“The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility.” Proverbs 15:33
Once again we have the strongest theme of the Proverbs that is to be sought and embraced at any cost – the reverential fear of the Lord. For only our being swallowed up in God’s greatness can self be cut down to the size of the Cross – where it is to remain dead. And only then can the Spirit of God truly use us for His purposes without our getting puffed up over honors that will be given us but are really meant for the One living within us.
God delights in using the humble vessel, because such a one will not glory in being used, but only glory in the Cross. But who is really humble? And what is the cost of humility? When we think we’re at our “humble stage” we become proud of it. And the word “humble” is really a part of another word – “humiliation.” In all truth, that has usually been God’s way to bring about any humility in my own life. How do I take rebuke from people, whether such be just or unjust? How do I accept correction from others, whether they are 3 years old or 93 years old?
Like when my daughter was three. She caught me not living what I preached and said, “Daddy, you’re a hycoprick!” though she couldn’t pronounce the word, I knew what she meant and had to repent – before a three-year-old!
I can guarantee you that the more the Lord uses you, the more He will keep you broken. That’s because those whom God calls us to help or bless will generally thank us. But we didn’t do anything! God did it through us! And so, while we say a gracious “Thank you” for any visible honors that come our way, we quickly pass them invisibly to the rightful owner who is The Way. “Before honor is humility,” and the price of humility is suffering. Don’t be surprised!
My prayer: ”I leave any honors up to You, my loving Father. Knit the humility of Jesus into the fabric of my life, though I know that will not be without pain.”