Humble Thyselfby Kent Henry
Proverbs 22:4 says, "The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, honor and life." The scriptures are very clear about God's way of obtaining riches, honor and life. It's not by media hype (our power) and great speaking and dress (our might), but by My Spirit says the Lord. True riches, honor and life come by developing the lifestyle of humility. This means we are not afraid of recognizing our weaknesses and further, we are busy apprehending the understanding of the fear, reverence and honoring of the Almighty. These are awesome treasures for every believer!
But even more are the riches of the spiritual realm where God pours forth revelations through His Holy Spirit. These are the revelations Jesus spoke of in Revelation 3:18: "I advise you to buy from Me (through prayer) the gold refined by fire, that you may become rich (spiritually) ... and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see." Isaiah 45:3 says it this way, speaking to Cyrus His anointed: "And I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden wealth of secret places, in order that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel who calls you by your name." These are the riches I am seeking through the "everyday-ness" of prayer and Bible study.
When I looked up the word "honor," I found that in the Hebrew it means "weightiness." The base word for honor actually means being "heavy in weight." Before you can become a "heavy weight," someone who has the strength to help other people and guide other people's lives, you have to begin walking in humility, then comes the bestowing of honor by others.
Many people have this turned around. They seek to gain respect and honor before they have learned to talk in humility. They desire the applause of men as well as honor and respect before the fruit of humility is born in their lives. This is inverting the principle written in Proverbs 22:4.
On the other hand, this inversion confirms the attitude found in Proverbs 18:12: "Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, but humility goes before honor."
Many times situations in our lives require us to make an important decision: choosing between the building of our own kingdom or truly humbling ourselves to genuinely build God's kingdom.
I Peter 5:5 says we are "to be clothed in humility." That reminds me of Ephesians where it says, "Put off the old man, and put on the new man." I really want to see the fruit of humility in my life. When I'm upset with my kids or my wife and I yell at them, I realize that I am not clothing myself with humility. Each of us has weak points in our lives where we stumble, so we all need to learn to clothe ourselves daily with humility.
"Clothe (ourselves) with humility ... for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble." To have more grace in my life, I need to learn how to better walk in humility. Further on, the scripture says, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He might exalt you at the proper time..." (I Peter 5:6). When we understand this scripture in the context of humbling ourselves, it's awesome. It's saying that if I want to be properly exalted at the proper season, then I need to continue every day to say, "God, I can't do this without you. I humble myself under Your mighty hand. I don't know how to do this." Even when I think I can do something, I still pray this way.
The Lord wants to teach us a strong word about humility and the fear of the Lord. It will be a recurring theme for the church until we learn it. These two things truly have to be in place before you come into the abundance of God's riches, God's honor, and God's life.