Humble Pie

by Edward Langenback

© 03/14/01

Humility is probably one of the most misunderstood and misused words and concepts in the Bible. To be humble does not mean self degradation, speaking of yourself like you were some kind of worm not worthy of being stepped on.

1 Peter 5:6-7, "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."

The word 'humble' is translated from the Greek tapeinoo {pronounced tap-i-no'-o} [strongs number 5013] and means to assign a lower rank or place to. Thus we are to assign a lower rank to ourselves than God. This does not mean that we have to go around saying "I'm just so unworthy." It means that we need to remember that God and His word and what He is doing is higher than we are.

Isaiah 55:9, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

Appropriately, David referred to God as the Highest:

Psalms 18:13, "The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire."

The word 'Highest' is translated from the Hebrew 'elyown {pronounced el-yone'} [strongs number 5945] and means high, upper, Highest, Most High. Also, when God gave the ten commandments to Moses, the very first of them was

Exodus 20:3, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

Again, this makes it clear that God is the highest, first in importance. It is to Him we owe our worship, our love, and our obedience. It means that His word is the Highest word, and His will is the Highest will. His word is higher, more prominent, more full of power faith and love than anyone else's word. When a person places anything or anyone higher in their lives than God, His word, and His will, it is idolatry, which is when anyone or anything is given more priority than The Most High. It is also blashphemy (which is to have contempt for God or ascribe evil acts and motivations to God), because treating anyone or anything as more important than God, is saying that God is less than Most High.

True humility means to submit yourself to God, to put Him, His word, His will, and His love in first place in every aspect of your life.

Deuteronomy 6:5, "And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."

When His word is higher than any other word in your life, then you will seek what that word says about something before any other source. His word will be the final authority. This means that you make His will the highest will, and you submit your will to His, just as Jesus did:

Luke 22:41-42, "And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done."

When God's word is the highest word in your life, then you will obey that word without question or reservation. There will be no room for what you would rather do, no trying to convince God or yourself or anyone else that there is any reason why you should do something that you know is contrary to the will of God. Placing God and His word in the Highest place in your life makes you special to God:

Malachi 3:16-17, "Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him."

When someone first accepts Jesus it is because they have humbled themselves, they have acknolegded that they have sinned, and that by themselves and their own righteousness they are worthy of nothing less than total condemnation from God. That person admits to God and to themselves that accepting Jesus and His sacrificial gift to us is the only way that they can enter the kingdom of heaven.

When you humble yourself before God it means that you are accepting that what He has said is true, pure and simple. If He says that you are a peculiar (special) people, then you are. If He says that by His stripes you are healed, then you are. If He says that the blood of Jesus is the only way to clean the sin from you, then humility will accept that and thank God for that blood. Pride will have all sorts of trouble with it.

This is why the Holy Spirit warned us about pride when he prompted solomon to write:

Proverbs 16:18, "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."

Because pride cannot accept what Jesus has given us, and will thus go to hell, and at the judgement be cast into the lake of fire.

Therefore it becomes obvious that pride is something that we have to avoid. We do this by making a consious quality decision to put God and His word first.

I urge you now to do this. Make that quality decision to put God and His word first. Make Him and His word the most important things in your life. Spend time every day reading, studying, hearing, meditating on and speaking His word. And even if you have not yet seen the physical manifestation of something, go to His word, find out what He says about it, then plant your faith in it and stand firm.

Romans 4:17, "(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were."

If you are truly walking in Bibilical humility, then when the devil tries to attack you with sickness or disease, you'll go to the word of God and tell the devil and that sickness or disease that you know what God's word has to say about it:

Matthew 8:17, "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses."

1 Peter 2:24, "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."

Then you'll tell that sickness and the devil that is attacking you with them that because Jesus bore those things for you, then you do not have to.

Some of you will ask "Isn't it lying if I say that I am healed when I am obviously sick?" No, it isn't. While it may be a fact that the sickness is in you, the truth is that God's word says that by His stripes ye were healed. Note that this statement is past tense, it's a done deal. God has already accomplished everything needed for your healing. Just because something is a fact, does not make it truth, just ask any lawyer. If God's word is the Highest word in your life, then what it says is true regardless of the fact, and acting and speaking the truth in faith will change the fact.

Take another look at Romans 4:17 and note that God does exactly what He wants us to do. When He changed Abram's name to Abraham, He was calling something that was not as though it was. The name 'Abram {pronounced ab-rawm'} [strongs number 87] in the origianl Hebrew means exalted father. By Changing that name, God was calling something that was not as though it were. 'Abraham {pronounced ab-raw-hawm'} [strongs number 85] means father of a multitude. It served as a reminder to him that God had promised to make him the father of many nations. (Genesis 17:1-6). And from that point on whenever Abraham or anyone else used his name, they were doing the same thing as God.

God's word tells us that we are to do the same thing:

Ephesians 5:1, "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;"

The word 'followers' is translated from the Greek mimetes {pronounced mim-ay-tace'} [strongs number 3402] and means an imitator. This shows us that we are not just simply to follow God, we are to be imitators of Him. He wants us to act, think, and speak just like Him.

As for Abraham, God showed His approval of the faith and humility that he showed:

Romans 4:3, "For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness."

God said something, and Abraham reacted in humility and submitted himself to God's will and believed what God had said would come to pass, and God counted that to him for righteouness.

It is time now for you to submit yourself to God, and humble yourself before Him, and make Him and His word and will the Highest things in your life. By doing so, you will reap the same reward as Abraham, God will count it to you for righteouness:

2 Corinthians 5:21, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."

Which brings us back for another look at a scripture that was quoted earlier:

1 Peter 5:6, "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:"

We must always remember that God has a reason for what He wants us to do. The word 'exalt' is translated from the Greek hupsoo {pronounced hoop-so'-o} [strongs number 5312] and means to lift up on high, to exalt, to raise to the very summit of opulence and prosperity, to raise to dignity, honour and happiness. God wants to do all this for us, but in order for us to receive this, we have to be humble and submit ourselves to Him. Abraham humbled himself before God and as a result, became literally the father of many nations, not to mention one of the wealthiest men of his day. Solomon humbled himself to God's will seeking His wisdom, and no one before or since has ever been as wealthy and prosperous. We have to put God and His word and His will first.

Humility, it's not just a good idea, it's essential.