Thursday, October 26, 2017

Humility (Jack Deere on...)

(Sculpture in the courtyard of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem)


Jack Deere has written about "humility" in his excellent, clearly-written little book The Beginner's Guide to the Gift of Prophecy.  Here are some highlights.

God values humility. "This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word." (Isaiah 66:2)

1 Peter 5:5-6 says: "All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time."

The humble hear and understand the voice of God. God deals with the proud from a distance, but with the humble "it's up close and personal." (72)

Deere writes (astonishingly!):  "I've never heard a sermon or a theological lecture on humility. I've heard lots of sermons on faithfulness, service, purity, giving, judgment, grace, mercy, obedience, prayer, meditation and spiritual gifts, but I can't remember ever hearing humility talked about." (72)

"Humility is the virtue to which our flesh is most opposed, because it is the soil from which so many other virtues grow." (72)

"Humble people are small in their own eyes." (72) See what the prophet Samuel said to Saul in 1 Sam. 15:17

"Humility is not the denial of our attributes; it is believing in our hearts that our best qualities are not good enough to cause us to deserve God's attention, or even to gain us the lowest position of service to Him." (73)

"Humble people know it is not their physical strength, nor their intelligence, nor their luck, but the Lord who determines the outcome (see Prov. 21:31; 16:9, 23)." (73)

"Humble people put their confidence in the mercy of God rather than in their abilities or character (see Rom. 9:15-16)." (73)

"Humble people put their confidence in the Holy Spirit's ability to speak, not in their ability to hear. Humble people put their confidence in Jesus' ability to lead, not in their ability to follow." (74)

"Humble people are willing to associate with and serve people of lower position, just as Jesus and our Father do." (74

"Humble people have learned to embrace their weaknesses." (74)

We can't get humility by reading about it.

"No one becomes humble without pain doing its work. Often that pain takes the form of desert experiences. Humility is almost always acquired in the desert." (75)

"The desert is necessary because no human being has the character to bear perpetual success." (75)

Acquire humility by hanging around humble people.

"Humility is produced by pain, being with Jesus, being with humble people and is a life-long process (see Phil. 3:12-14)." (78)

Francis Frangipane, in The Three Battlegrounds, called pride "the armor of darkness." C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity, called pride "the complete anti-God state of mind." So, if our hearts are proud, we won't hear from God, which will make it unlikely that we will truly prophesy (in the sense of 1 Cor. 14:1-4).

How important is humility, when it comes to the desire to prophesy? Mike Bickle, in Growing In the Prophetic, says: "This is not a good time for a "know-it-all," but rather it's the proper time for the virtue of humility expressed in a teachable spirit as we go to greater depths in the prophetic." (x)

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My recent book is Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God.


I submitted my manuscript for Leading the Presence-Driven Church to my publisher last week.