How many times have you been rejected in your life? Overlooked, Abandoned, lead astray? Sometimes we don’t realize how much we’ve endured and had to go through, things that we are embarrassed to even speak about, and sometimes we just don’t want to think about it. Some people look at us and see such great things, they see where we’re going, what we’re doing, what we’re good/gifted at, but we can’t help but see where we’ve been, where we still are. But if we were to forget our past and our present state, we forget how much those events, moments, tragedies, failures, have cost us, shaped us, and how God has brought us out, time after time again. Remembering the Lord’s mercies (whether great or small) can help us to remain humble during the journey of where God is taking us.
Some may feel that being humble means that you get overlooked or turned down often, or that it may make you miss out on opportunities or open doors in its season, because you’re just not pushy enough, not bold enough. But being humble really has a lot to do with the place that you take when an opportunity has been given by Grace. It comes with a special honor because it leaves much room to move up higher, through favor, in the presence of those around you. Because you have been through a lot in life, it doesn’t just automatically grant you a position of honor. Honor is earned by being willing and humble enough to take the place of the least. In Luke 14:7-11 NIV, at the house of a Pharisee, Jesus […noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”]
When we exalt ourselves, we take a boastful approach in our works towards the gift of Grace that God has granted us. This shouldn’t be, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV). If God has prepared these good works in advance for us, then he has certainly prepared the way. Therefore, he knows us. He knows what we are capable of, what we have lost along the way. He knows what we had to give up because of the journey, branches that had to be pruned. Gifts and talents that were buried. Scars that have been opened and closed many times over, forming sores that we’ve continuously nursed for years. He knows the pain, the suffering we had to endure, when we are barely hanging on by a thread, when we are in need of a word just in due time, a hug, a smile, a phone call, a song, just a little encouragement. He knows when we are broken and need to be put back together. He knows when we have been let down, unsupported, left to fend for ourselves by those whom we held dear. He knows because we are God’s handiwork.
But despite what we’ve been through, there are no esteemed entitlement that places us at the head of a table that we have been invited to as a guest. There are no works that justifies an opportunity instituted by Grace. Even though David was chosen to be King, he still humbled himself and played the harp for King Saul, when he was called upon, as that was the opportunity Grace had provided. We should always be humble enough to be counted with the least. Exalting ourselves is of no reward in the kingdom of God, but if we humble ourselves before the Lord, he will exalt us (James 4:10). Everything has its place, and even in our humbleness, let us not disregard our tests and our trials because they do matter. As we mature spiritually, God will teach us how to learn from and use our testimonies to encourage and build up the body of Christ, to show his great glory, to demonstrate his love towards his children. And each testimony will have it’s opportunity in the right environment to be effective onto righteousness, whether it be for one or many.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV.
Remember the Lord’s mercies, for “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.” Lamentations 3:22 KJV.
Be humbled in his Grace. “Likewise, you younger men [of lesser rank and experience], be subject to your elders [seek their counsel]; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another [tie on the servant’s apron], for God is opposed to the proud [the disdainful, the presumptuous, and He defeats them], but He gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5 AMP
Be elevated through Favor. “For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation.” Psalm 149:4 AMP. “For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Isaiah 57:15 NKJV.