Songs of Ascent: Day

Humility

by

Today's Text: Psalm 131; Philippians 2:3-11

What comes to mind when we think of humility? Someone weak? A person who lets everyone run over them? An impossible state of being? What is true humility and what is simply putting yourself down in hopes someone else will tell you how wonderful you are?

When we think of humility as Christians, we know Jesus as the perfect example. What we may not think of are the reasons He was like He was. Absolutely, He had every right to be exalted by the world. Instead He choose to start out His story different from the moment it happened. Unwed mother. Stable birth. Fleeing from a king instead of a childhood home. Growing up always different. Put to death in the most cruel, humiliating way possible.

You may know all of this, it may have been told to you over and over with the ending of “because Jesus loved us so much.”

What strikes me is this: Jesus did this because His Heavenly Father asked Him to. He lived and died for the glory of God. Just like in growing up, His death wasn’t for accolades or attention. He didn’t die so we, as imperfect creations, could tell Him how amazing He was for the rest of eternity. It was for obedience, and in being obedient, He needed to humble himself to our level. He had to, what would this story hold for our hearts and minds if Jesus grew up in a castle with servants and died at 90 in a gold bathtub? And yet, He easily could have and instead chose to obey.

Yes, Jesus died for our sins and to set us free from the rules and regulations we are still so bound by. But this act was in complete obedience to what He was sent to earth to accomplish. When we think of how and why He died, our thoughts should be on how amazing it was He could follow the path set for Him to the very end, even while we turned our backs on Him and He had His heart break for us.

Jesus was the very definition of humble. He was able to say no when He needed, to put others first each time He could, to obey His father at the cost of His life, and to set aside His own ego to accomplish what no one else could ever do.

What a Savior. What an amazing example of perfect humility.

  • mary gerrity

    “Because His Heavenly Father asked Him to…for the glory of God…in complete obedience…even while we turned our backs on Him and He had His heart break for us.” He knew every time we would hurt his heart, and HE DID IT ANYWAY! That’s my God!

  • Carolynmimi

    Today's devotional (Thank you, Autumn Dawn Leader), the scripture (so parallel) and the comments (really additional thought, prayer prevoking messages) have occupied the majority of my thoughts since early this morning.  Every thought, action today has brought me to consider these.  I have tried to act in synchrony with them.

    Some of my life I have hidden behind a false humility..one that failed to elicit the praise and honor I craved.  Before I accepted Christ, it was my persona, but even years later I can bring it on, if I am not careful.  The Holy Spirit often brings the Philippians' passage to mind..I memorized it several years ago and it really helps center me and helps me evaluate my motives.

    "In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:" (Philippians 2:5 NIV)

    Mindset, attitude, purpose like Jesus not secular, self-seeking, or self-effacing.

    Humility like sacrifice isn't like Jesus if I think I am humble…"patting myself on the back kinda humble" Nor is it letting myself be used or abused, in some distorted act of obedience to God.  He may very well take me to this place for the Gospel's sake, but Jesus battered and bruised on the cross, obedient to the Father still commanded respect from soldiers, thieves, and others.  

    "Who though he existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied himself by taking on the form of a slave, by looking like other men, and by sharing in human nature". (Philippians 2:6, 7 NET)

    These two verses keep me in check in situations at work or home where I feel EQUAL, but think I am not being treated that way.  Jesus was(is) an equal person in the Trinity, but He chose to be obedient to the Father.  

    His example always ( well, except when I am being Carolyn centered) gets me on track: 1. Don't grasp equality and shake it in the face of another. 2. Get over myself 3. Be of service 4. Listen, learn, put myself in the other person's place…seek to understand rather than demand being heard or regarded.

    You have all been a blessing to me today.  I love being a part of such wonderful group.

     

  • jesusgirl71

    What strikes me is this: Jesus did this because His Heavenly Father asked Him to. He lived and died for the glory of God. Just like in growing up, His
    death wasn’t for accolades or attention. He didn’t die so we, as imperfect creations, could tell Him how amazing He was for the rest of eternity. It was
    for obedience, and in being obedient, He needed to humble himself to our level. He had to, what would this story hold for our hearts and minds if Jesus
    grew up in a castle with servants and died at 90 in a gold bathtub? And yet, He easily could have and instead chose to obey.

    You know, I hate to say that I actually have thought that part of the reason Jesus died was He wanted our priases for it. when I think of it and verbalize it, I can't believe I thoguht that! to know that though he deserves our endless praise for what He did, he didn't do it for that reason! wow! this really struck me today, ladies. i wonder if I'm alone.

    • Lauren

      Not alone at all in your thoughts!!! That concept also struck me today.

    • Carolynmimi

      I have thought that too, because well in the end we all will…even unbelievers. Truly awesome, isn't it, that he chose to live and die in the limited form of man…fully human, fully divine. His actions involved so much more than I can comprehend. Why other than love and obedience would JESUS leave heaven where He lived with constant praise to be spit on, denied, betrayed even yet in this world? The only response I have is worship and obedience, but He didn't come to get that–he came to you and me…all who would believe.

  • Michelle

    This is such a thought-provoking and eye-opening concept for me. I struggle with self-worth issues and seek affirmation from others. In an apparent effort to get that affirmation, I notice that I often point-out my accomplishments to others and remind them of the times all the little extra things I've done. I'm especially guilty of this at work and with my husband. Not a shining example of humility.

    Christ did many amazing things here on Earth without hope of receiving praise from others. The motivation behind his actions was obeying and glorifying God- that's it. He was so full of faith and love, that affirmation from others was unimportant and unnecessary.

    I'm praying for strength to live with more humility and to stop seeking the approval of others since God is the only one I need to please. He will fill me with peace.

    • rocknitat55

      I also experience the same. Sometimes I find that I do this withoiut even trying.
      On the other hand I’ve been told that I don’t know how talented,how blessed I. Am that I’m not using the gifts God blessed me with.

      As an overcomer of childhood abuse I am constantly trying to find the balane between feeling invisible and wanting to be seen. I am much better than I use to be, but at 58 its still a struggle.

      Pray n 4 u

  • definehungry

    Lovely!

  • ladybug1016

    What a Savior!! What a perfect example of humility!! WOW!! He was humble and therefore He glorified God! His whole life was to glorify God! Yes, in an age where the focus is on ME, My rights, SELF, we as Christians HAVE to be more like Christ!! We HAVE to live our lives as He did – an example of obedience and humility so that we can GLORIFY GOD!! For that is our purpose too!

  • Wow. Super powerful. I definitely needed to be reminded of what Christlike humility looks like, as opposed to self-serving humility. Thanks!

  • I struggle with humility, mostly the definition and real-world examples/situations. Through today's devotional, I understand now that Jesus is the ultimate example and definition of humility. When I questions how to act/respond/treat humbly, I can look to Him for guidance. My prayer today is that I am reminded of this definition of humility and obedience when I face people and situations that I'm tempted to be prideful or self-serving. That God tugs at my heart and shows me how to do this.

    Jesus lived and died for the glory of God, not for accolades or attention. Everything he did, in thought and action, was for the glory of God. He didn’t die so we, as imperfect creations, could tell Him how amazing He was for the rest of eternity. It was for obedience.

    Lord, help me to do and think and speak without needing others to recognize or tell me how good I did or thank you. Teach me, help me learn how to be obedient.

    Humility. Obedience. Lord, you are so good.

  • "He must become greater; I must become less.” John 3:30 (NIV)

    I find it so interesting that we are living in a time when the mainstream channel of thought is all about:
    SELF-preservation,
    SELF-promotion,
    SELF-care,
    SELF-love.
    The world is so focused on the SELF.

    "Be good to yourself" and don't forget to "take time for yourself." Encouragement by authors, speakers, gurus, etc. Our friends might look to "things" to help find fulfillment. The longing deep within.

    It's such a far cry from what Jesus modeled for us. He looked away from himself and to the Father. He shrunk away from the accolades and often told his followers to keep his works quiet until the right time came. He didn't need the limelight. After all, he is the Light. And he wants us to BE lights…not under big flashing ones for all to see. So that HE is glorified. We put others first, so that we can reflect the light within us…for HIS glory.

    "People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people."
    2 Timothy 3:2-5 (NIV)

  • humilty, obedience, choices. I have struggled so long. Thank you all for such great insight. What a true blessing I am finding through all of you & the love of our Father.

  • Nancy Davis

    Another good word. Our pastor is teaching on humility next Sunday. I must need to hear this message. I really like hearing what humility is Not as well. God Bless you all. Finding my satisfaction in Him.

  • My convictions this morning. How humbled I am, cannot fathom why He called me out of darkness but am so thankful He obeyed.

    He’s at work all the time and is moving! Small ways become big things. History is proof of that. Christ’s lowly birth and form of death is complete assurance of that. Because our Amazing Father chose to save us and our Beautiful Christ humbled himself to be a servant. Then God chose this act of obedience, simple steadfast obedience and gave us life! Redeeming the world from all of the evil and death… Death He defeated and now He moves in order that we may listen and be servants of His will!

  • Jesus was the very definition of humble. He was able to say no when He needed, to put others first each time He could, to obey His father at the cost of His life, and to set aside His own ego to accomplish what no one else could ever do.

    Wow. That’s all. Just wow. Thank you for this today.

  • rocknitat55

    I like Rhonda have always wrestled with the idea of Jesus’s humility by design. That he was obedeiant because he could be. After studing this morning, I am seeing he was be cause He was, he choose to be obedeiant. He humbled himself to his fathers wishes. It did’t matter the course or the convience.

    Lord I pray to stay the course that you have unveiled to me.
    Though it maybe uncomfortable,unpopoular,inconvieant and sometimes painful and lonely help me to steadfastly maintain my course. For Your Word says that obedience is better than sacrifice!

    PHP 2:3 KJV
    Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.

    I pray that my no is pure and that my valadations are from you.

    Thank you SRT for this reminder.
    Ladies have a WINNER’S Wednesday.
    (We r all winners n Christ Jesus)

  • Often times I'm not humble because I feel I have the right to be prideful- like I deserve to be boastful, right and esteemed. If anyone has the right to be right and proud, it's Jesus, yet he chose to be a humble servant. I need to remember this more often. It's so hard to be humble when the world tells us it's ok not to be. This is an area I need a lot of work in! Lord, remind me constantly of Jesus, my example of perfect servanthood and humility!

  • Just love it when God brings things together. Wanted to share a verse from my couples Bible study from this morning and how it goes with our devotion today.

    Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.

    http://bible.us/97/jas.1.19.msg

  • Todays text really strikes a cord with me. I knew Jesus was humble but to me his humility was by design. I guess I never "really" embraced Jesus as a man. Yes I knew he was in human form but always thought of him as made more special than the rest of us. The realization that his humility comes through his obedience and not by design is much more awe inspiring. When I think of all the times in my life where I felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit and started to follow only to waver in my obedience when the task became to difficult, I feel ashamed. I need to do some serious thinking today about some of the decisions I'm making regularly because they fit in my comfort zone with the excuse that I am weak and it's just easier this way. Thank you SRT for opening my eyes just a little wider today!

  • Sherry_H

    So eye opening!
    Jesus didn't do the things he did because he had to, he did them because his Father asked him to. Amazing.

    And it's ok to say no…

    Thank you once again, Autumn Dawn Leader. :)

  • I love the clarification that Jesus didn’t do what He did for the glory, even though He deserves it. He did it out of obedience to the Father. I need to redefine succeeds as obedience! Every time I say yes to Holy Spirit and obey, I am successful in the eyes of God. Lord, grant me the grace to do this.

  • What love our father has that he would send his son to save us! And in his obedience and humility our sins are forgiven…THANK YOU JESUS!
    I hope and pray that I may be more like you and bring people around me to see YOUR AWESOME LOVE.

  • songmistress

    Last December God brought me to today's Song of Ascents, Psalm 131. And, while I don't have a song for this one, I DO have what I wrote as a blog post last year, when the Holy Spirit had me start considering these verses. The content of that blog post said:

    "O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;

    my eyes are not raised too high;

    I do not occupy myself with things

    too great and too marvelous for me,

    But I have calmed and queited my soul,

    like a weaned child with its mother;

    like a weaned child is my soul within me.

    – Psalm 131:1-2 (ESV)

    These verses have been on my heart and I’ve been thinking about them quite a bit lately, especially verse 2.

    As a mum who has breast-fed – and, subsequently, weaned – four children, this is a picture I can relate to: the image of a weaned child with its mother.

    The weaned child is content in the mother’s presence without having to be on the breast when there is something that troubles them. The child is now able to comfort itself when things are bothering them – the parenting experts call it “self-soothing”. While there was a time that whatever the traumatic event (or perceived trauma) was, from getting an immunisation to a bump on the head or just feeling out of sorts, would result in the necessity of the child being latched on until the calming effect of nursing would take place (for THERE WOULD BE NO CONSOLING WITHOUT IT!), now the child is capable of calming itself down.

    I don’t think this is a picture of us no longer needing God when we ‘grow up’ a bit. On the contrary, I think it’s a picture of how we should be when faced with things that would send us into fits of despair. Our aim should be to reach the place of maturity where we can tell our own souls to calm down, reminding ourselves that God loves us and is in control, and place ourselves in a place of prayer where we can receive the peace that passes all understanding, as we wait upon God (see Philippians 4:6-7).

    I can admit I have not reached this place. I am still a very unweaned child – sometimes falling to bits, unconsolable in the face of pressures and stresses. But, my prayer is to become like this weaned child with its mother, able to calm and quiet my own soul.

    The psalmist David often talked to his own soul – encouraging himself – to calm and quiet down and trust/wait upon the Lord (Ps 42, 43, 103).

    This Ps 131:2 is simply the latest scripture to drive home the point to me. The picture of the weaned child is one I hold in my heart and aspire to fully become."

    (link to the actual blog post is here: http://wordsofautumn.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/the… )

    Now, today, these months later, I don't feel any more weaned than I was then. In light of today's devotional, I see that when I get worked up and do not quiet my soul it comes back to those issues of pride and doubt. Humility trusts and there is trust in humility.

    So, yeah… this weaning thing, for me, is still very much a work in progress.

    • Callie

      I like what you said as far as what it means to be like "a weaned child" – I wasn't quite sure what he was getting at, using that as an analogy, but the way you stated it makes perfect sense!

  • Sorry please watch and listen to this song above very moving.

  • Thank you for this message today. God bless you all ladies. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detai

  • You had me sober till the golden bathtub part. Then you had me sober again. So thankful for the gift of an example that Jesus laid down for us to follow. In case y’all are wondering why/when I dropped off the face of the earth, I’ve been busy up to my neck with exams BUT I’ve been following through on devo, just hardly ever get the time to come on here to read your stories and insights.

    Blessings on all of you. Love you oh so dearly.

  • You have no idea how liberating it is to read those words, "He was able to say no when He needed.." because it puts into perspective for me that to be humble does not mean one needs to be passive or a people pleaser. Thank you for reminding me of that as this is something I am working on in my life; to not look for the approval of others and that it is alright to say no when I need to.

  • I really needed to hear this. Thank you. Jesus is truly inspiring.

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