It seems a bit late in coming, but I finally understand why a song, sermon, act of service, etc. can be humbling to the singer, preacher, etc. It is because these acts of worship are God’s grace and, consequently, greater than the person being used to deliver them. These blest individuals experience God using them as His instruments. His presence and power help them recognize their lack of sufficiency in the good work He is doing.

Oh, if we could only humble ourselves to recognize this about everything we are used to do for God’s kingdom. It is humbling to be His pen. It should be humbling to share a kind word with someone else. I confess: there is too much of me in too much of my life’s work.

Thank God, humility begets humility. There is hope for all of us.

Humility before God is surrender to His reign and control. It is “not I, but Christ who lives in me”. It is denying myself, taking up my cross and following after Christ in sacrificial love.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

The chief requirement for Matthew 5:16 is humility and surrender. Surrender is so much the starting point for every assignment. In most cases, we don’t know the assignment without first surrendering.

This includes the small assignments (e.g., talking to that woman in the grocery line) and the big ones that take years of preparation and the moment by moment practice of God’s presence. The more we recognize His presence, the more humbled we become. The distractions of this American way of life are costing us more than we can imagine.

You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 2 Timothy 2:3-4

Dear God, remind us of what we are. Heal our souls of carnal ambitions and deliver us from the itch for recognition. Save us from bondage to things. Let us not waste our days puttering around the house. Lay Thy terror upon us, O God, and drive us to the place of prayer where we may wrestle with principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world. Teach us self-discipline that we may be good soldiers of Jesus Christ.

And now, O Lord of heaven and earth, I consecrate my remaining days to Thee; let them be many or few, as Thou wilt. Let me stand before the great or minister to the poor and lowly; that choice is not mine, and I would not influence it if I could. I am Thy servant to do Thy will, and that will is sweeter to me than position or riches or fame and I choose it above all things on earth or in heaven. A. W. Tozer; God Tells the Man Who Cares (pp. 105-106).

Humbly yours and forever His,