Philippians 2:5-11 – Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The key to overcoming the flesh is humility. I’m not speaking of a feeling that I am not worthy. Many of God’s people have an attitude of false humility which can generate self-righteousness, pride, and anger that is rooted in shame. Many say, “I’m just a sinner saved by grace!” Yes, you were a sinner. Don’t stay there! You were saved by grace. Now be a son of God as He called you to be.
James writes, “Humble yourselves in the sight of God, and He will lift you up” (James 4:10). When the Lord lifts us up there is no sense of shame. Shame generates false humility while the grace of God generates a sense of true acceptance. True humility says, “I can do nothing of myself.” If I receive anything, it comes from God! You lift your head and say, “Look what God has made me.” This is biblical humility. Jesus said in John 5, “I can do nothing of myself, only what I see the Father doing.” The Son did a lot, but He did not do things from His own initiation. The proper response when honored by another is to say, “Thank you for your recognition.” Afterwards, deflect the glory and thank God for what He allowed you to do. “Lord, I thank You for working through me.”
When we have a right attitude concerning humility and how God sees us in Christ, faith is generated and this enables us to do exploits for our God. He made us who we are through Jesus Christ. He empowers us to do His will. We acknowledge that we are simply yielded vessels, ready to be used by the Lord for His glory. That kind of attitude leaves no place for shame. Pride and self-will are both bound and we are free to live out what the Lord has made us to be.
Father, cause me to know the difference between false and true humility. Grant me grace to receive all You have done for me. Let the attitude that was in Christ reign in me, that I might be emptied of self and filled with Your holy presence.