(By CP Cartoonist Rod Anderson)
On a scale of 1 to 10, how humble are you? I know. It's a bit of a trick question. If I give myself a good score, then am I really as humble as I think I am?
By the way, if you want to improve your score, I encourage you to pick up a copy of my #1 bestseller, "Humility and How I Achieved It." Just kidding.
Seriously though, humility is one of those things which is necessary if a person is going to have a relationship with God. After all, pride is what got Lucifer kicked out of heaven.
To be humble before man is one thing. To be humble before God is quite another. If I am humble before man, I will not view myself as better than others. If I am humble before God, I will not view myself as being worthy to approach Him on my own.
Let's think for a minute about approaching God. Who would have ever imagined the Israelites sacrificing animals in connection with God's holiness and man's sinfulness? And yet, that is exactly what God had His people do in Old Testament times. God no longer requires this practice. Today, we as believers are those who "have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." (Hebrews 10:10)
In other words, you and I are not worthy to approach God based on our own merits, or our own humility. The only thing that allows us into God's presence is the holy blood of Jesus. Do you see that? It is very important that you get it, and understand it, and believe it. God has designed this whole thing around the perfect sacrifice of His Son.
So are you humble enough to meet God? That is, are you humble enough to recognize your own unworthiness, and your own sinfulness. I understand how this message of "sin" does not sit well with our natural way of looking at ourselves. We have been told by many people since our childhood about how good we are on the inside. And while there is an appearance of truth to it, the bottom line is that in God's eyes, we are sinners. There is no easy way to say that, and so God just lays it out there plain and simple in His Word. "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
Human pride says, "Who me? A sinner? Get out of town." And yet, it is true. You are a sinner. I am a sinner. And we cannot get rid of our sin by "wishing it away." We can, however, have it washed away. We can be forgiven. That is why Christ came to earth. But many people choose pride over humility as it relates to Jesus Christ. They choose to reject His love and forgiveness and God's free gift of salvation. That is the opposite of being humble before the Lord.
How badly do you want to meet God? Is your desire strong enough for you to get real with God about your current condition? He will gladly receive you if you will trust Jesus to forgive you. But apart from Christ, He cannot receive you. The reason? You are not good enough for Him, and neither am I. We are simply not good enough to gain access into God's presence.
Remember, God requires perfection. And since we can never be perfect, God made a way for us to be perfect in His eyes. Once that happens through spiritual conversion, we begin living for Christ in response to the free gift of forgiveness which He gave us. His grace washes us, and it also produces a spirit of humility within us as we walk with Him and talk with Him.
You and I are in a position today similar to what Moses encountered. There was a time when the Lord called to Moses from a burning bush and told him, "Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground." (Exodus 3:5)
That is kind of like our situation today. We cannot approach God in the "sandals of our sinfulness." Those sandals must first come off. Jesus accomplishes that for us as He forgives our sin. Then God the Father can receive us. But it takes humility to accept this message.
When man's soul is converted, his sandals are removed so to speak. He is still sinful, but he is no longer under the power and control of sin. (see Romans 6:15-18) He is now standing on holy ground through faith in Jesus Christ.
Would you like that to describe your relationship to God? It can you know. As the Scripture says, "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up." (James 4:10) You can actually meet God, and know Him, and have a beautiful relationship with Him. But are you humble enough? Or is that just too big of an adjustment in the way you think about yourself, and God?