It’s interesting how various Bible verses have their ‘day in the sun.’ A very popular verse recently has been 2 Chronicles 7:14. This verse has made it’s way into many articles, books and songs. It goes like this:
“If my people, called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
I’ve heard lots of talk about what this verse says about prayer, seeking God’s face, and turning from sin, but I’ve not heard a lot about humility. If you look at the verse, humility is listed first.
What is the opposite of humility? Pride. I believe that pride comes from having confidence or assurance in anything other than Christ. Boasting is prideful. Paul said that he would not boast in anything except in the Lord. Paul’s confidence and assurance was not in himself, but in God. This exemplifies the kind of humility alluded to in our featured verse.
Humility means more than boasting only in the Lord. It also means that we must not ignore the way things really are. By this, I mean that we must admit when things are not as they should be. After all, is there really ever a time when we have it all together? Is there ever a time when we don’t need God? Is there ever a time when we can truly depend on ourselves?
In Christian circles, we learn all too quickly how to speak Christian-ese. We are taught to always be happy, positive and enthusiastic. Happiness comes and goes. Joy, however, lasts through even the tough times. Joy admits it when things just aren’t going well, and Joy isn’t shaken because Joy comes from confidence and assurance in Christ.
God uses tough times and allows ‘negative’ circumstances in our lives to cause us to be more dependent on Him! It was at times like this Paul said that when he was weak, then he was very strong! Weakness in yourself = strength in the Lord! Humility about yourself = boasting in the Lord!
According to the featured verse, we can pray, seek God and try to turn from sin, but unless we are humble, it doesn’t matter.
“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” – James 4:10