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Humility is such an important factor in how useful you and I will be to God in our generation, we need to look at the nature of humility and pride and why God hates pride so much.

In his first letter to Timothy, the Apostle Paul gives this young minister a warning to pass along to his congregation - a warning that I think is particularly relevant to us today. He says, "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy..." (1 Tim. 6:17).

As I meditated on this scripture recently, God said to me: My people are not taking Me seriously on that. They either feel like it doesn't apply to them, or that they've already got it under control. Most of them, if they read this verse, it wouldn't register because they think it is just talking to the rich.

So they think - without saying it and without even going through a conscious effort - it doesn't apply to them. Because even though they shout about prosperity, it has just never sunk in. They do not see themselves as rich because they look at their bills too much and are too aware of how small their accounts are.

What do you think when you read the phrase "charge them that are rich in this world"? Do you immediately think, Well, there is no need of me paying too much attention to that because I'm not rich. He's talking to somebody else.

But we are rich. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 8:9, "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor, that through His poverty might be rich." We are the rich of God, no matter what our accounts look like.

God showed me it isn't just the misuse of material wealth He is concerned with. The high-mindedness He is warning us about is related to words translated other places in the Bible as "haughtiness, arrogance or pride."

To be proud means to be high in the wrong sense. It means to have an arrogant and exaggerated view of yourself and your abilities. One word for pride comes from the Greek word meaning, "envelop with smoke" or to be "puffed up." Are you getting the picture? - "High, puffed up and blowing smoke"!

This is just the opposite of humility. Humility is often translated "low" or "lowly." Do you remember when Jesus said, "Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart" (Matt. 11:29)? He used the same word translated "humble" in James 4:6, "God...giveth grace to the humble." Jesus was not talking about being weak or wimpy. He was talking about being strong and bold and meek at the same time. Jesus was strong and bold, but He was not haughty, arrogant and proud.

Moses, the man most used by God in his generation - a man who confronted both a hostile king and rebellion in his own ranks - is described in Numbers 12:3 as "meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth."

What are we talking about is not self-degradation; it's not running yourself down, belittling yourself and saying, "Well, I'm just an old worm."

Romans 12:3 says, "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith."

Notice that it does not say we are not to think of ourselves highly, but rather not more highly than what is right and true.

In fact, according to Philemon 6, to walk humbly before God includes "the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus." The Apostle Paul even said, "... I magnify mine office" (Rom. 11:13). Was that pride? No. We don't call ourselves into the spiritual offices in which God places us. Glorying in the grace and the abilities God puts in us is not pride. We didn't grace ourselves.

The Nature of the Enemy
Why does God hate haughtiness and pride so much? The answer is twofold. First, pride is the nature of God's enemy the devil. Haughtiness, arrogance and pride of life are the sins which led Satan to attempt to exalt himself above God: "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation...I will ascend above the heights of the clouds: I will be like the most High" (Isa. 14:13-14).

Then Satan breathed that spirit of independence from God into Adam and Eve. He convinced them that, by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they could become as gods and be able to live according to their own power and their own wisdom. They wouldn't need God anymore.

But is this true? Can any of us live without God? Can we say with the evolutionists, "I wasn't created. I got where I am by my own human efforts. I struggled and climbed out of the slime and the mud, grew a tail and climbed a tree, then lost my tail, jumped down from the tree and said 'I'm now a man,' and by my own wit and by my own skill I have outlived the dinosaur"?

Can we truly say, "I'm a self-made man"? Of course not. That's a lie. God created us! And not only did He make us, but He sustains us minute by minute. We are totally dependent upon Him for everything.

A Painful Lesson
Now, in case you are thinking, Aw, come on, Brother Keith, I've got a few talents, I work hard, and surely I should get credit for some of this success, let me tell you about an experience I had with the Lord about 15 years ago.

God was dealing with me about some of the very things I'm sharing with you when, one night, I realized I was not aware of how dependent on Him I was. So, I prayed, "Lord, I don't want to be deceived. I don't want to think something is me that's really You. I don't want to neglect to give You thanks and acknowledge what is You and what You are doing in me and through me. I want to see what is me and what is You. Please show me."

I sincerely wanted to know what to give God credit for, and what to take credit for myself. I was not prepared for what happened next.

The very next day it seemed as if the grace of God for my life and ministry was suspended from me. At the time, I was teaching in Healing School every day - singing, preaching and quoting scriptures, most of the time without notes. I just thought it was due to my natural talents.

From my earliest days in school, I could perform and speak before people - often without preparation or notes. Without any formal training in music, I could remember tunes and the words of songs.

But on that day, God allowed me to see what it would be like if He lifted every grace off me. I couldn't think of a single scripture, sing or play a note or remember one word of a single song. I tried to plan what I was going to teach in Healing School, but finally had to call another teacher to take over the session for me. I just sat down in my office, looking out the window and feeling like an empty bottle. For three days and nights, I was in such a state I couldn't do anything. The devil kept whispering, "You'll never preach again," and it felt like he might be right.

Thank God, at the end of three days the grace came back. And you'll never hear me say again that anything I do is just a natural talent. When I get up and preach and sing, and it seems as if scriptures and songs and illustrations just flow out of me effortlessly and naturally, I know without any doubt, that it's due to the grace of God and not just my abilities.

I've experienced the difference between the nothing I could do by myself and the grace that makes me able to "do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Phil. 4:13). I know my next heartbeat, my next breath, my next thought, depends on Him. The successful outcome of every one of my endeavors depends on His grace, His help and His ability.

"In-You" Realities
With that in mind, I want to share with you some "in-you" realities which help me overcome the deception of taking credit for God's work in me and through me.

You may have heard Kenneth Hagin or Kenneth Copeland preach about "In-Christ Realities." These are the Bible redemptive realities that include such phrases as in Him, or through Him or by Him - meaning "in, through or by Christ."

One of my confessions is Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

In direct contrast to the "in Him" realities, these "in you" realities will help you remember what is of God and what is of you. Let me briefly discuss four of them.

1. In Yourself, You Are Nothing
In you - that is, in yourself alone - you are nothing. Galatians 6:3 says, "For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself."

What did we say pride was? Deception. Believing lies. Taking credit for our own talents when all the time we should remember that every good thing in us is a gift of God's grace. Among other things, humility, which is the opposite of pride, is walking in the truth, walking in reality. And the reality is that in myself, apart from Christ, I am nothing.

2. In Yourself, You Know Nothing
A second "in-you" truth is found in 1 Corinthians 8:2: "And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know." In other words, in yourself, you know nothing.

Oh yes, you may be confessing, "I have the mind of Christ" (1 Cor. 2:16), but remember, the only wisdom you have is His wisdom. We only receive His wisdom because we are "in Him."

3. In Yourself, You Have Nothing
A third "in-you" reality is: in yourself, you have nothing. You have nothing - no gift, no grace, no talent, no skill that you didn't receive from God by His grace.

"For who maketh thee to differ from another? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?" (1 Cor. 4:7).

Now what is the answer? What do you have, whether it's a talent or ability or a material possession, that wasn't given to you by God? Nothing, isn't that right?

If you did receive it as a gift, why do you boast as if you had created it, or produced it on your own? As I have learned by my uncomfortable experience, even what looks like our own natural talents and abilities are in reality gifts and graces given to us by God.

4. In Yourself, You Can Do Nothing
And finally, as Jesus Himself makes clear in John 15:5, in yourself, without Him, you can do nothing. "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing."

As I found out when God seemingly, temporarily lifted the anointing to preach and teach off me, I couldn't do anything outside of God's grace.

This is what God was warning in Paul's letter to Timothy. When God graces you with His grace, His anointing and His prosperity, don't get an over-inflated view of who you are. Remember that it is He Who made this available and find His purpose for it.

That's one reason why God has called as His vessels those people the world considers weak and foolish. He shows up really well in these types of vessels. People who see them are not as quick to attribute their success to their own abilities.

It shouldn't bother you at all to be one of those vessels. It shouldn't bother you that the more the glory of God and the ability of God flow through you, the more people say, "That has to be God. It can't be him - I know him!"

Psalm 127 says, "Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it." There are many people who are trying to accomplish by works what can only be done by God's grace. In the day when works are judged, only those solid things done by the direction of the Holy Ghost through the grace of God will stand.

It's the man or woman who has learned to walk in true humility before God whom He is going to use in these days of the outpouring of His Spirit.

Show me someone who really knows God. Show me someone who really gets results, and I'll show you someone who knows where his strength comes from - who knows it's by His grace, and who knows who gets the glory when all is said and done.

I'll show you someone who walks in true humility.

Moore Life Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Keith Moore
Web site: Moore Life Ministries
Keith Moore is the founder and president of Moore Life Ministries and Faith Life Church of both Branson, Missouri and Sarasota, Florida. Two of the greatest emphases of Brother Moore's ministry are the importance of the written Word and the necessity of being led by the Spirit.

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