The Wise Humbly Seek the King
"Seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul."
-Deuteronomy 4:29, emphasis added
The shepherds remind us of how God comes to mankind. God is the seeker; He is the initiator; and He responds to those who humble themselves before Him. Humbly, and wisely, the shepherds responded, willing to listen and obey, proving once more that God can use the most distant, defiled, and outcast. For "God has chosen . . . the base things of the world and the things which are despised . . . that no flesh should glory in His presence. . . . As it is written, ‘He who glories, let him glory in the Lord' " (see 1 Corinthians 1:27-31).
The shepherds humbly came to God--just as they were. Instead of backing away with the excuse of lack of education, lack of clothing, or lack of standing, they welcomed God's message in wonder, in fear, in uncertainty, and in hope. There was no time to become someone else; God called them just as they were (Luke 2:8).
Humble yourself in the sight of God. Pride comes in many forms. We may be tempted to be proud of our abilities, possessions, education, social status, appearance, power, and even our biblical knowledge or religious accomplishments. All conflicts and troubles are rooted in pride. The source of every gossip, hurt feeling, church division, and departed "sheep" is pride. At the heart of every fight is pride. But throughout Scripture the Lord calls His people to humility. God therefore says, "Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips" (Proverbs 27:2; see also Proverbs 15:33;Proverbs 22:4).
Humility begins with proper self-awareness--"the virtue," said Bernard of Clairvaux, "by which a man becomes conscious of his own unworthiness." It begins with an honest, unadorned, un-retouched view of oneself.
Humility produces spiritual blessing. Just as every sin starts in pride, every virtue begins in humility. And just as pride is behind every conflict we have with other people and every problem of fellowship we have with the Lord, so humility is behind every harmonious human relationship, every spiritual success, and every moment of joyous fellowship with the Lord. Humility allows us to see ourselves as we are, because it shows us before God as He is.
What we all need today is to cultivate godly humility:"As the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering" (Colossians 3:12, Emphasis added; see also 1 Peter 5:5).
What are you wearing today? The righteous garment of humility--or the filthy rags of the proud?
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