… he humbled himself Phil. 2:8
Did you read that? Probably you need to read it again. That scripture is talking about our Lord Jesus Christ. It says our Lord Jesus “humbled himself”.
The unspoken implication in this scripture is that many of us are bigger than the Lord Jesus Himself. Whenever we fail to humble ourselves, we are declaring, unwittingly, that we are greater than our Lord, who humbled Himself. Can you imagine that? The only reason God does not immediately blast us off the face of the earth is because He is a merciful and compassionate God, and full of patience.
Having meditated on the ways of the Lord for over 20 years, I have come to the indisputable conclusion that God is more interested in a tender heart than anything else. You may have all the faith in the world, you may have the most profound revelations, or you could have the biggest ministry on earth; but if you do not have a tender heart, somehow you will have missed it with God.
A tender heart is just that – tender. It is quick to repent, quick to forgive, and quick to make amends. In every aspect, it is quick to obey God. Tenderness of heart and humility are synonymous.
In every situation, we are called upon to humble ourselves. All the warfare in our churches is a result of men and women who have failed to humble themselves. All the conniving, all the pride and bigotry, all the envy, all the sin, these things are a testimony to our hard, unyielding hearts. If we had tender hearts, these things would not be there in our midst because, at the first sign of “trouble”, we would immediately humble ourselves and obey God.
It might sound rather extreme, but I believe we should stop everything we are doing “for the Lord” and first examine our hearts. If we do not have that single ingredient of tenderness, I wonder how we can feel at peace with God? If we are not ready to obey God, then we should know and acknowledge that we are in trouble with God.
The problem with many of us, of course, is that we are more willing to listen to and are more keenly aware of what people think or say about us. But that is a very deceptive road to take. Many people will tell us what we want to hear. There are very few people who are willing to tell us the truth about ourselves. You just attend any Christian meeting or conference and you will find people slapping you on the back and telling you what a good guy you are! That could be true, but who is there to tell you about the pride in your heart? Who is there to point to the envy that is eating away at your soul? And how about that anger and bitterness – bitterness even towards God for perceived “injustices”? Or the covetousness, the adultery, and the many other sins in your life that are threatening to derail your very salvation?
There probably is no man to tell you of these things, but it is not necessary that men tell us. God through the Holy Spirit will most certainly point out these things to us. It is our responsibility to carry that tender heart where we are quick to humble ourselves and obey God in every area.
There are believers who struggle with a certain sin for years. Then, finally, they give up and allow themselves to live with that sin as a part of their lives.
But no! We should fight with all the strength that we have in the Spirit. We should be striving to humble ourselves and obey God at every opportunity. One day, we will achieve the victory.
[Below: Where a tender heart is, there is total peace in our spirits and we can live in perfect harmony]