Matthew 5:1-3 1SEEING THE crowds, He went up on the mountain; and when He was seated, His disciples came to Him. 2Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: 3Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the poor in spirit (the humble, who rate themselves insignificant), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!
This begins Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount- Blessed are the poor in spirit, or those who are humble. To be humble means to be modest or unassuming in attitude or behavior, to be respectful, to be without pretensions. Why is humility so important? In James 4 verses 6 & 9-10 we see 6But He gives us more and more grace (power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace [continually] to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it). 9[As you draw near to God] be deeply penitent and grieve, even weep [over your disloyalty]. Let your laughter be turned to grief and your mirth to dejection and heartfelt shame [for your sins]. 10Humble yourselves [feeling very insignificant] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up and make your lives significant]. We also see in Psalm 3:34 34Though He scoffs at the scoffers and scorns the scorners, yet He gives His undeserved favor to the low [in rank], the humble, and the afflicted.
I think of the parable in Luke 14:7-11 7Now He told a parable to those who were invited, [when] He noticed how they were selecting the places of honor, saying to them, 8When you are invited by anyone to a marriage feast, do not recline on the chief seat [in the place of honor], lest a more distinguished person than you has been invited by him, 9And he who invited both of you will come to you and say, Let this man have the place [you have taken]. Then, with humiliation and a guilty sense of impropriety, you will begin to take the lowest place. 10But when you are invited, go and recline in the lowest place, so that when your host comes in, he may say to you, Friend, go up higher! Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit [at table] with you. 11For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled (ranked below others who are honored or rewarded), and he who humbles himself (keeps a modest opinion of himself and behaves accordingly) will be exalted (elevated in rank).When you exalt yourself, you run the risk of having your place of honor taken from you, but when you allow God to promote you it puts you in a position that no man can remove you from. Examine your heart today. Are you humble in spirit? Are you able to receive favor from the Lord because of your humility? When we get to the place where we recognize our complete insignificance and thus our total dependence on Him, we allow Him to move in our lives in a greater way.