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More Grace and Favor: Releasing the Untapped Power of Humility in Your Life
by Andrew Wommack
Learn More | Meet Andrew Wommack
The Response of Humility
Our society doesn’t understand humility. Even Christians have become self-centered, self-promoting, and self-reliant. They are contentious, demanding, and critical. They have not died to self (Matt. 16:24). They crave recognition. They exalt their own opinions and experiences above God’s Word. Instead of looking unto Jesus (Heb. 12:2), most people look at themselves, and they struggle to believe. Because they have not cast their care upon the Lord (1 Pet. 5:7), they become weary and give up their faith. Pride traps them. It hinders them from experiencing the full benefits of God’s grace.
Jesus once said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matt. 12:34). If your heart is full of pride, your words will show it, for “by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matt. 12:37).
Before the prophet Samuel was born, his mother was barren. In those days, barren women were thought to be cursed. Without children, a woman couldn’t fulfill her societal role, nor would she have anyone to care for her in old age. Samuel’s mother, Hannah, was heartbroken over her barrenness and prayed fervently for a child. She even vowed that if God would open her womb, she would give her first child back to Him. Once when she and her husband, Elkanah, went to Shiloh to worship, the priest saw her praying. He assumed she was drunk and started to rebuke her. Hannah told him of her heartbreak, and the priest blessed her instead (1 Sam. 1).
Hannah returned home with her husband and, over the course of time, conceived Samuel. When she brought Samuel before the Lord to fulfill her vow, she prayed, “My heart rejoiceth in the Lord . . . There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God” (1 Sam. 2:1-2). She went on, saying:
Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
1 Samuel 2:3
God heard the proud words and criticism Hannah endured as a barren woman—even from her own household—and He did not remain silent. He vindicated Hannah by giving her sons and daughters (1 Sam. 2:21). He also chastised Peninnah, Elkanah’s other wife and Hannah’s loudest critic, for her treatment of Hannah (1 Sam. 2:5). Brothers and sisters, there’s a lot of proud talk today—even among Christians—and it is not wise.
Ye fools, when will ye be wise? He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see? He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know? The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.
Hebrews reminds us:
For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
The Lord is gracious (Ps. 145:8). He does not treat us as our sins deserve (Ps. 103:10) but gives us time to repent, time to acknowledge that pride (which is the root of anger, criticism, and every other sin) does not produce righteousness (James 1:20). No matter what experience says, the end does not justify the means. God gives us time to acknowledge His grace and humble ourselves (2 Pet. 3:9). But a day will come when He “shall judge his people.”
Job discovered this truth thousands of years ago. The Bible calls Job, a pre-covenant follower of God, “the greatest of all the men of the east” (Job 1:3). He was prosperous and healthy. He feared God and shunned evil. But in one day, Job lost everything he had. His children were killed. His wealth was taken. Many of his servants lost their lives. Then, before he had time to recover, he was struck with painful boils.
When his friends heard of Job’s distress, they came to “comfort” him. For seven days they sat in the dirt and grieved. No one said a word. When Job finally opened his mouth, hurt and bitterness spewed forth. He cursed the day he was born. He wished for death (Job 3). It wasn’t until Job’s friends spoke up that things changed. “You’re angry and bitter without cause,” they said. “Bad things don’t happen to good people. Your own sin has brought this calamity upon you.”
“If I have sinned,” Job replied, “show me what I’ve done wrong. I don’t know why this is happening to me, but I know I’m innocent.”
Much of the book of Job is this back-and-forth conversation between Job and his friends. But their counsel did not help him; it only caused more grief. At some point during their conversation, Job began to question God. There was a subtle shift from “I don’t know why this is happening to me” to “This is not fair. God is unjust. There is no benefit to serving Him” (Job 34:9). His friends finally “ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes” (Job 32:1).
After everything got quiet, God spoke. But He did not explain Himself to Job. He did not answer Job’s questions. He only addressed Job’s folly. For four chapters—Job 38 through 41—the Lord reminded Job of who He is (and of who Job was). God sarcastically asked, “Where were you when I formed the earth? Did you give the horse its strength? Do you shut the sea behind its doors? Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons? Do you know where light resides? Have you visited the storehouses of snow? Does the eagle soar at your command? Can you pull in the leviathan with a fishhook? Are you the one who gives man wisdom and understanding?”
But of course you know all this! For you were born before it was all created, and you are so very experienced!
Job 38:21, NLT
God continued, “If you’re righteousness truly exceeds that of my own, then do what I do”:
Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty. Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him. Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.
God abases pride, but He also exalts the humble (1 Pet. 5:6). Notice Job’s response to God:
I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. . . . I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
Job 42:2–3 and 5–6
Job humbled himself. He repented, and God restored everything Satan stole from him. Repentance and humility are the proper response to God’s correction. As a matter of fact, in Scripture, every time a person saw the glory of God, humility was the result. When Isaiah saw the Lord, he repented: “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (Is. 6:5). When God spoke to Abram, he fell on his face (Gen. 17:3). When the Lord spoke to Moses out of the burning bush, Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look upon Him (Ex. 3:5–6). When the angel appeared before Joshua, he bowed to the ground in reverence (Josh. 5:14).
Intimacy with God is impossible outside true humility.
Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.
If we could ever catch a glimpse of God’s glory—His grace—we would humble ourselves. We would lose all arrogance and pride.
I’ve heard many people say things like, “When I get to heaven I’m going to ask God why He let this or that happen. Why didn’t He intervene in this situation?” But in heaven, no one will be standing in line to ask God questions, trying to discover the reason behind every suffering. When we finally see God for who He really is, we will fall on our faces in humility and be saying, “Praise God I didn’t ask that stupid question.”
You know, I’ve never seen God with my physical eyes. But I had an experience with the Lord on March 23, 1968, that changed my life. My small group was meeting for prayer as usual, and though I didn’t see anything, I knew God was in that place. In a moment, I felt God’s love. I experienced His holiness. I finally understood who God was, and I fell on my face in repentance. Don’t get me wrong. I believe I was saved before that moment, and I believe I would have gone to heaven. But that moment of humility changed the trajectory of my life. It opened the door for me to experience real relationship with God.
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