Humility: Christ Speaks to the Lowly in Heart

You know anybody who’s narcissistic? It’s, it can really drive you crazy, somebody who is so full of themself, there’s never any room for them to be wrong or to see that they can improve, it’s just all about them. And humility is kind of a, oh, that’s a scary word to someone who’s narcissistic. And great, I would say greatly misunderstood, by the way, by most. If you read Merriam-Webster’s definition of humility it is: “freedom from pride or arrogance: the quality or state of being humble.” And if you look on their web page the synonyms for humility from Merriam-Webster’s: “down-to-earthness, lowliness, meekness, and modesty.” Now I kind of, I told you the motivation is because we can all glean from this, there’s, there’s not a creature in the sound of my voice who cannot glean something out of what I’m going to talk about today if it’s rightly applied and rightly understood. For like a man, say like Augustine, he described humility: “not solely as the contemplation of God, but study of self,” which is the antithesis of what Christ taught. Christ did not teach to be introspective about self, but to deny self and ultimately crucify self by picking up your cross and bearing it. Christ speaks to the lowly in heart. When we talk about humility, this is the, these terms that there are a lot of folks out there who I have found out don’t necessarily understand what exactly this means; biblically it is not to self abase oneself. We think often times when somebody self abases themself, “Well they’re quite humble,” no that’s not humility. And if you think about Christ’s life, He was carrying out the will of the Father. The humility that the disciples learned is that there’s indeed something more to learn in their devotion of following God; not self-knowledge, unless one is to understand what Christ talked about regarding forsaking or preferring Him above all others or anything else. So, a little footnote, whatever you are in your will, in your innermost being, will determine your cross. A lot of people say, “Oh, what does that mean when Christ said pick up your cross?” I just said, whatever your, your individual issues of the will are, they are designed specifically to crucify the “I” in you. That’s what each person’s cross is, but the subject that I’m touching on, I think we all, we all kind of dance around it. I had a conversation with someone probably about two weeks ago on the subject of being humble and humility, and their observation was that only weak people would be humble. I wish I could say what I really want to say now. You know the most attractive━and now I’m going to make, probably the first time I’ve ever made such a comment here, so brace yourself, because there are traits in women that can be attractive or unattractive, there are traits in men that can be attractive or unattractive. For me a very attractive trait in a man is his ability; not his ability to be humble, but the fact that God gives him humbleness, or lowliness of spirit. That’s not gloom and doom, that’s not mopiness, and someone can be a strong person and yet be humble; these two coexist together. It’s when that strong personality becomes arrogance, now you’ve lost me. I’m not interested in trying to talk to someone whose whole demeanor is about how much; that’s why I asked about narcissism. If you know anybody that’s like that, and by the way they know everything, they’re experts in every field of life, except for the success of their own. Well, let me go back to the concept that in trying to talk about. What I think probably is important, we’ll call it perspective, I’ve used this word before, perspective; not trying to be humble, not false humility. That in fact, is what you can glean from people like St. Augustine and Bernard, who wrote many treaties on the subject; you end up with people who are trying to be humble and to act humble, but that is not the thing that God actually does in the individual. You know, one of the songs they sing, “Who made the mountains? Who made the trees? Somebody bigger than,”━that, that, that concept says just by itself I am dwarfed by creation, I am dwarfed by God, and just the reality of my, this is not self-abasing to say my smallness in the universe should bring about a sense of humility that I am not the king or queen over all things, there’s always the perspective that puts things in proper order. Humility is not endeavoring to despise oneself or the preoccupation when I say “self” in the negative of the positive because all of the feeding of self is the exact opposite; it’s fatal to humility, the feeding of self in any way, shape, or form. And if you think about it, man and his need, and I use the term “man” generically in his fallen state and mind, is unable to conceive of service as the highest incentive to action. So a lot of times when I talk about servitude or servanthood, people who are not born from above they don’t have the ability to say, “Well, that could be the highest calling: to serve, to be a lowly servant.” And being called, by the way, to the ministry, and I’m going to be more specific, is not, “Now I must act humble”” God sees through that stuff as well. He knows, He knows how to knock the corners off of you if you’ll let Him, and He does it really good too. You don’t need me or somebody else, but I can point you in the direction for you to pay attention the next time the wheel knocking occurs, you’ll know what’s going on, and you’ll thank God for it instead of becoming bitter. Remember I said this all ties in to, we can all learn from this. There’s a passage in Deuteronomy you’re probably well familiar with, Deuteronomy 8, which talks about how the Lord led them forty years in the wilderness, and it says, “to humble thee, and to prove thee”” and I taught on the word “to prove,” that was to see what was inside. But the humbling part that God did, if you look carefully at that Hebrew word it can carry connotations of affliction, as well as bringing someone to a depressed state or bringing them low. And why was that? They could’ve gotten puffed up in their spirit and said, “Well, the God that delivered us out, WE special people, the God that delivered us out of Egypt. And we can do anything we want!” But if you read what God did to them in the wilderness, He sure did try and put the screws to them to bring humbling, and certainly it revealed what was in their heart because the whole trip, the whole time, all they did was complain. They never had one moment where for any stretch of time worthy of mention where they actually saw the acts of the Lord and expressed the great gratitude that was then commuted into actions towards the Lord. They’re just kind of people who never had a right spirit before God, their attitude was always off. You know, let’s talk about the church here. I’m not interested, you know, there’s lots of pastors that listen to me, and I, God bless you for listening, because I’m sure you deal with the same issues with the folks in your church, and may God grant us the ability to have wisdom; I’m talking us as in the people who God has placed in a specific charge, to have wisdom to point people, and we ourselves to look at this subject and be mindful. That’s why I use this passage out of Ecclesiastes 7, to say there’s isn’t a righteous man that you can see doing good who doesn’t sin; we’re all sinners, we all make mistakes. If there was a do-over for each day of my life I’d probably ask for it, and so would you most likely. Now the problem here is sometimes we don’t see why God is bringing us to this point, we only see the events and we can either despise the events or we can say, “There is something here that I can, I can get out of this, the Lord’s going to show me a lesson.” There, by the way, it’s taken me a long time, and I’m not telling you that I’m there, but I try to find even in the things that are unpleasant for me to deal with, I try to find the lesson of how can I apply this to me that I may grow thereby. I don’t think I’ve arrived, I think I’ve come a long way since the first time I said, “Wow, I need to keep listening! This is amazing teaching,” but have I arrived? No! And neither have you! And part of the trip is figuring out when the humbling experiences come, how to glean, and how to let God shape and mold. There are other Hebrew words, but they all come down to the same thing to, “to be on bended knee, to humiliate.” One specific Hebrew word is “to submit.” But in the New Testament you have one word, which is tapeinoo: “to bring low, lowly estate, disposition; to humiliate.” And if we were going to really understand the mind of the New Testament in this, if I may point you first, although it’s not in my message, if I may point you to Philippians 2, because really Paul’s, I’m going to call it exactly what it is for this purpose, an exegesis, a making clear or making plain of the real understanding when we talk about humility and humbleness. And some are you are familiar with this passage, but if I will read, and I’m just going to read from the King James; there’s lots of italics here, not interested in translation today: “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfil ye my joy, that ye may be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” Here: “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” Let me just stop there and ask the question, this is not some, “You go out and do this, you go out and try and imitate.” I’m not saying that. I’m asking you if you’ve ever meditated on this: “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory,” you’re not boasting about, “Look what I can do, see how I am! This is so great, this is; this is what I’m doing which is so great!” Right? No: “but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better then themselves.” I’m wondering, I don’t even, I don’t want an answer, I don’t want hands, I’m just wondering if anyone has ever meditated on that 3rd verse? How we supposedly relate to one another. You know, I, I learned this, that as much sometimes as we think we are mature in the Lord we find out how immature we are when the stuff hits the fan and certainly when it being slung at us sideways. “Well, I don’t deserve that.” Well, then chalk it up to the ten billion things that you should have had it coming for that you escaped and didn’t get. “Well, that’s unfair!” Well, no one said life is fair, but there’s a practical side, a pragmatic side to this. Now I don’t tell you go around and treat people how you’d want them to treat you because, well, let’s just leave that alone. But this passage here sums it up, something to meditate on: “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus,” and here is the real clarity of humility: “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation.” He could have said, “Look at Me; I’ve arrived!” When people said, He said, “Who do people say that I am?” He could have just said, “I am the Christ! I have arrived,” but He didn’t have that spirit in Him. That nature was not in Him, He could have. He’s Lord of all, He could have; but that’s not the nature He revealed to us: “made himself of no reputation, took upon him the form of a servant”” Do you see Jesus with His disciples; oh, He taught them, He fed them, He was with them, but do you see Him saying to them, was there a need for Him to say to them, other than Peter’s one outburst where He said, “Get behind me Satan,” do you see where He at any point had to say, “You are going to respect that I am God, or I am going to smite you.” I’m being ludicrous for the sake of making the point. Respect comes, now I’m not talking about the people who are constantly making strife, and they’re constantly making war, and they’re constantly trying to stir the pot, but respect comes when you see individual’s action like saying, “I won’t stand for something,” not because I’m some dictator, and I’m going to demand this thing, but because I realize you let something small like this go and it has the capacity to grow. And I’m not wanting to in the place where I must conduct the things that I have been entrusted with that I call my life’s calling, to have the strife that we’ll call it other people seem to engage in all the day long. You have to at least say, if nothing else, you may not like my style of leadership, but I think it’s fair to say that it is a respectable thing to address something and not be lording over nor hypocritical, just to put it out there; and as I said you speak the truth in love. And if people have not a pernicious spirit they will connect with what’s being said on the level that, you would want somebody to tell you straight out, not sugarcoat it. You know, some people are like that, they go to the doctor, they don’t want to hear the bad news, they want the doctor to, you know, do a little jig, and do a little dance here and there and, “Now would you like to know what’s wrong with you?” No, “Doc, just cut to the chase, just tell me.” I don’t want to hear all the, you know, “Look on the bright side.” I got the bright side, I got Jesus. I don’t need you to tell me to look on the, just tell me what it is so I can deal with it and I can take it to the Lord, and say, “Lord, You already know, but here it is.” I don’t need all that other stuff.” Now when it comes to that, I’m telling you we’re looking at Paul’s exegesis of exactly what our understanding should be about this concept of humility: “But made himself of no reputation, took upon himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Obedient unto death, humbled Himself, servant, likeness of men: “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him,” the low, lowliness that He came to put on display that we could identify with, and it says then, “God hath highly exalted him, given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus ever knee should bow, and the things in heaven, things in earth, under the earth; that every tongue should confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” There’s the best picture if you want, in Christ outside of the Gospels, to give us understanding about what this humility looks like. He didn’t try, Jesus didn’t come and say, “I’m going to try and be humble; I’m going to try and show them what humility looks like.” He was. And that only comes from, in Christ’s case that could only come from being God, and in our case it could only come from essentially relating to God. And the more we relate and the more we connect we may at times, as I said, need a little bit of the corners of the wheels knocked off. But then that brings about, we’ll call it a fresh sense of: “I’m not God, and I’m not in control.” I’m just a steward, I’m just a, I’m here, I’m just an undershepherd. You know all the people that would like to tear your pastor apart, I’ve said many times over I’ve made mistakes. I’ve made mistakes in the thirteen years that if I looked back as I’ve grown in front of you, and I will continue to grow. The ego, if someone was puffed up in arrogance would say, “Well, I’ve never made a mistake, I don’t make mistakes. I just create them.” But all you have to do is go into the Gospels and read what Jesus says. In most of the Gospels, you’ll hear something about those who exalt themself will be abased, but those who humble themselves will be exalted. And you don’t take the highest seat, and the best seat. He was specifically talking in parables when He talked about the wedding, and He said, “Don’t take the highest seat, or the best seat, lest somebody comes in who is more honorable than you, and you’re told to move.” There’s nothing worse than being told to, “Ah, you’ve got to move from here, you’re sitting and somebody who’s more important than you has come,” and there’s nothing worse than that! So take the lowest seat and let somebody come and move you up. Now I can tell you, you know, people have said a mouthful about the early days, if people watched and they used to say, you know I’d always, we’d always find me somewhere trailing somewhere behind Dr. Scott; somewhere. Because it wasn’t important for me to be first, it wasn’t important for me to be right there in the frame, beside him, I’ve got to be like, you know, now the term is “photo bomb” now. It wasn’t important for me! In fact, it was like, “Get, keep me out of here.” That always somehow backfired for me, because I always keep get putting to the front. And I look back now and understand even in life some of these things work out that way, that parabolic method actually works just like that. But you don’t go and take the lowest seat with the hopes that, “Oh, I’m going to move up!” You take the lowest seat by saying, “Thank God I got a seat.” Period. Right? Now same book that I’ve quoted from, Ecclesiastes 7:8 says, “The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” And the patient in spirit there is a spirit that’s longsuffering, that’s constantly going through, is better than a proud spirit. A proud spirit says, “Why are you asking me if it’s with So-and-so’s permission today?” That’s a proud spirit. Luckily the individual that I’m going to talk about isn’t here, so I can speak freely; no. I know he, I know that he actually is listening in by way of the app, so I’ll, I’ll be more kind and generous, but there was a time when that individual actually was in charge, still in charge today of a lot of things concerning the ministry and all the far reaches. But there was a time even for that individual where sometimes people would ask the question: “Is this with Dr. Scott’s authority today?” And you know, ruffle the feathers, like, “Why are you asking me?” Well, it, remember the question was designed to protect both the individual, the one being asked and the one on the━so it protects everybody. And when you get offended when somebody asks that question you give yourself away. The question should make you glad inside that somebody cares enough to protect you, and the interest of the ministry, and me by making sure that no one is stepping out of boundaries, because this is very easy to do. There’s a lot of lines here that can be crossed and people think, “Oh, it’s just, you know, just homogenize it.” Now to make my point through the Bible, so I’m not trying to belabor it, I want to take you to I would say several texts that will point out several dimensions of things that we’re looking from the pastorate all the way to the furthest seat in the house, or the furthest listener from the sound of my voice. And see if somewhere in some of these, we’ll call them biblical vignettes, we’re able to glean for ourselves something of a lesson that, as I said, whether you’re the individuals, individual or individuals involved, or whether you’re not involved to help us better understand the way God sees things. If you’ll turn to 1 Samuel, that’s the first place we’re stopping. I have three or four texts I’ll use. 1 Samuel, and the text that I’m looking for is in the 15th chapter, and it is the prophet Samuel talking to Saul. “Samuel said, When thou wast little in thy own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?” When you; let’s put this in a more colloquial terms: When you seemed to be nothing, God saw you as great, that’s why He chose you. That’s why He put you in the place you’re in. Now this is Samuel the prophet talking to Saul the king, but I want you to see how this could apply, as I said, first to the leader of any church, starting with me, and work its way all the way down to the furthest out there of why God calls some and chooses some. And I’ve said many times the, what I call the eighty-twenty rule; the, it’s twenty percent of the people doing eighty percent of the work most of the time in churches. And the people who are not part of the twenty percent, the eighty percent of the others tend to be the ones that like to throw around their weight a lot more then the twenty percent that are actually doing the doing, seldom are seen, there’s never somebody going to come around and say, “Good job!” but they know what they’ve been called to do. And then if you keep reading in this same chapter, a very familiar passage here for us is in verse 23, where the prophet once more says, “Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” And so that’s the first passage. I’ll come back to that that I’m going to reference, those two Scriptures. There is another passage out of Proverbs, which simply says, “Before honour humility.” I won’t have you turn there because I just read it to you. It’s in two different places in Proverbs 15 and 18. But the place I am going to have you turn to is Numbers, because these will be, these will make up the bulk of the texts I’m going to use to explain perspective. In Numbers 10 and beginning about the 12th verse, but I’ll read where the break is clean: “It came to pass,” 11th verse, “on the twentieth day of the second month, in the second year, that the cloud was taken up from off the tabernacle of the testimony. And the children of Israel took their journeys out of the wilderness of Sinai: and the cloud rested in the wilderness of Paran. And they first took their journey according to the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses. In the first place went the standard of the camp of the children of Judah according to their armies: and over his host was Nahshon the son of Amminadab.” And you’ve got all the tribes marching in successive order all the way to the 25th verse, where it says: “And the standard of the camp of the children of Dan set forward, which was the rereward of all the camps throughout their hosts: over his host was Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai.” So we’ve got marching orders of the way the camps should move. Now here, and I’ll come back to these, each one of these has something for us, but here the only thing I want you to see is that there is an order that God gives. Not everybody is the tribe of Judah and some people would like to be. Everybody would “Well, I want to be Judah.” Well, that’s not your tribe, that’s, that━everybody has an order and a place you figure out where it is and you march accordingly. And again, this depiction can be, we can start at the top and we could start with Judah and work our way all the way to the back to Dan, and say this again is order that needs to be in some respect understood. I never have read that Dan complained that they were at the back, “Oh, we’re at the back; we don’t like it. We get the dust, we get all the nasty smells, we get all━we’ve got to deal with all the donkey, horse and camel stuff/droppings. You know, it’s a bad deal! Put us somewhere else. Make us march to the left or to the right out there, but not to the back because we can’t take it.” I don’t read that; it’s not in the book, right. Each person is assigned a place and that’s where you are to march and recognize there’s a reason why, including the reason why Dan marched where they were assigned to march. And I’ll, as I said, I’ll come back, but three texts that I’m using. If I start at the beginning where I told you with 1 Samuel 15, you’ve got a leader who has lost humility and God essentially by the prophet says, “You’re of no use.” And from that point, by the way, oh there were several sins that were committed by Saul, but from that point Saul worked his way out of God’s favor and out of the position real quickly. And it is the most difficult thing. Sometimes you want to tell people that they are, they’re out of line, they’re not where they should be. We’re talking about the church here, we’re talking about, as I said, church order and the difficulty, and it is. I don’t, I don’t care how you slice this, I don’t care how, how long you’ve been in the pastorate, there’s no pleasant way to deal with these things, so you’ve got to look into the book and see is there something that I can lift up that we, we as a body, all of us can glean? As I said, with Samuel’s message to Saul, he was essentially saying, “When you were little in your own eyes, when you didn’t perceive that you had achieved to some level of greatness, you were great in God’s eyes.” Now that humility’s gone, he was going to be cut off and the tragedy of Saul’s story is he starts off so great from one of the smallest tribes; no, the smallest tribe, Benjamin, son of a farmer. He wasn’t born like some of these other individuals that you might say, “Well, of course they should be king and of course they should be leaders,” son of a farmer and as a young man he seemed to stand head and shoulders above the crowd. He was, according to the Bible, handsome and godly. And there’s at least the starting event of all this is the Ammonites have so frightened the men of Jabesh, they come whimpering to the king of the Ammonites and beg for a treaty. And here we have the king of the Ammonites agree to a covenant if he could just thrust out the right eye of all the people of Jabesh, as a reproach to Israel. And we encounter Saul, he sees the people in the fields and he says, “What aileth you? Why are you weeping?” And when he learned the reason, he demanded that people unite behind him and for at least for a small window of time under his leadership there was some form of a united nation, there was some form a united people. Now I’m not saying that humility in every sense brings unification. I’m not suggesting that at all. I said people are people. One day somebody comes in and they say, “Oh, I really like what Pastor did,” and the next time they come, they say, “Aw, I don’t like that at all. I disagree. There’s, that’s just, she’s wrong there.” Well, listen, did I tell you I’m going to be right all the time? The only thing you need to concerned with: is this being opened up? Am I pointing you to something and bringing this to your attention? Because the other things I’ve actually called opinions, which everybody has at least one, two or three of them in their lifetime. You know, find somebody that you’re going to agree with most of the time. I’ve said this before between husbands and wives; and I don’t want to look in any direction to be incriminating. But it’s very, very, very, very, very rare that a husband and wife will agree on all things all the time every day for their whole marriage; very, very rare. That’s what grey hair or loss of hair is for, and hair dye just helps you cope with it better. But Saul had a talent; he had a great military gift, distinguished for his courage and his devotion. He succeeded in keeping the Philistine at bay, the Philistines at bay for a time. And when he started to get vainglorious, that’s when things started to kind of go a little astray here. He builds, he puts a monument up to commemorate the victory over the Amalekites, like, “Look, we’re going to put a monument right here to say this is what we did and the day we did it and look at us!” His deep jealousy for David, do you remember when the women were singing? Oh, he didn’t like that to hear how David essentially did, “Well, I can do more than you can do,” right? The women were singing how David essentially did more than what he did and he didn’t like it, and his jealously just kind of whoosh! He became self-willed that he defied God and we know that he offered the sacrifice because “Samuel was late and the sacrifice had to be offered; somebody’s got to do it,” which is out of the text where Samuel talks about “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness as iniquity and idolatry.” It’s kind of interesting that when Saul’s humility was gone, that was it. It was over. And now if you read the book that chronicles his steps it’s just, it’s a spiraling downward. There’s no steps up, it’s just keeps seemingly going down to a very dismal end with him falling on his sword and essentially they’d cut off his head, they hang his body and it’s a wonderful ending to a life that could have been something more and something greater. There’s a lesson, by the way in Saul’s demise. I’ve never seen anybody, once they start going down that pathway, unless they’re confronted and their heart is open to that, like David being confronted by Nathan when he came and he said, “Thou art the man.” Unless the heart is open to receive that there is no hope for that individual because that individual will say, “Well, that’s not, that’s not fair! That’s not right! That’s not true!” But when David, I go back and digress to David, when he was confronted about his sin regarding Bath-sheba and Uriah by the prophet, and he’s told, “Thou art the man,” some pretty incredible writing from the pen of David comes to show us the way of repentance towards God for the things that we do. So there’s plenty of examples of people. I actually, I started writing them down and then I stopped because I realized the list is pretty, pretty long of people who fell out of favor. Amin humbled not himself before the Lord, as Manasseh his father did. Zedekiah is another one. Nebuchadnezzar lifted up in pride; Belshazzar is another one and he’s basically told he’ll, this night, basically in his drunken feast, full of pride, but he’s told, “This is it; your whole life is going to be put on display, weighed in the balance; you’re found out.” So I don’t think there’s hiding or a cloaking of this and we can all, each and every one of us can succumb to some of the elements of being puffed up by saying, “Not I.” But if we’ll receive the correction, and the correction isn’t somebody coming and saying, “Hey, look at how badly you messed up.” Can you see this? That’s, to me, the best correction is when you ask somebody, “Can you actually see this?” No, I’m not going to lead you five miles by the hand, but I’ll take you at least a couple steps and show you: “Can you see it now?” “Aw, I don’t know. It, that doesn’t sound right.” Well, let me take you a couple more steps here, because I’m not trying to persuade you to think like me, I’m trying to see if you can see what God sees, because I don’t see in your heart and I can only see the exterior things. Those exterior things are what’s speaking right now. You figure out between you and God if you’re able to receive it and you can say, “Yeah, I see it.” And a mature person, by the way, will take the correction. It’s just as hard to give it as it is to take it. That’s a; I just said a mouthful. If you’re a mother or a father, I’ve never, I’ve yet, and I shouldn’t say, I shouldn’t all this, but I have yet to meet a mother or a father who actually enjoyed correcting their child. Is there anybody in the sound of my voice here that you’re a mother or a father that you actually took pleasure in correcting your child, that it made you happy, it filled you with joy? It’s grievous! It’s something that hurts because you love the child and you don’t want the child to go about and continue in certain behavior and yet if you don’t correct that it will just get worse. Now you tell me what the difference is between being a spiritual parent and a natural in terms of there is no joy that comes out of this for me. There was no joy for the prophet either. The prophet didn’t say, “Ha, ha, HA, ha! Told you! Knew it!” All right, you all know Proverbs: “Pride goeth before destruction and haughty spirit before a fall,” or again in Proverbs 29, it says, “A man’s pride shall bring him low.” So the text, and I’ve just woven a few out of Proverbs, speaks to any individual. I’ve covered the top, Saul, who was the king, but the text in Proverbs basically is a blanket for any individual listening to me. When people get puffed up, and it is the sin that’s described in Isaiah, regarding Satan, “I will ascend, I will be like, I, I, I,” it is the enthronement of I and self, versus my desire is to be pleasing to God. Well, maybe when I pray that, God’s going to say, “Okay, stick around a little while. I got my old bat for your wheels that need to be worked on. Stick around.” The text that I mentioned out of Numbers, that speaks to those people, who if the text is rightly understood as Dan as the rereward, or heading up the rear, they also had a responsibility, which many of the older commentators touch on, which is to ensure that those people who were incapable of carrying on, those who fell ill, those who had a diversity of issues, the tribe of Dan essentially collected all that was left in the trail of the rest who had moved on. That, my friend, is not taking the rear and being the donkey. That’s called responsibility for people who do not have the capacity to take care of themselves. Now somebody might look at it and say, “Well, they’re, they’re at the end, they’re at the back; they have nothing and they should be demanding,” in this day and age and political correctness and all the agendas that we have of everybody has to be equal, “Dan should be demanding to be marching side-by-side with Judah! Equality!” Okay, who’s going to pick up the folks who have fallen behind? Who will pick up the frail? Who will take care of doing that which that tribe was assigned to do? You might think that’s a funny way of looking at it, but I think that’s a pretty special people. So you either have the humility to recognize that God called you for a certain task which in the eyes of the world may appear to be menial, but in the eyes of God, He says this is pretty important because you’re essentially charged with the ones who cannot take care of themselves. You find the humility there in the acts of God towards His people. Now the texts that I’ve treated, I think speak enough, but if you want to keep building on them, I can keep building. To the New Testament, Christ gets the attention, this parabolic method again of two people praying, the publican and the Pharisee, and their attitudes. One had one of humility: “Be merciful to me a sinner,” versus the other one that said, “I thank my God I’m not like this one over here, who does blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,” right? Again, another incredible way of looking at the way God sees things from His perspective, and I think if we started examining all the people that I’ve skipped over in the Old Testament, we’d find that they all had that publican-like mentality. If you think about it, when Abraham is called, he calls himself dust and ashes. When God calls him to go and essentially he’s going to be High Father, father of many now; dust and ashes. The same thing could be said of Jacob after he is broken and after he says, “I’m not worthy of the least of thy mercies.” I could keep going down the list and the list of these in the Old Testament is pretty long, including as I mentioned, David who in his defeat of Goliath, he could have said something else, but he said, “Who am I and what are my people?” Humility. God will use those people until they become unusable. And you become unusable when you forget the reason why God called you in the first place; you didn’t think you could do the job. Moses: “Who am I? I can’t speak.” Jeremiah: “I can’t speak; who am I?” Those are the type of people that God loves to use because He recognizes, I’ve said this before, that when the acts are of God performed by and through and in and carried out by the individual, the individual can’t turn around and say, “I did this thing,” they can only say, “Glory to God that God came through, because if God didn’t come through, without You, God, I can do nothing,” not of mine own anyway or the things that I would do or that I could do, they’d be nothing. Every church in the sound of my voice has this problem. Not every minister and every pastor is willing to deal with the reality. And the reality is it doesn’t have to be, we don’t have to say, “Well, now you, you can’t be used anymore because your attitude is bad.” We’re supposed to point these things out that it become clear that maybe our attitude is moved a little bit from where it was, instead of a servant’s heart with a servant’s mindset looking to just serve, we’ve become bosses. We’ve become people who have other people under us and we move them around and we are in control. And there’s only One that’s in control of moving all the people around. Now I’m responsible as an undershepherd here to make sure order is kept, but I’ve said to you, whenever my time is, if my time is five years, ten years, twenty years; perish the thought, fifty more years━oh, God! But then God has the next person. And the mindset of the people who have, like Paul called them “fellow laborers,” should-to-shoulder, wasn’t one “I did this and you did that.” What about the unnamed people who never get any credit? The people who let Paul over the wall in a basket, which Dr. Scott highlighted a special group of people, the “rope fellows,” what about those people? We don’t know who their names are, but if it hadn’t been for those people where would Paul have been? We don’t know. I can say the same thing in a modern perspective as I was just reading or rereading the story of Charles Spurgeon, who probably I would, I think his sermons have been read by more people, heard and read while he was alive and through now publications that keep going and keep going and keep going. And if anybody comes into the church, it doesn’t take very long for them to “Charles Haddon Spurgeon; of course, yeah, that, I know that name.” But if I asked you the name of the preacher who was preaching a sermon one Sunday morning when a fifteen-year-old boy was sitting under a half-empty church, under a balcony listening to the preacher, preaching out of Isaiah say, “Look and see the salvation of the LORD.” And at that moment that fifteen-year-old boy looked and was gripped by the word of God, which happens to be Charles Haddon Spurgeon, but no one remembers the name of the preacher that preached that message. But in God’s plan, it didn’t matter. And in God’s plan, probably He used some unknown, just like I mentioned the rope fellows, just like there’s a, there is, there are lists of people in here where Paul says, “And I thank So-and-so and So-and-so,” but there’s names missing out of the list. How could you name all the people through the ages who helped? And yet God says, “And these are the ones,” by the way, who thought, “What can I possibly do? Who am I? How could I possibly help?” And these are the ones that God takes and says, just like Saul, “When you were little in your own eyes, I chose you and I saw you as great.” And as long as the mindset stays there God will do with that one individual with that mindset, and not only will it be a spillover to others and it’s an unintentional spillover, but the danger of what I’ve called unchecked pride and the danger of unchecked ego in the ministry is devastating. Actually I gave this example on Festival. We had a lady who used to run the bookstore, who I really, really, really loved in the Lord and she was really, really, really competent. She was an accountant. I didn’t hire her, Dr. Scott basically drafted her and “Yes, sir!” Okay, and she stayed on, and I saw her competency level as so great. And she was kind of at the beginning, she had a humble spirit, I didn’t feel the need to go and camp out and check everything she was doing. Why? Because I knew she was doing such a great job with her level of competency and her attitude that I could turn my efforts and my energy to some other place in the ministry that needed my attention because it didn’t have somebody like that there. She took it as I’m disinterested and detached and unengaged, and eventually she did go bad. I didn’t, I didn’t catch that attitude in time and perhaps maybe it wouldn’t have made a difference. I grieve every day for that. It’s still my responsibility. And I’m not you and I can’t say, “Well, I can show you; I can fix this thing”” But if there’s something wrong, I need to be told so that I can take care of it. I’ve been ministering and telling you about stewardship, but that’s mine. If something’s not right, if something’s broken, if people aren’t working together anymore, I need to know that so I can intervene at the earliest and try and fix that, which at an early stage can be fixed. With God all things are possible. It’s when somebody backslides completely and their; their whole mindset is “I don’t care and it doesn’t matter.” You can’t fix that. So what am I telling you? I’m telling you in every dimension, and it starts with me. I don’t put myself outside this message. It starts with me, it goes from top to bottom, from front to back, from side to side, it goes from coast to coast to anywhere who will, anywhere where anybody is listening to me, from the ministers who are in charge of churches to their associates and their deacons and their music ministry and the things they have underneath them. We can all glean out of this something that is worthy to pay attention to, and that’s our attitude towards the things of God as we come into servitude and serving Him. The service isn’t rendered unto me. I’m grateful for the people who come and they help, but I look at all things, like Paul says, as service unto the Lord. You count it as done unto the Lord and the Lord sees that. And with a right, as I said, with a right spirit my God can do anything. He truly can, including fix the problems that sometimes even I as your pastor can’t really fix because they’re deep, they’re spiritual and they’re things that take the power of God to overcome. But together we can do it. Together, God, when I say that I don’t mean us as a corporate band, I mean together that’s cooperating in God’s plan with Him and not fighting against Him, we can overcome just about anything here. So I’m asking those, you know who you are, I don’t want to hear about unfairness or bad treatment or you think whatever. I think I’ve dealt with at least the surface of things in a way that says everybody’s got some blame. And if you feel like you’re being falsely accused, as I said, chalk it up to the things you haven’t been blamed for and say “Thank God that I’m getting a little bit of a, oh, it’s called a light manicure today, and that God will enable me to rise above and be a better steward and be a better service to Him as I see the things that maybe I am neglecting or not doing, or maybe that I am and I just don’t know it.” But I thank Him for the things, I speak for me as your pastor, but I also thank Him for the things that He may indeed show each and every one of us out of this message. And that is my message. You have been watching me, Pastor Melissa Scott, live from Glendale, California at Faith Center. If you would like to attend the service with us, Sunday morning at 11am, simply call 1-800-338-3030 to receive your pass. If you’d like more teaching and you would like to go straight to our website, the address is

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