Humility – the Road to Authority and Power
Article taken from Fatherly Talk
Humility – the Road to Authority and Power
It is clear to our lives today that humility is the primary key to the increase of grace and the workings of God in our life (James 5:5). The rewards are both on this earth and in heaven above. It would be good to outline the rewards and understand them in greater detail that we may be motivated to seek the road of humility rather than the road of pride and self. Amongst the rewards of humility are the very opposite of what we expect – authority and power. Those who desire power and seek it by their pride will only destroy themselves but those who do not desire power but only seek to humbly do God’s will are rewarded with great authority and power that they might inherit the earth. The meek will always inherit the earth even though the strong and mighty try in vain to stop them or snatch it from them.
1. The humble are promoted to authority and power
Jesus made it clear that those who are destined to be great in our midst must be those who are prepared to be a servant to all (Mark 10:44). Authority and power on this earth is under the control of God (Daniel 2:51; Matthew 28:18). God gives authority and power to whomever He wills. When Nebuchadnezzar thought that power was purely in his grasp and all that he achieved was his own, he was corrected by God and humbled (Daniel 4:31-32). When Pontius Pilate thought that he had authority over Jesus, he was corrected and told that his authority was there because God had given it to him (John 19:10-11). Whether we realize it or not, whether the very people who exercised authority on earth know or not, all authority indeed comes from the Lord. I know that this seems strange especially to those of us who experience people in authority who do not seem to receive it by their humility. Every one of us has a destiny and those destined to exercise authority (as part of our mission on earth) will be tested on their humility; failing which their authority and work will be given to another.
God is looking for people who are humble to promote them to positions of authority. Sometimes those who are destined for greatness of power and authority have to go through a long road of humiliation before they are allowed to exercise dominion. Such was the life story of Joseph and Daniel in the Old Testament. Jeroboam was an unknown until God gave him the ten tribes of Israel in prophecy for which Solomon sought to kill him and he fled to Egypt (1 Kings 11:28-40). God even promised that he would have an enduring kingdom if he obeyed the Lord (1 Kings 11:38). However, Jeroboam was insecure that the Israelites might desert him if they kept going to Jerusalem to worship and when he built a golden calf to the Lord, his kingdom was cut short and judgment fell on him (1 Kings 12:26-33; 14:7-20). If only Jeroboam has realized that it is not by his own might and ability and power that he obtained a kingdom. His counsellors were just mere men who thought that everything happen by natural means alone and neglected to understand the most fundamental truth, that is God is the only power behind every promotion of authority and power (1 Kings 12:28).
Others like Jehu, only obeyed God partially and not whole heartedly. Jehu was given a kingdom by God and at first obeyed the Lord and removed all the false worship of Baal from Israel (2 Kings 9:2-12; 10:30-35). Jehu did not walk in the law of the Lord with all his heart, so he had partial authority and God began to take portions of Israel’s land away from the authority of Jehu.
If only all men and women in authority know that it is the Almighty God who gives all good things and requires that all walk humbly before Him. Pontius Pilate must have been struck at the authority of Jesus sought to release Him to no avail. Solomon in his old age observed that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favour to men of skill but that time and chance happened to them all (Ecclesiastes 9:11). The word ‘chance’ here is from the Hebrew word ‘qara’ which means to encounter. It is not as undirected or accidentally as we think it is. The word ‘qara’ has been translated as ‘befall’ (Genesis 49:1), ‘met’ (Exodus 5:3), ‘came’ (Job 4:14) and ‘happen’ (Jeremiah 44:23). It is used in many areas of events happening with human choices involved (not necessarily by accidental chance) in Exodus 1:10; Leviticus 10:19; Joshua 11:20. In the New Testament, the word ‘chance’ is the word ‘sugkuria’ which literally means a coming together of events or happenings. We know that such ‘coming together of events or happenings’ do not happen by accident but they are the total sum of human choices of past and present converging into an event. God knows all things and is able to control all things. The only requirement of God is that we love Him and humble ourselves before Him (Romans 8:28; James 5:5). The convergence of all events (whether for or against) will be turned into goodness to us and be used for our exaltation if we humble ourselves before God. There is no chance in God; everything has a cause and effect. Promotion does not come by accident nor does it come from the east, west or south but it comes from the Lord (Psalm 75:6).
2. Spiritual authority, gifting and offices is exercised best by those who are humble
God did not allow Moses to rise to spiritual authority over the Israelites until after he learnt humility in the wilderness. He was a prince and thought that by slaying the Egyptian, the Israelites would know that God had chosen that by his hand He would deliver them (Acts 7:25). He was indeed called to be a gifted spiritual leader but he was not ready for the gifting nor for the spiritual office yet. God had to teach Moses that it is not his hand but His (God’s) hand that delivers the Israelites. Moses authority was great because he had by the time God used him in the wilderness became the meekest man on earth (Numbers 12:3). At that time on the planet earth, Moses was probably the most powerful man of God on the earth. The power that God chooses to display through our lives is directly proportional the measure of humility in our lives.
When Stephen and Philip were willingly to be mere deacons serving the widows and taking care of their daily food distribution, God began to anoint them mightily and gave them demonstrations of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:8; 8:6). There was no record that they were selected to do mighty works, they were selected to help feed the widows. Paul himself recognized that the Holy Spirit delights in showing His power through the weakness of men (2 Corinthians 12:9). He observed that the Corinthians who was one of the churches abundant in the gifting of the Holy Spirit did not have many wise men among them, nor many mighty or noble for God had chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise (1 Corinthians 1:26-29). His primary purpose is that only God might receive all the glory (1 Corinthians 1:29). No flesh shall glory in the presence of God. Paul speaks of his own weaknesses and his dependence on the power of the Holy Spirit rather than on himself (1 Corinthians 2:1-5). We are told to NOT lean on our own understanding but rather to trust in the Lord with all of our hearts and acknowledge Him in all our ways (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Paul was a great apostle because he knew himself to be nothing before God. We are great in the sight of God only as we understand that we can do nothing without Him (John 15:5). The more we think we can do it ourselves, the less He is able to help us. God does delight in us partaking of and exercising His authority on His behalf but only after we have learned the lesson of humility and dependence on God. Joshua learned to be a servant to Moses all of Moses’ life. Joshua was known as Moses’ servant (Numbers 11:28). He served Moses for forty long years through all the hard times and good times in the wilderness. Not once did he seek to promote himself. He probably would have been happy just being a servant to Moses, if Moses had lived longer than him. After Moses died, Joshua was chosen by God to exercise great authority. God even told him that He would exalt him and make him great in the sight of all Israel (Joshua 3:7). God exalted Joshua and make him a great leader who exercised astonishing power and authority; even allowing him the power to stop the sun and the moon in carrying out His commission (Joshua 10:12-15). Indeed, there has been no day like that nor since then when God listened to the voice of a man and stopped the sun and moon in their tracks. What great authority and power that God had bestowed upon one man. Why? It is because that one man had served in humility for forty years as a servant asking for nothing. When God exalts, He exalts more than what we can think or imagine.
As we consider the majesty of God and His greatness. Let us also consider that the greatest place in the world to be in is in the place of humility. Of course, the greatest demonstration of humility is by Jesus who humbled Himself unto death for us but who is now exalted through the whole universe and all of God’s creation, the name above every other name (Philippians 2:5-11). Jesus had all power and authority given unto Him (Matthew 28:18).
Today our God looks for those who have the same like nature of Jesus – the Spirit of humility. There is a revival coming forth in these last days and God will exalt those who are walking in the deep humility in the sight of God and of men. May God touch and use each of you richly, as you seek God in humility; serving Him with tears of humility (Acts 20:19).
In a modern world which espouses pride, strength and selfishness, let us demonstrate the strength and power and wisdom that come only through humility. May we always breathe and live humility every moment of our lives.
In His Love
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