How to Pursue Humility

How to Pursue Humility as Followers of Christ

When we look around our communities and our world, it seems we have allowed pride and privilege to take over our hearts and lives. Perhaps it’s time to pursue humility in all our lives.

Inspired by her earlier post, Seven Biblical Promises for Walking in Humility, I asked Karen Friday if she would write more on the subject. Karen is a fellow Christian blogger and a pastor’s wife. Read with open hearts and then share on the link-up what you have been writing about Leaving a Legacy.


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by Karen “Girl” Friday

Humility.

pursue humility

It seems missing from our present culture. But this lack isn’t anything new. People, even God’s people, have always had a bent toward self-centeredness and boasting.

And learning to pursue humility is a needed spiritual discipline for a Christ-follower.

So here are 8 ways to pursue H-U-M-I-L-I-T-Y.

H – Honor God.

Pursuing humility starts with honoring God by letting Him be God and do His job—not taking over.

But we have a choice to let Him act as CEO of our plans and purpose. We ask ourselves: God is CEO, am I in His seat? If I am, it means I’ve exchanged honoring God for honoring myself.

Because when we take the reins, God doesn’t reign as Lord.

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” (James 4:10, ESV)

U – Understand humanity.

Once we realize who God is, we come to terms with our own flesh. Created in God’s image, we are wired for humility, but learn life’s about me.

Our flesh and spirit war against each other. And make no mistake, our flesh and the enemy of our soul wars against humility in our life. But our spirit desires humility.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people…clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12, NIV, emphasis added)

clothes yourself in humility
Image by Daria Nepriakhina at Pixabay
modified by Mandy

M – Model Jesus.

Although Jesus was fully human and divine, He lived and ministered as a humble man who put the interest of others first. He never turned anyone away, not even those considered “unclean” or social outcasts.

We are called to the same humble life.

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves…Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:3-8, ESV, emphasis added)

I – Invite transformation.

Ask the Holy Spirit for help to change and transform us from the inside out.

Maybe we start with praying these Bible verses over ourselves.

“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” (Romans 12:16, NIV)

“…serve one another humbly in love.” (Galatians 5:13b, ESV)

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” (1 Corinthians 13:4, NIV)

Live in #harmony
Image created at canva.com

L – Lay down pride.

None of us enjoy discovering areas of pride. But it is worth a continual evaluation if we consider how Satan’s fall all started with pride. And pride disrupts our relationships with others and the Lord. Again, ask the Spirit to reveal this to us.

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18, ESV)

“Haughty eyes and a proud heart— the unplowed field of the wicked—produce sin.” (Proverbs 21:4, NIV)

“In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.” (Psalm 10:4, NIV)

I – Identify boasting.

Boasting is often seen online, in our career, in relationships, and so on.

Many life areas may promote boasting, “Look at me and what I did.” If we don’t voice it, we display the attitude.

Jeremiah describes a time God’s people had forsaken His law, not obeyed His voice, but followed their own hearts and other gods.

The Lord said, “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord….” (Jeremiah 9:23-24a, ESV)

Likewise, Paul notes how God doesn’t choose those to minister and serve based on the world’s standards of wisdom, power, or nobility. “So that no human being might boast in the presence of God…as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’” (1 Corinthians 1:29-31, ESV)

Identify areas of outward or inward boasting of “me,” and increase our boasting of God.

T – Train in godliness.

1 Timothy 4:7-8 encourages us to train for a godly life. Godliness always includes humility.

“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” (James 3:13, NIV, emphasis added)

“Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.” (Psalm 25:8-9, ESV, emphasis added)

Y – Yield to God’s glory.

Nothing showcases humility like yielding everything to God and making sure He receives the glory—He’s always in the spotlight.

“Humility is the fear of the LORD; its wages are riches and honor and life.” (Proverbs 22:4, NIV)

“Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty.” (Psalm 104:1, NASB)


Thank you, Karen. You have given all of us some new ways to pursue humility. I pray that we will take this to heart today. You will find more of Karen’s wisdom on her blog, Karen “Girl” Friday.

Want to Pursue Humility Further?

If you would like to study more on the topics of Pride and Humility, may I suggest a new book out by Linda Wentworth Barnes, (my college roommate, and also a pastor’s wife.) Look for my review on the Amazon listing of this book.



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feature whatever it takes

Willing: Whatever It Takes

This week’s prompt is WILLING

This post was prompted by the gang at Five Minute Friday Each Friday we take five minutes to write on the same prompt. It’s a lot of fun to see what others are inspired to write from the same prompt. Give it a try or click and do a bit of fun reading.

Five mInute Friday :: Willing

I’m reminded of my husband’s first wife, JoAnn. I never met her but she loved Jesus and served Him faithfully.

I’m told she was willing to rise up early every Sunday morning to call people. “Are you out of bed getting ready for Church? I hope to see you there.

Willingness to Give All To Jesus

When they were dating she was willing to take a stand, “If you see me on Sunday or Wednesday nights, it will be because you are at church with me.”

She was willing to adopt two of her sister’s children so they wouldn’t end up in the foster care system. At this point, she had been raising them to about 9 years.

JoAnn desired for everything that she did to glorify God. In February 1989, The church was preparing for revival services. She sang a special song that Sunday, just before the Revival began on Tuesday… Whatever it Takes.

WHATEVER IT TAKES 


There’s a voice calling me from an old rugged tree 
And it whispers 
“Draw closer to Me 
Leave your world far behind 
There are new heights to climb 
And a new life in Me you will find” 

For whatever it takes to draw closer to You, Lord 
That’s what I’ll be willing to do 
And whatever it takes to be more like You 
That’s what I’ll be willing to do 

Take the dearest things to me 
If that’s how it must be to draw me closer to You 
Let my disappointments come 
Lonely days without the sun 
If in sorrow more like You I’ll become 

I’ll trade sunshine for rain, comfort for pain 
That’s what I’ll be willing to do 
For whatever it takes for my will to break 
That’s what I’ll be willing to do 
That’s what I’ll be willing to do 

© 2018 Heritage Singers. All Rights Reserved. Gospel Heritage Foundation is a non-profit organization sharing the gospel through the Heritage Singers.

On that Wednesday morning, she rose from the bed, kissed her husband goodbye, and headed out to drop the children at their various schools.

The Worst Phone Call Ever

What seemed like just moments later at the parsonage the phone rang.

Rev. Farmer there’s been an accident on the bypass, there are school books here with your daughter’s name in them. You better come”.

That was the beginning of a very long week. Two Funerals and a son in a coma. What was a man to do?

Are You Willing to Trust God For Good

God worked in the lives of many after that. The phone calls JoAnn made turned into decisions for Christ. Michael was willing to get back in the pulpit as soon as his son came out of the coma in about three weeks. He felt if he gave up preaching, what would it say about all the things he had preached… How God would carry you through the worst storms.

Another Difficult Phone Call

Later that same year, Michael made a difficult phone of his own. Well, let me back up a bit. You see, a pastor’s wife one state away (my pastor’s wife) carried a burden for this lonely father of two and pastor of 100. She prayed, “How can this man continue to serve You, Lord, with no wife?” God answered, “Mandy is the girl for him.”

Long story short, she “drug” me to Georgia to meet this preacher. The next week, he called me up and that was “the beginning of the end”. Now nearly 30 years later, we have served together in five different churches. Raising his two boys and another boy and girl. If you were to meet our family, you would easily see what a “God thing” it has been.

Are You Willing to Accept “Whatever It Takes”?

  • JoAnn was willing to do whatever it took to bring people to Jesus.
  • Michael was willing to continue in ministry with his wonderful wife.
  • I was willing to move to another state, take two boys (9 & 14) as my own, and become a pastor’s wife myself.
  • God was willing to take care of the rest.

Are You Willing?

Mandy Farmer

This story inspired by the Five Minute Friday Community on the prompt:

Caring is Sharing

Whatever it Takes Hymn Story
Susannah Spurgeon Legacy

7 Ways Susannah Spurgeon Left a Legacy of Faith

I was given this book by Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

The Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon

Susannah SpurgeonYou have likely heard the saying, “Behind every great man is an even greater woman.”  Susannah Spurgeon is just such a woman. Wife of the infamous preacher, Charles Spurgeon, she was an integral part of his life and ministry.  She was behind him in prayer support but also beside him in ministry.

Even after reading only the introduction and first chapter I wished that this book had been available to me 30 years ago as I was becoming a pastor’s wife. If I had the time all in one sitting, I would have read this book to completion in a day. What a beautiful example of a Christian wife, pastor’s wife or not.

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Rather Have Jesus

Hymn Favorite – I’d Rather Have Jesus

Continuing from an earlier post on VALUES

Here’s a hymn that is familiar to most of us through the Billy Graham Crusades. George Beverly Shea found this poem lying on his piano, left there by his mother, who hoped it would change the course of his life. George created a tune to go with the poetry and that is the song we know today. It indeed did change the course of his life as a musician on NBC, he gave it up to travel and sing with the Reverend Billy Graham. I’d Rather Have Jesus became one of the most loved songs that he sang.

Hymn of the Week: I’d Rather Have Jesus

attr. to Oscar C. A. Bernadotte, 1888
Rhea F. Miller, 1922

copyright status is Public Domain

LYRICS

  1. I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
    I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
    I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands;
    I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand

    • Refrain:
      Than to be the king of a vast domain
      Or be held in sin’s dread sway;
      I’d rather have Jesus than anything
      This world affords today.
  2. I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
    I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
    I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame;
    I’d rather be true to His holy name
  3. He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
    He’s sweeter than honey from out the comb;
    He’s all that my hungering spirit needs;
    I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead

Story Behind the Hymn

American hymnals give Rhea Miller credit for the song but Swedish believers so that is was written by Prince Oscar C. A. Bernadotte sometime after the woman he loved introduced him to Christ. She was a commoner and the story is told that he gave up his lineage to the Swedish throne to marry her and serve God.

HAVE A LISTEN

I’d Rather Have Jesus Sung by George Beverly Shea

true value

What Has True Value in this Life

VALUE

noun. – the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.

This post is inspired by the PROMPT: VALUE from Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday crew. The challenge is to write for five minutes. No editing. I encourage you to go to the link-up and read what others were inspired to write.

Value Re-defined.

Our world has re-defined what has value. Today, according to the world we have value because we have stuff, we have amazing talents, we know people. King Solomon said that life has no meaning or value.

But God values us as His children. Actually, He gives us our value.  We are His children.  And because of this, we have great value. We are nothing without him. We can do nothing without Him.

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