Wednesday, April 29, 2009

WFW - Humbling Ourselves In Christ



I love to think of humility in terms relating to an anchor. An anchor, is by definition, something that keeps something held or permanently fixed. Anchors are lowered to ground things and raised to move things.
Our humility level is something we have to keep in check, lowering it when it seems to be floating high.
Lowering the Anchor

The Greek word for the phrase humble yourselves is tapeinoō. This verb means:

1) to make low, bring low
a) to level, reduce to a plain
b) metaph. to bring into a humble condition, reduce to meaner circumstances
1) to assign a lower rank or place to
2) to abase
3) to be ranked below others who are honoured or rewarded
4) to humble or abase myself by humble living
c) to lower, depress
1) of one's soul bring down one's pride
2) to have a modest opinion of one's self
3) to behave in an unassuming manner
4) devoid of all haughtiness

Humility truly is the absence of pride. With God as our God, we should always be humble, just as Christ is humble.
Charles Swindoll writes, "Humility is an attitude of the heart. An attitude of the mind. It is knowing your proper place....It is knowing your role and fulfilling it for God's glory and praise."
We can truly please God with this attitude and bring Him much glory by living out true humility and not even calling attention to it. We don't go around declaring, "I'm humble!"
Any time that we find ourselves becoming prideful, perhaps in receiving praise that is due God, we need to make sure we have our humility in check. We need to point people to the Creator who endowed us with the ability or patience or talent to do whatever we are praised for.
" I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. " ~ Psalm 121:1-2 (NIV)

In humbling ourselves under God's hand, we realize that we are not deserving of anything more than the gift of grace He offers through Jesus Christ our Lord, and we don't even deserve that. We get it because He loves us.

The Greek word that describes the mighty hand of God in 1 Peter 5:6 is cheir. It means:

1) by the help or agency of any one, by means of any one
2) fig. applied to God symbolising his might, activity, power
a) in creating the universe
b) in upholding and preserving (God is present protecting and aiding one)
c) in punishing
d) in determining and controlling the destinies of men
I love how the Lord displays his might, activity and power in upholding and preserving us and in determining and controlling our destinies.

The Anchor is Raised
God exalts the humble in His time. The Hebrew word for lift up is hypsoō, which means:

1) to lift up on high, to exalt
2) metaph.
a) to raise to the very summit of opulence and prosperity
b) to exalt, to raise to dignity, honour and happiness

That's the gravy - the bonus above mercy and grace. Our God is so precious to raise us to dignity, honor and happiness in life. We must be careful to give Him the glory for it. We must let the anchor of humility remain grounded, not in the depths of sinking sand, but in Christ our Lord.
In Due Time
Do you ever wonder when God will exalt you? It will be at a time of His choosing, what is called due time. The Greek word for this phrase is kairos, which means:
1) due measure
2) a measure of time, a larger or smaller portion of time, hence:
a) a fixed and definite time, the time when things are brought to crisis, the decisive epoch waited for
b) opportune or seasonable time
c) the right time
d) a limited period of time
e) to what time brings, the state of the times, the things and events of time
At just the right time, and perhaps for a limited period of time, God will let you shine. We should be take to remain humble during this time. God's lifting us up does not cancel out humility; rather, it enhances it. We will be brought forth to shine for God in His time.
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." ~ Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)
Wrapping it Up
Our best example of true humility comes from Christ Himself.

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 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!" ~ Philippians 2:3-8 (NIV)

God uses the humble to further His will. Look at the lives of Abraham, Noah, Moses, Rahab, Esther, David, Jonah, and eventually Paul. Look at Christ, our perfect example. Oh, may we be like Him, willing to be nothing and totally obedient, exalting our Father!

The anchor of humility begs us to ask the question, "Am I willing to lower myself to nothing so that I may be raised up under the mighty hand of God for His glory and for His will, not my own?"

Questions for Reflection: Where is your anchor of humility set? Have you give control of the anchor to God or are you managing it yourself? Can you think of a time that God has exalted you to a position because of your willingness to be humble?
Verse for the Day: "But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." ~ James 4:6 (NIV)

Prayer: Our dear and most gracious Heavenly Father, we pray that the anchor of our humility would lay at rest until You raise it for Your own glory. Help us to do away with any pride we may have and give You all the glory and honor and majesty due Your name when people praise us. Help us remember that You give the gifts and help we need when we need it. May we never rush Your timing or Your will for our lives. Thank You for anchoring our humility in You and help us keep it there. In the precious name of Jesus Your Son, Amen.

A - Always remember that everything good gift you have comes from God. "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." ~ James 1:17 (NIV)

N - Never seek praise for yourself. Let it come by God's doing. "How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God ?" ~ John 5:44 (NIV)

C - Consider others better than yourself. "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves." ~ Philippians 2:3 (NIV)

H - Honor God above all others. "You shall have no other gods before me." ~ Exodus 20:3 (NIV)

O - Outfit yourself with humility each day. "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." ~ Colossians 3:12-13 (NIV)

R - Regard praise for your ability, skill and talents as special, and give God the glory for them. "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. " ~ 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV)

The purpose of Word Filled Wednesday is to share the Word of God through photo's and Scripture. Amydeanne, over at The 160 Acre Woods, is our hostess. Be sure to link up and share your own, and drop her a thank you for hosting this wonderful meme each week. It always blesses my heart to read all the posts and see the photos and verses. This is a wonderful way to minister to others and to be ministered to by reading others posts. Please visit by clicking on the button below.




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31 comments:

ambersun said...

Wow - yet another thought provoking post.

I had an experience today - taking my sick cat to the vet - where I had to just let God be in control. I am not used to that - usually I like being in control.

Humility as an anchor is a striking metaphor. I suppose if we are humble we are more secure in God.

God Bless

Amber

The Real Me! said...

Ugh! Why is humility so hard? I'm guilty of suffering from not having it sometimes. I loved your picture and verse my sweet sister! Wish I could hug your neck!!!
HUGS!
Kim

Beth in NC said...

Wonderful picture with that verse. I wrote a post this week about Naaman and humility.

Have a blessed day and happy WFW!
Beth

Deanna said...

Wonderful WFW!

Melanie said...

Lovely, Laurie Ann, and great post to go along with the verse and picture. Humility is so difficult it seems... this is such a great reminder to us all.

Love you! Happy WFW!

Daddy's Chick's said...

My God return the blessing back to you.I enjoyed your post. Have a wonderful day.

ellen b. said...

Good morning Laurie Ann,
The part that just hits me hard is the do NOTHING from selfish ambition part. Wow it seems like we do so much in our own self interest...
Thank Goodness He helps us...

He And Me + 3 said...

Love the analogy to an anchor. Great post. I love that verse and picture too.
Hugs,
Mimi

Alicia, The Snowflake said...

Great thoughts my friend! Humility is hard but so important. I love the analogy of the anchor. Thanks for such great encouraging words today. Happy WFW!

Peggy said...

WOW Laurie Ann...you never cease to AMAZE me! The teaching & reflection & association with the ANCHOR really struck me!

These WORDS captured it ALL:
"Our humility level is something we have to keep in check, lowering it when it seems to be floating high."

Thank you! A GREAT teaching & lesson on how the anchor holds!
Humility is one of the greatest gifts of Mexican workers, women in particular! I have been humbled to be in their presence or service!

Love you Laurie Ann & so appreciate the time you spend in putting together time & time again such TRUTHS, Inspirational Teachings!

Pilar Stark said...

-wow, great post! Thanks so much for sharing, it has been a blessing.
Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment, I have been enjoying WWF for a little while and thought I would join in. It has been a blessing already.

Nice ¨meeting¨you and will be stopping by ofter. Hope to see you soon by my blog again.

Blessing to you my friend!

Cathy said...

I loved that excellent post, Laurie Ann. It reminds me to make sure I give God the glory on my music website. Thank you for all your research, and thanks for visiting me.

lori said...

Laurie Ann....
My time today is limited BUT I just knew I had to come and really soak this in!! What a blessing!!

This is fabulous...I can't wait to share it with a few friends!!

peace!
lori

Alleluiabelle said...

Laurie Ann,

I just love coming here and to some many other sites where I get so filled up.

Your thoughts and Scriptures for today were absolutely wonderful. I especially liked this:

"The anchor of humility begs us to ask the question, "Am I willing to lower myself to nothing so that I may be raised up under the mighty hand of God for His glory and for His will, not my own?"

And this:

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 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!" ~ Philippians 2:3-8 (NIV)

Actually, I loved it all...every single mouthful of it. I really soaked in all of this as I read and reread. It was that filling for me. I am so glad to know you dear friend and thank the Lord for putting you across my path.

Hugs and Love,
Alleluiabelle

Laurie said...

Wow! Have I mentioned what a fabulous teacher you are! God bless you today! So much good spiritual food here:)

Joyfull said...

What a great picture and wonderful description of humility. Thanks for sharing and blessing.

Joyfull said...

What a great picture and wonderful description of humility. Thanks for sharing and blessing.

Carrie said...

Thank you for sharing your wisdom!! Happy WFW!!

Denise said...

I really like this WFW.

skoots1mom said...

well said....
thanks for coming by!

God Chaser said...

thanks for this wonderful lesson and with that said glory to God for your comments to me- It is truly the Lord and I am humbled He chooses to use me so, thank you -you blessed my heart.

Susan said...

Now, this was GREAT!!!!

Thanks sweet Laurie Ann, what a blessing you are♥

Joan said...

Haven't thought of humility that way before. Thanks for a great WFW!
Blessings

Mary Moss said...

Laurie Ann, this is a wonderful post. I like your using an anchor here.

Plenty to think about, as always. Great WFW

Tricia said...

A wonderful and very thought provoking post... I have never thought of humility as an anchor, I like that, and it is a word picture that I know will stay with me...

Thank you for all the "meat" you put into your posts... I am blessed by them!

Blessings!

Sarah Mae said...

"...knowing your role and fulfilling it for God's glory and praise."

I think I need to plaster this every where I go!

crittyjoy said...

I am taking time for a while and doing just this. I am so glad he will be my anchor.

Blessings.

Amanda said...

Hi! I am here because someone has nominated you for an Awesome Blog 2009 Award!! Stop by and see what category someone thought you rocked!

http://awesomestblogs2009.blogspot.com/

God bless-
Amanda

Debra said...

Such a beautiful analogy of the anchor, my friend. And humility...such a needed part in our walk with the Lord.

Beautiful post...beautiful illustration. Big hugs to you!

Samantha said...

Such a beautiful, touching post.
Thanks for sharing and stopping by my blog.
Have a truly blessed week.

Carrie said...

Your WFW posts are so rich with vital information to make our Bible reading and study more meaningful. Thank you for preparing such enriching material.