For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Is. 57:15
A friend of mine and I were walking in the street when we passed someone talking on the phone, and as we passed by we overheard him saying into the phone, “You know, forgiving someone is the most difficult thing to do in this world.”
When we had walked clear of the man, I said to my friend, “I think asking for forgiveness is even harder, because you are required to humble yourself in order to do so.”
As we walked we thought a lot about that. We came to the conclusion that in many of our dealings with people we are called upon to have a humble spirit, otherwise we cannot please God. And we will hurt people.
It is incredible what the Bible states in Isaiah. The Bible says that God inhabits eternity. Just think about that. Moreover, it says His Name is “Holy”. And who does scripture say God dwells with in His eternal and holy abode? The Bible does not say that God dwells with the holy; but rather it says He dwells with the humble and contrite in heart. In the simplest terms, it means that God is solidly on the side of the man who can humble himself.
Why, pray, not with the holy?
I am sure that, more than anything else, God would love to dwell with the holy man/woman. That means a man or woman who does not sin. But there actually is nothing like a man or woman who is sinless. The Bible declares that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). All!
There is only one Man whom the Bible testifies that He did not sin, and that is our Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible says of Him,
“Who did no sin” (1 Pet. 2:22).
That is perfectly clear. Jesus did no sin. There is nowhere in the Bible you will find that written about anyone else. Every other man and woman has sinned. Even the men whom God boasts of in the Bible sinned. Abraham went in to a concubine. As for King David, the man whose heart singularly pleased the Lord, well… we don’t want him feeling bad up there, so let’s cut the talk.
Many believers are trying hard to live a sinless life. That is commendable. But many forget the crucial ingredient that God looks for in a man’s heart. God looks for humility. A humble man pleases God more than anything else, and he will go far, even in this world, because God is on his side.
A humble man is one who has a soft, malleable heart and who quickly falls down and repents. That was the case with King David. When the Prophet Nathan showed him his sin, David said simply,
“I have sinned against the Lord.” (2 Sam. 12:13)
He did not add or deduct from those all-important words.
Many of us cannot curl our tongues around such words. Some of us would rather die even rather than utter such words. And yet, it came naturally with King David.
We read of other kings who, when they were confronted, had the man of God locked away. And many of us are like that. But not David.
A humble and contrite spirit is the first pre-requisite with God. Don’t press God about the fact that you are His child, etc. He is not interested in such self-righteousness. When Jesus began His ministry here on earth, the Bible tells us the first words that came out of His mouth.
“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Mat. 4:17)
He was talking of a humble, repentant heart.
There is a safe passage in this unsafe world. The passage is in our hearts – our humble hearts. God will fight ferociously for the humble man. That is an indisputable fact, and it is borne out in many lives of men and women who have humbled themselves in this world.
There is a shortcut to where God is. We can easily jump over in one leap and be with God. It is simply by wearing a humble heart. God welcomes a heart that is clothed in humility. For this reason the Bible says,
“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (Jam. 4:6)
Yes. God gives grace to the humble. But He resists the proud.
Whatever you are engaged in, just calm down. Even if you are successful, do not allow success to get into you; lie low like an envelope. Wear humility like a garland around your neck. Own up and surrender whoever you are to God. Jesus said,
“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself…” (Mat. 16:24).
Surrender your will to God.
Whatever battles you are going through, humble yourself, and God will give you the victory.
That, beloved, is the gospel of the cross that the Apostle Paul preached. It is only through this gospel that we can say with Paul,
“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerers through him that loved us.” (Rom. 8:37)