If My People Will Humble Themselves (Part 1): National Humility
May 8, 2022
A Day for Humility (part 1): National Humility
Proverbs 16:18-19 (NKJV)
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. 19 Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
1 Peter 5:5-6 (NKJV
Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
Isaiah 57:15 (NKJV)
For thus says the High and Lofty One
Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
“I dwell in the high and holy place,
With him who has a contrite and humble spirit,
To revive the spirit of the humble,
And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
America is in need of a lesson in humility right now.
We have been weighed in the Divine Balances as a nation and are found wanting, needy, out of bounds, proud.
We (as a nation) have carved God out of the equation of life and feel that we can do better without Him. He is too constraining, too confining, too rigid, too demanding. So, our culture has rejected God and replaced Him with a convenient God that doesn’t bother the conscience with such things as sin, impurity, rebellion, and pride!
Psalms 50:16-22 (NLT)
But God says to the wicked: “Why bother reciting my decrees and pretending to obey my covenant? 17 For you refuse my discipline and treat my words like trash. 18 When you see thieves, you approve of them, and you spend your time with adulterers. 19 Your mouth is filled with wickedness, and your tongue is full of lies. 20 You sit around and slander your brother— your own mother’s son. 21 While you did all this, I remained silent, and you thought I didn’t care. But now I will rebuke you, listing all my charges against you. 22 Repent, all of you who forget me, or I will tear you apart, and no one will help you.
Now we think we deserve what only humility, fear of the Lord, self-denial, and hard work can provide.
God is leaving America alone. In our pride, we as a culture have pushed God out of our lives, and now He simply says, “fine, do it your way,” and now we are beginning to falter and fail.
Could judgment be when God chooses to allow us to reap what we sow?
We as the Church of the Lord Jesus must set an example if our national problems are to be helped by God!
There is a success born of the flesh and human pride that mimics the success born out of a humble walk with God.
American culture is saturated with self-exaltation.
We believe we have a right to succeed.
We believe we have a right to the best things in life.
We believe that we can plan our own destiny.
We believe that we are unbeatable, unstoppable.
We have a great “can do” attitude.
In our arrogance, we believe we can succeed as a nation without following God.
We gained these attitudes from our history, when we depended on God. But success at some point will trend towards failure unless we humble ourselves.
Israel prospered and won their battles as long as they put God and His Word first. They failed when they put idols in the place of God.
Deuteronomy 8:10-20 (NKJV)
10 When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you.
11 “Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, 12 lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; 13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; 14 when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; 15 who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; 16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end— 17 then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’
18 “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. 19 Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the LORD your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish. 20 As the nations which the LORD destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the LORD your God.
The history of the church age shows that what is accepted in a culture finds its way into the church.
Corinth is an example. The sexual looseness in Corinth had to be dealt with by Paul in the church.
In the church in America this has translated into:
“Be the best you can be.”
“Receive God’s best for Your life.”
“God wants you to succeed.”
“Determine your own destiny.”
Again, these ideals are fine as long as we are seeking God and putting His Word above our desires. But apart from God, they become the road to ruin and failure.
In the church in America today, we want God to bless our plans and programs instead of finding His will and following it for our lives.
And there is a change coming. God is asking the church to model to our culture the way out of our challenges, the way back onto the right path for our nation and our families.
To God, the way up is first of all down!
Out of death comes life.
John 12:24 (NKJV)
Most assuredly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.
God is asking of this generation a death to pride, ego, and self-centered living. Only then will the blessing of heaven be on our nation again.
Again, our huge problem in America is pride!
We the church are being called to show the way out of pride into humility!
Humility is always at the beginning of God working in a new way in a person’s life, or in a nation.
My biggest problem in walking with Jesus is my personal pride – wanting to have my own way – trying to work things out on my own.
The opposite of faith is pride!
Habakkuk 2:4 (NKJV)
Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.
Habakkuk 2:4 (NLT)
Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God.
Without a consciousness of God, we trust in ourselves and our own resources.
And that leads us towards decline and failure.
That is what is happening to our beloved country.
And God is seeking to stir up the church!
God wants to deliver us from self-sufficiency and pride!
And He wants us to learn to live a life of dependency on Him alone.
Our example of this is found in Jesus.
Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection brought us not only redemption, but a life example – how to deal with living life in a world dominated by pride and fleshly thinking.
First of all, notice the position Jesus holds in the universe of things…
Colossians 1:15-19 (NLT)
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, 16 for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through Him and for Him. 17 He existed before anything else, and He holds all creation together. 18 Christ is also the head of the church, which is His body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So He is first in everything. 19 For God in all His fullness was pleased to live in Christ
Hebrews 1:3 (AMPC)
He is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power. When He had by offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high
John 1:1-5 (NLT)
In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He existed in the beginning with God. 3 God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him. 4 The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
John 1:14 (NLT)
So the Word became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
Matthew 17:1-2 (NLT)
Six days later Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. 2 As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light.
Revelation 1:13-18 (NLT)
And standing in the middle of the lampstands was someone like the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. 14 His head and His hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And His eyes were like flames of fire. 15 His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and His voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. 16 He held seven stars in His right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from His mouth. And His face was like the sun in all its brilliance. 17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as if I were dead. But He laid His right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.
Jesus, holding the highest position in the universe, chooses to lay it all aside and walk in the will of the Father.
Here He shows us how to walk as God in a human body while living in a fallen world…
He gave us an example of dependent living,of humility, and of how to put yourself last and put God’s plans first.
Philippians 2:5-13 (NKJV)
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Philippians 2:5-13 (AMPC)
Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:] 6 Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained, 7 But stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being. 8 And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross! 9 Therefore [because He stooped so low] God has highly exalted Him and has freely bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, 10 That in (at) the name of Jesus every knee should (must) bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 And every tongue [frankly and openly] confess and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 Therefore, my dear ones, as you have always obeyed [my suggestions], so now, not only [with the enthusiasm you would show] in my presence but much more because I am absent, work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ). 13 [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.
But made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
to make empty, to abase, neutralize
Jesus emptied Himself of the power of the office of the Son of God.
He laid aside His heavenly dignity and authority and lived as a man.
Here Jesus gives us an example of how to live a life of humility and dependence upon the Father, instead of on His own resources and wisdom.
Jesus could walk in humility because He knew where He came from, whose Son He was, and where He was going.
He chose to live inside of the human body that He created.
He chose to be limited by the rules of earth-life, unless directed otherwise by the Father.
He chose to limit Himself to only what the Holy Spirit would provide.
Hebrews 5:7-9 (NLT)
While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. 8 Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. 9 In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him.
Perhaps this is the reason that in every gospel, Jesus asks us to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him…
We’ll pick up here next week!
- Is your personal pride keeping you from what God has for your life?
- Is your pride hindering your marriage?
- Is your pride hindering your relationship with your children?
- Is your pride hindering your business?
- Is your pride keeping you from progressing spiritually?