily enter a world of darkness and shine the light of the Savior Jesus Christ to those who love darkness. That’s humility.
You may say, that is bravery and I say amen, that is bravery, one of the characteristics of humility.

Unfortunately, there are many more instances of a lack of humility and many of us daily manifest our lack of this virtue. We profess to know God but we never discuss religion or lift up Jesus Christ to the lost of the world. So many of us do not know the Christ of Calvary but opt rather for the Christ of the comfortable in our midst. We talk a good game when we are at church, but we like to keep our religion to ourselves when we are among the worldly and in the world. Be warned! Jesus Christ said that there is no neutral ground with Him. In Matthew chapter 12 and verse 30, Jesus says, “He who is not with me, is against Me and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad”.

I like to define humility with words like meekness, modesty, mildness, and none of these words even has a shadow of weakness in them. Jesus Christ promised in His Sermon on the Mount, that the meek would inherit the earth. I believe that if we study the Sermon on the Mount that we will find that Jesus was describing the humble man; because He said blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are those who mourn, blessed are the meek, blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, blessed are the merciful, blessed are the peacemakers, blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness” sake and blessed are those who are persecuted falsely for Christ’s sake.

All of those items point to the righteousness of Christ, and 2nd Timothy 3:12, assures us that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution”. We have the idea that a person who is meek is a person who is weak and kind of milk toast; but that is not the idea that is put forth by Jesus. Jesus was not weak, He said of Himself that all authority (power) in heaven and on earth had been given to him (See Matthew 28:18).So let’s agree that meekness speaks of power, under control. Those who work with horses know that horses are powerful animals and until they have been “meeked” or brought under control they are of no use to mankind.

Humility is a virtue, especially to the true Christian; because it is invaluable to us in reaching out to the lost. Someone has said of humility, “If you are right, take the humble side. If you are wrong to take the humble side” and you help yourself.” Another has said, “when we become aware of our humility, we have lost it”.

Humility is the opposite of Pride; and if you think about it, that is what must have happened to Adam before He disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden. Remember what God said to Adam after Adam”s disobedience, God said to Adam “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, you shall not eat of it”.cursed is the ground for your sake”.” Somehow, apparently Adam, this perfect man up until this time had begun to think more highly of himself than he should.

He may have already aimed at becoming his own god, because He knew better but sinned anyway. Adam committed the first presumptuous sin! Adam was not humble enough to remember what God had said. That is what pride becomes to those who allow themselves to be pumped up with pride. They become their own little gods!

We, in the society that we live in need to understand that we are not weaklings, we have the power of the Holy Spirit in us to enable us to do all that God has commanded us to do. That is a lot of power and we must be careful to listen to the Holy Spirit so that we do not ever abuse it as we live day by day. The Bible speaks to us about power and it tells us to “Do all things for the glory of God, (1st Cor. 10:31); and Do all things by the power of God (Philippians 4:13).

True humility comes only with true salvation, when the creature bends the knee and confesses Christ as his only hope in salvation. The humility that will bring revival is a supernatural humility, wrought by God in His creature. A.W. Tozer has said.
“For the Christian, humility is absolutely indispensable. Without it there can be no self-knowledge, no repentance, no faith and no salvation”.

Remember now, humility is strength and power, under control, and that control is provided by the Holy Spirit, so it will always be evident. Does that mean that a Christian must never be angry” Absolutely not! Wasn”t Jesus angry when He cleansed the temple, and more than once” We are commanded to be angry, only to be angry at the right thing and that is sin. (See Ephesians 4:26-27).

Sin should make us angry because it makes our God angry, in fact, Psalms 7:11 tells us that “God is angry with the wicked every day”! We are to be angry enough with sin that we won”t cuddle up to it and practice it in our daily lives. We can look at Moses and we see a man who was described as very humble, in fact, the most humble man on the earth (Numbers 12:3), yet he had the God given strength to face down the powerful Pharaoh of Egypt. The Patriarch Abraham demonstrated his humble spirit when He said to God in Genesis 18:27, “Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, who am but dust and ashes”. Is that the way that you feel about your own worth when you approach the Throne of Grace” Do you really see yourself as worth nothing in relation to God” How about words like worm, dust and ashes” If you have never found words like those to describe your position before God, then you are not humble, and you are not saved! Incidentally, you came from dust and you will return to dust when you die.

Now, self -delusion is no virtue and should be avoided just as all other delusions in our search for truth, so we should not imagine ourselves more worthy than we really are. We must always understand that any virtue that we possess is because of our relationship with Christ.

Revival must start with those who are truly saved because revival is for those who are humble. Psalms 34:1-7, seems to point out to us the way revival will begin; and 2nd Chronicles 7:14 requires that those who would desire revival should first humble themselves. So am I saying that only those who walk slowly, with their shoulders bowed over, wringing their hands and mumbling to themselves are humble” No! Humility is not a bar to greatness, as we have already seen in Moses and Abraham and many more of the great leaders of Israel.

Someone has said, “Honestly assessing ourselves in light of God”s holiness and our sinfulness is the best measure of humility”. Our society has defied that kind of seeking for humility by its pursuit of human pride. We have been so long in this understanding of ourselves that we find it very hard to gain true humility. The Bible is clear that pride is corrosive to mankind and it tells us in Proverbs 16:18,
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall”. Human pride which is the opposite of humility, tends to replace God with the small god of self.

God tells us in Isaiah 66:2, “But to this one will I look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.” When we are not humble enough to depend on and trust our lives to God through Christ, then we are not one who God will look upon. Humility, at least true humility, demands contrition and trembling before the Word of God, and if we are going to ask God to give us revival, then we must pass the test that God set for us in 2nd Chronicles 7:14; when He said “..”If my people, who are called by name, will 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.”

The Hebrew word that is translated in that verse as humble, is kana, and means “to bend the knee”. That was to indicate that we not only see God as God, but that we trust Him, and bow before Him laying ourselves open to Him as we stoop low before Him. Bending the knee carries with it the idea to humiliation, vanquish, bring into subject and the like; and it is done without any equivocation. We have no other god, but Jehovah. Not ourselves, not another so called god, or money or pride or any other thing in heaven or on the earth comes before our God. In Philippians 2:3-4, God speaks to us through the Apostle Paul and says,”Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interest of others”.

Don”t be deceived, there is such a thing as “false humility”; and you see that sometimes in many who because they went to a certain school or seminary and they have skill, intellect and education that they always let you know that they are who they are. These are normally men who have an agenda, like moving up in the denominational hierarchy and gaining large congregations and they become selfish instead of selfless as they claw and scratch to be the biggest and the best in their field. In closing let me remind you that our attitude must always be that of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, “Not my will, but Thine”.

Be sure that you are saved, and that you have the assurance of the Holy Spirit that you are. If you are not sure, begin to study the Bible, and strive to understand what Jesus has done on the cross. Cry out to God and desire God more than you desire life itself. Seek God until He finds you and grants you repentance. There is no mechanical formula that will cause God to save you”.so what you need to do is to look away from yourself unto our Holy God.

What Jesus had to say to the Church in John 12:32 when He said: “And I if I am lifted from the earth, will draw all men unto me”. What we have begun to do is to lift programs, people, talent, athletics, politics, and conveniences”.every thing except for a crucified Savior, and what He did to redeem a people “but those people were people who would obey Him”. (See Hebrews 5:8-9).

One of the great needs in our visible churches is that of genuine humility, and I like to define humility as our seeing ourselves as only God can see us. When we have done that we will be humble enough to seek God as the only solution to our problem. As a general rule, every one of us has lost the ability to properly relate to others but especially to relate to God.

I know that is the truth because I see absolutely no humility in most people that I meet in this age. There would be some who would say that they are humble, but if you watch their lives you would have to agree with me that there is not much humility in this society. We have been taught, and we have taught our children, not to be humble because that is seen as a weakness in our time. If that is true, perhaps it’s because we have lost the real truth of what humility is about. What does the Bible teach about humility”

Until next time,

may God bless and keep you

This is Bro. Bob