Isaiah 66:2b I will look favorably on this kind of person: one who is humble, submissive in spirit, and trembles at my word.
God does things that are opposite of what we are taught by our culture and by the motivational gurus in our day. The Book of James tells us that God gives more grace to the humble and opposes the prideful.
“And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Humility is a value to God because in humility you acknowledge that your life has limitations, shortcomings, flaws, and weaknesses. It is much more difficult to live in criticism of others if you first realize your flaws are just as bad as you think theirs are. Jesus talked about this when He spoke about our concern about the stick in a brother’s eye while ignoring the log in our own eye.
Humility is a value because it has nothing to prove to anyone. I remember as a young man in the ministry, I always had to prove I was worthy of being a clergyperson. I always had to prove I was always there for people, I had to always have the best sermons and conduct the best services. Having something to prove to others takes away the motivation that God is our audience of one. Proving you are worthy comes from a spirit of pride, competition, and recognition. We don’t have to prove our worth to God … He already acknowledges our worth by sending His Son to the Cross. As a result of knowing our value to God, humility is generated from acknowledging Him for who we are and what we do.
Words such as humility and surrender are words we use to present a model for giving God credit and honor in our lives. These words do represent a spirit of denying ourselves, picking up our cross, and following Him. Yet, humility and surrender are often in short supply in our lives. Words we use are only that … words. They are much like the hard path, the rocks, or the thorns in the parable of the talents Jesus used to illustrate how God’s Word gets crushed by everyday life.
The seed of humility is crushed by the daily cares of this world and the need we have to be recognized by others. No matter what, the lure of being acknowledged by others is a temptation that is always present. Credit for work well done or getting personal acknowledgment still has its desire by most of us. I realize that getting an encouraging word is a great motivator if it doesn't turn into the motivation for doing something.
I find this Verse in Isaiah 66:2 intriguing because it says that God doesn't just see everyone as the same. Yes, His love for us never changes, but when it says He looks toward the humble person, submissive in spirit, and trembles at His Word, it means these are the values that catch His attention. I would imagine that much of what God's eyes and ears see and hear from us is, me, me, me, and I, I, I.
This isn’t a blog about self-deprivation where we reduce ourselves down to being a worm. It is about the characteristics that God wants to see developed in our lives, both to serve us well, and have the concern for the well-being of others.
Look at those three characteristics again.
2. Submissive spirit
3. Trembles at His Word
Every so often, I am asked to do marriage counseling and I can tell you I’m no marriage counselor. However, when you think of the two words of love and honor that husbands and wives are to emulate in their relationship, this is the same in our relationship with God. Loving God and honoring Him are what the three characteristics mentioned in Isaiah 66:2b are all about. You cannot love or honor anyone without humility, having a submissive heart, and honoring God by breathing in His Word and obeying Him all the days of your life.
The challenge, therefore, is to no longer look for the attention of people … that goes by the wayside if you are growing in your discipleship of following Jesus. What replaces this desire of getting the praise of people, is to get the praise of God, and that is done when you exhibit the characteristics found in Isaiah 66:2b.
Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler