Everything you want in life is on the lower shelf
Updated: May 26, 2022
My focus today is how we can thrive through humility. Humility is the way to victory. All of God’s best gifts are on the lowest shelf.
You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.” (Matthew 5:3 MSG)
Whereas pride pushes God out of our life, humility makes room for God to be at the center of the area, where we need more God and less us. (Marriage, finances, friends, decisions).
Humility is complete dependence on God and acknowledgement of His rightful place in our lives. Pride is putting self on the throne in place of God. (E.G.O = edging God out).
Why this matters so much. Pride makes us shakeable; humility makes us unshakeable because it gives us the insight and courage to get our life built back on the Rock.
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27 NLT).
In Daniel Chapter 4, you can read the story of a collapse through pride and a restoration through humility. Nebuchadnezzar receives a warning. Be humbled or be humiliated. (Daniel 4:17, 25-27 NIV). This principle is repeated several times in the Bible:
“For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:14b NIV).
"If you build a pedestal for yourself, you will have a bad fall."
“If you start your day on your face the only way you can go is up.” —Roy Stockstill
The issue God seeks to expose is pride.
Pride is cherishing an inflated opinion of your own importance, ability, and knowledge. It is insistence on being in control, and seeking validation by comparison, by seeking applause of people, proof that we are better, fighting for the need to be right and have our own way.
Things that make it so dangerous:
1. It is hard to recognize in yourself.
2. It resists acknowledging God’s truth as supreme and accepting the truth of our accountability to God. (Daniel 4:28-30 NIV).
Pride and a pride filled culture will exalt people’s opinions and feelings above God’s truth.
Satan’s primary warfare is to convince people to accept lies over God’s truth. He controls our lives by getting us to live lies.
“We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:3-5 NLT)
3. It drives us to depend on ourselves so we don’t have the help of God’s Spirit.
4. It causes us to seek an identity of our making and robs us of the joy of knowing God’s free gift of righteousness.
5. It makes us self-centered, and crowds out intimacy and true loving relationships.
“Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself; it is thinking about yourself less.”
“If you ever want to be truly happy you have to get over yourself.”
…if you give up your life for me, you will find it.” (Matthew 10:39b NLT)
How to move from pride to humility to amazing restoration and victory; 4 key steps you can take today. (Daniel 4:34-37 NIV)
1. Stop exalting yourself and start exalting God.
“At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.” (vs. 34)
We don’t overcome pride by trying to push more of it out, but by inviting more of God in to be first in our attention, praise and priorities. We can’t be truly grateful and exalting of God and full of pride at the same time. Ways to do this:
a. Make thanking and worshipping God and being with others in worship a priority.
Switch from boasting about yourself to boasting about the Lord.
“I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the Lord…" (Psalms 34:1-2 NLT)
b. Acknowledge God as the owner and Source of everything, the One who holds your breath and future in His hands.
c. Seek God and pray. Make prayer your first response not your last resort.
“Then if my people who are called by name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT)
2. Admit your faults and pride to others. Pride hides failure, weaknesses, and wrongs.
Humility is open and shares the struggles of their hearts with others.
“Humility is not denying your strengths but being honest about your weaknesses.” –Rick Warren
Exposing weaknesses crucifies pride and makes room for God’s strength.
“Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” (2 Cor. 12:9 NLT)
Strength comes from knowing your weak. Wisdom comes from knowing that you don’t know and need God to show you.
“What makes humility so desirable is the marvelous thing it does to us; it creates in us a capacity for the closest possible intimacy with God (and to know who He thinks we are.” — Monica Baldwin
3. Quit looking for the validation of people by your works, find the perfect validation of God by accepting His grace.
Humility is not feeling bad about yourself; it is feeling good about yourself for the right reason. God gave you His righteousness in Christ.
4. Switch your focus from yourself to serving others, especially the oppressed.
Humility is suspending your efforts to be great and seeking to bring out the greatness of others. You might as well get over yourself, everyone else has.
“Therefore Your Majesty, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue.” (Daniel 4:27 NIV)