Humility, A Powerful Weapon
During this past Christmas season, I have been reading Terry Bennet’s book, “Why We Fight”. He mentions the importance of Ephesians 4:1-3 as part of our arsenal. It is critical to maintain the unity of the Spirit for growth to proceed. I began to meditate on this passage and the power of humility was more firmly established in my relationships. Haven’t we tired of fighting with others? I have prayed to lose all my propensity toward anger as it always leads to temporary separations. Anger itself is not the problem but angry, hurtful words pollute the atmosphere. Paul and Barnabas came to a contentious issue and split. It was apparently necessary as other separations have been, but I am weary of them.
I have been gripped with John 17 and Jesus’ awesome and wonderful prayer. He prayed it and it will be fulfilled. We are seeing it as we are learning to speak the truth in love. In Ephesians 4, Paul writes, “I, the prisoner of the Lord.” Are you His prisoner? A prisoner of His love? A love-slave, a bondservant of the One who is worthy of our lives? From this platform, Paul exhorts them. The NKJV uses the word beseech. That is a powerful appeal. He continues appealing that we might walk worthy of His calling. The first criteria for this walk is humility and gentleness. No self-assertion here but a lowliness of mind.
Ponder deeply the glory and fellowship Jesus left behind when He emptied Himself and took on human flesh to become the faithful high priest He is for us today. We cannot analyze this; we need to see the heavenly. The Son of God set aside His glory. I cannot comprehend what this means. May the Holy Spirit reveal it to us. It is another message of His deep and unknowable love. We are called to do the same. It is foundational in our lives, in our spiritual nature, to walk in humility and meekness. First, we need to have a revelation of the throne and heaven’s glory.
Some time ago, I visited the Last Days Ministries website. Our sister Melody Green continues in the legacy of her husband Keith. I love that brother now among the cloud of witnesses. They republished a message of David Wilkerson which in turn referenced a piece by Frank Bartleman. Frank was the historian of the Asuza Street revival. Like Luke traveled with Paul and wrote the Book of Acts, Frank followed the wonderful moving of the Holy Spirit. The title of the message was a Christless Pentecost. How could that be? How can it be that in that final day, some will say “Look what we did in your name.” Works of power and healings done in Jesus’ name, and yet the Lord says, “Get away from me.” Whose glory were those seeking; Jesus’ glory or their own? Bartleman saw the diminishing of that movement. He looked for that meek and lowly Jesus. His yoke is our place of rest and where His glory shines through us. May we see Him as He is and so walk as He walked.
We have often mistaken volume and “coming against the enemy”, as effective warfare. To be absolutely sure, this can be exactly what is needed at certain times but I sense volume is not God’s only strategy nor tactic. Some may disagree but to be direct, I have seen “Pentecostalism” become a hindrance to the growth of His kingdom. We do not shout out the enemy, we cast him out with a word of true authority. Years ago, I was with a group trying to learn deliverance. A lot of words, a lot of noise but not enough real authority. And some real mistakes. Was the Spirit directing them? True deliverance is real, necessary, and awesome.
I do not mean by all of this to diminish true working of God’s power. We all long to see it but we do not want a show. Jesus Himself did not want a spectacle. The Lord has spoken to me and said, “You are Pentecostal.” I wasn’t sure that was good but I understood what He was saying. The passion, the fire of God, can be expressed through our emotions. We do not want to restrain the Spirit’s expression through us. I think of ones who truly expressed His life and displayed His power; Kathryn Kuhlman, John G. Lake, Smith Wigglesworth. Among us are others; David Hogan, Heidi & Roland Baker, and now many others including young people out on the streets. Believers stopping for someone and praying and spontaneous healings come! Glory to God! Todd White has inspired many to step out and this flow is increasing. Sounds like Jesus, like the apostles. They are going with the love of Jesus.
These works have one purpose; to draw the healed ones to the One who wants to be all for them. I have received healings myself. We learn who is the Source! Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Yes! Praise Him! That is humility. Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you at the proper time. He loves you and wants to bring you out and display His work in your life. We live for His glory! The goal is that His name, the name of Jesus would be known in the whole earth.
It seems that some of the church, that is the broad body of believers, still walk in a false humility. We don’t want to look strange. We cannot compare to those first apostles, we think. Some of this comes from bad teaching, wrong believing, incomplete understanding. I often hear prayer for the fear of the Lord. Yes, we need that, it is the beginning of wisdom. But we who have known that and had our beginning are moving into the second half of that verse. And the knowledge (intimacy) of the holy one is understanding. That brings the humility, that complete dependence and confidence in our Father to lead and direct us.