God requires humility. He is not pleased with our contrived ways of worshipping Him. All our own egotistical thoughts and religious activities are useless when trying to please Him.
Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
Recently the President of the United States gave his State of the Union Address. With reference to one failed program of last year he said the following: “I have made my mistakes and I have learned again the importance of humility in all human endeavors.”
His statement illustrates the common understanding of humility — consciousness of one’s defects, shortcomings, or inabilities. The Biblical definition of humility also contains this understanding, but has another more important aspect to consider.
II Corinthians 3:4 and 5:
And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;
“Humility” is the acknowledgement and belief that we are not sufficient of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God. Simply stated, “We cannot, He can, God help us.” Much more than merely acknowledging our limitations and weakness, it is acknowledging God Almighty’s abilities and strength in our lives. It is to surrender our ways to His ways which are so much higher than our own. The humility we read about in the Bible is a total dependency and reliance upon God, an acknowledging of our need for Him and His ways.
Jesus Christ, in referring to a young baby, gave us a very graphic illustration of humility.
At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
The Greek word used for “child” is an infant or baby. What can babies do for themselves? Can babies talk or walk? Do they feed themselves? How many babies can clean themselves, get dressed on their own, or do any of the things necessary to sustain life? Babies are totally dependent upon their parents for everything. The reality is that babies cannot live on their own without help.
Another wonderful reality about babies is that there is no fight! They seem to understand their limitations and fully expect their parents to completely provide for them. How insistent that crying baby can be! Babies are totally dependent, trusting, and even demanding that their parents take care of them. Infants do not try to do things on their own. They are content to let their parents provide. What an illustration of humility! As children of God we should depend totally upon God and His ways just as an infant depends upon his parents.
Jesus Christ was very qualified to teach on humility because he lived it. He held no wrong conceptions about his relationship with God.
Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten son, the only perfect man that ever lived, said, “I can of mine own self do nothing.” We are very arrogant and foolish to think that we can do anything on our own. Why would we ever think our ways are higher than His ways?