In the Christian life the benefits of living an obedient life are many. There are two benefits that are so linked together that it is difficult to treat them separately. The epitome of these character qualities is a passion for personal holiness and a sense of humility. Over time the Holy Spirit generates in our hearts and souls a craving for absolute purity.
God is so gloriously different from us. In the process of drawing us closer to Himself, He empties us of our worldly desires and focus on ourselves, and in the process, makes us desire Him more than anyone or anything.
Humility does not leave us bewildered and discouraged with self-disgust at how our lives do not measure up to God’s standard. Humility rests upon the revealing of the complete wonder of God, upon discovering that only God matters, and that all of our intentions are futile works.
In humility we discover we must cling to God and count our own power as nothing. How despicable is our self-pride. Our perceived cleverness in all that we do causes us to flatter ourselves. Our desire to be known and accepted by others and to have others nod in approval behind our back confirms the superior motives of our hearts. Pride in our own humility is one of the devil’s most prominent tricks.
Humility takes its rest in a holy blindedness. It is a blindness likened to a person who is looking at the sun. When they turn to look back at the ground, all they can see is the sun. The soul that is blinded by the light of God cannot see itself. It cannot see humiliation, abasement, dishonor, or shame. The soul cannot see any aggrandizement of self, but only the holy will of God working through them.
We work so hard for self enhancement. What needless anguish we have suffered because we were defeated and not flattered. The blinding glory of God blots out our selfish self and gives us a true humility and a selfhood full of Him.
The humility of the soul blinded by the light of God endures only as long as we are steadily looking at the Son. Growth in humility happens as we grow in the habit of a Godward-directed mind.
Explore the depth of humility with a life lived in prayer and of humble obedience, not just in an increase of knowledge of the Word. Humility is not just a human virtue, but it is a virtue of God Himself. “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit but in humility count others as more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others. 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 made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross,” (Philippians 2: 3-8).
Love and humility walk together, in God as well as, in us. A deep humility will enable us to be bold because deep obedience is an obedience that forgets all about self. John Woolman is quoted to say, “Now I find that in the pure obedience the mind learns contentment, in appearing weak and foolish to the wisdom which is of the World; and in these lowly labors, they who stand in a low place, rightly exercised under the Cross, will find nourishment.”
Charlotte Elliott gives us encouragement with her hymn: O Holy Savior, Friend Unseen
O Holy Savior, friend unseen,
Since on thine arm thou bidst me lean,
Help me, throughout life’s changing scene,
By faith to cling to thee.
What though the world deceitful prove,
And earthly friends and hopes remove;
With patient, uncomplaining love,
Still would I cling to thee.
Though oft I seem to tread alone
Life’s dreary waste, with thorns o’ergrown.
Thy voice of love, in the gentlest tone,
Still whispers, “Cling to me!”
Through faith and hope may long be tried,
I ask not, need not, aught beside;
How safe, how calm, how satisfied,
The soul that clings to thee! Amen.