Are We Humble? Do We need To Be

#13 October 19,2021

It is important that we understand fully our relationship with the Lord and the many challenges that face us in our life living to God's purpose. We must understand that even our joy in the Lord can become a temptation and a trial when we forget the humble heart that caused us to choose God’s ways.

Luke 18:10-14
18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself; God, I thank thee that I am not as other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers; or even as this publican.
18:12 I fast twice in the week; I give tithes of all that I possess.
18:13 But the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God, be merciful to me a sinner.
18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other; for every one who exalteth himself, shall be abased; and he who humbleth himself, shall be exalted.

Humility opens our hearts to the Spirit of God, which guides the life we live and becomes the testimony we offer the world. If our testimony speaks of our life in God, it boasts of our abilities to live in God’s ways and sets us above all those that fight the despair of shame and unworthiness. It fails to create hope. Instead, our testimony should speak of God in our life and the changes His presence causes. As we face the glory of God we realize our need for growth. As we bask in His love we find that we want to be more like Him and less like the world. This need becomes the desire of our hearts and it causes us be different in a way that allows joy to enter our lives.

Alma 10:28 But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering; having faith on the Lord;

The ways of the world would try to convince us that maybe God is not the only source of reliable understanding. Once again we are faced with or need to choose God over those things that would try to replace Him. Remember, we are free to seek and follow any idea or ideals that we choose and God has promised He will not interfere. We must choose to trust God and God alone. This act of absolute trust is known as humbling ourselves to His leadership, and it is very, very necessary.

Alma 17:3 And now, O my son Helaman, behold thou art in thy youth, and therefore I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words, and learn of me; for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God, shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day;

Each day and in every situation we must reassert this absolute trust in God. In the book of Proverbs, Solomon spoke to our loss of humility and gave us ways to know we were losing our faith in God as our source. The world seeks to infect us with the disease of pride. As with any other disease, early detection is our best defense. I have chosen a number of verses from Proverbs 27 that bring to light symptoms of the disease that seeks to corrupt the purity of our humility to God. Each of our target verses from Proverbs will be presented in Bold Front with the ensuing discussion about the verse and its application in Typical Font. My hope is to bring clarity to the challenge we face.

Proverbs 27:12 A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.

Without our humility in God, we fail to recognize the voice of God's Spirit. We lose our ability to recognize that the adversary, like God is in everything. When we fail to identify and declare the absolute difference between virtue and sin. In that we create a grey area that is confusion waiting to be born. This becomes very evident when we hear our others define their Christianity by what they don’t do. We hear, “I don’t smoke, I don’t drink and everyone knows I don’t use foul language” as a condition, which describes absolute holiness. In this foolish mindset, we challenge the very growth in God we seek. Without our humility to God, we fail to remember that the proof of our faith in God is what we do, not what we refuse to do.

James 2:14-18
2:14 What profit is it, my brethren, for a man to say he hath faith, and hath not works? can faith save him?
2:15 Yea, a man may say, I will show thee I have faith without works; but I say, show me thy faith without works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.
2:16 For if a brother or sister be naked and destitute, and one of you say, Depart in peace, be warmed and filled; notwithstanding he give not those things which are needful to the body; what profit is your faith unto such?
2:17 Even so faith, if it have not works is dead, being alone.
2:18 Therefore wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead and cannot save you?

Without our humility to God and the growth it spurs in us, faith can die within us and the death will go unnoticed. We will be unaware that we are lost. Our humility to God clarifies for us the difference between right and wrong the same way our eyes allows us to recognize the difference between light and dark. Humility allows us to hear and recognize the voice of His Spirit as it guides us with God's truth. Without our humility to God we become the simple person instead of the prudent man, and we will not even realize the change that has taken place.

Proverbs 27:13 Take his garment that is surety for a stranger, and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.

Here we stand blind, deaf, and unaware that anything is wrong. Without our humility to God, we loose our basic sense of moral values and the idea and purity of right and wrong become skewed. Our standards degrade and we begin to accept the ways of the world as the virtue we seek. Without God as our moral center we begin to accept foolish doctrines such as the notion of greater and lesser sins. In this we lose the fullness of our security in God. Sin becomes confusing because we no longer have the simplicity of good versus evil. To "yes" and "no", we have added "maybe". The strange woman better known as the church of the world will seek to use that "maybe" to destroy our trust in God

Proverbs 27:14 He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him.

By choosing to leave behind our humility to God, this strange woman will seek to offer us people of this world as a source of virtue that is neither righteous nor pure. Daily the media seeks to convince us that temporal success is equal to or better than the righteousness of God. Look to the celebrities of the world and understand this: They are just people like us. They do good things, but they make mistakes, too. They may seem to be worthy of our adoration, but they are not God. In fact, they probably don't want to be God. Even if they to convince us of their concern for us, it is a probably a lie. How can they love us? They don't even know us. When we seek to accept this lesser virtue as our path to wisdom, we fool no one but ourselves.

2 Nephi 12:39 Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.

In our humility to God the shouting of the world gives way to the still small voice of God in our hearts. Like the predawn light of the morning, God quietly testifies of an end to the darkness that rules our life, the light of truth that lives within Him, and the joy that can be ours, too. Our humility to God brings us hope. It offers us a choice between the bondage of doubt and the freedom of assurance. It testifies of a Father filled with love, a Savior filled with grace, and Comforter filled with light and truth. The hope God offers will lead us away from the sorrow of sin to a joyful life in fellowship with a people of like mind and like purpose. In our humility to God, we once again have a clear line of demarcation between good and bad, "yes" and "no". Our assurance in God allows us little need for the word "maybe".

Proverbs 27:15-16
27:15 A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.
27:16 Whosoever hideth her hideth the wind, and the ointment of his right hand, which bewrayeth (declareth) itself.

Bewrayeth: Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
Hebrew number 5046: A primitive root-To predict, declare, denounce, expose

Even in the church we see evidence of this strange contentious woman trying to steal our humility to God. Worship reduced to traditions and rituals beget a people filled with fear. They want to believe that God has sanctified them, but apparently they also feel that His blessing is both weak and fragile. Even in that sanctified state they fear corruption and in that fear they remain aloof and apart. The truth is they are scared that God isn't strong enough to protect them and in their fear they become judgmental and contentious. If we allow the woman of verse 15 to become our Church, we can fully understand the true damage our loss of humility can cause. We become concerned with maintaining the status quo. We build walls meant to keep out anything that might corrupt what we have and forgo the possibility of becoming something more. We refuse to risk growing because growth causes change.

This is not God's Church.

Moroni 7:53 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son Jesus Christ, that ye may become the sons of God, that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is, that we may have this hope, that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

This is God's Church. They are a people peculiar in this world, because in God they live without fear. The virtue they profess is deeper and more fulfilling than mere rituals can affect. They refuse to wear their morality like a suit of cloths that they don whenever traditions demand it. In humility to God we become a people who possess a righteousness that grows from within. It is an integral part of who we are and how we live our life. It is a testimony we can neither escape nor deny. We are God's people today, tomorrow, and forever. We are the same Thursday afternoon as we are Sunday morning, and we live holding high the banner of God's truth for all the world to see. In everything we think, say, and do, compared to the world around us we truly are a peculiar people.

Exodus 19:5-6
19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine;
19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

This was the hope of God for the Hebrew Children in the desert. It was the same for the people of the Church in Jerusalem in Peter’s day.

1 Peter 2:9-10
2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;
2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God; which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

God seeks the same thing for His people today. He seeks for us to humble ourselves that we might be His people. Have we humbled ourselves to the hopes of God, or have we chosen another path. Are the revelations we receive from God treated as welcomed direction, or are they a challenge to the life we choose for ourselves? Do we use our testimonies of God’s grace to go boldly forward, or do we hide from them and cower in our sinful pride? Are we humble to God?

Proverbs 27:15-16
27:15 A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.
27:16 Whosoever hideth her hideth the wind, and the ointment of his right hand, which bewrayeth (declareth) itself.

In this passage, God describes for us the symptoms of people who have turned away from their humility to Him. Professing God but failing to heed His wisdom is truly a contentious miserable thing that it is neither openly painful nor obviously evil. Instead, it “drip-drip-drips” its rebellion in annoying ways that continually separates us from God. Study becomes dull and repetitious. We fill our self with complaints about what should be instead of joy in what is. Our scriptures become just something else to dust and when we do read them, we find more confusion than direction. The challenges that burned like a fire in our imaginations become the drudgery of tasks we really don’t understand. Prayers become litanies and prophecies of hope become stories and legends.

James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

Open your heart to God and turn away from the corruption of pride in your life. Open your eyes and ears to the leadings of His Spirit and recognize the challenges we face. Humble yourself to the Lord and know the His sweet mercies as we grow in His purpose, together. 

In answer to the question posed by our title......Yes we do need to be humble to the Lord. It is our greatest single strength.

Let this offering lift you up. Praise God for what He has brought you. 


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