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“True Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.” – C.S. Lewis
Humility is sort of a scary subject to write about since it is probably one of the main virtues in the Bible that has been subject to countless people’s opinions as to what it really is. I know for years, when I would read scriptures about humility, I was confused about what it was and; in addition, what it was suppose to look like. As a result, so many times, what I would end up with in my own life was false humility.
Much of the first 42 years of my life I lived very self-conscious and not very Christ-conscious. I totally loved God, but I wasn’t secure in His love for me. I didn’t perceive God as a loving Father as much as someone I needed to try to please. Most of the time this misconception about God kept my eyes on myself and my performance as opposed to His goodness.
As a result of attempting to live out this Christian life under the law (religious rules and regulations), I became self-absorbed in how good I was being, constantly measuring myself against others and even measuring myself against myself to see if I had behaved better today than the day before. My life was all about my performance as a Christian, not about Jesus. This produced pride.
Growing up, I clearly recall thinking and acting as if I was miss holier-than-thou and struggled with thoughts that I was better than my two bothers, my sister, and many others as well. (Yuck) This wasn’t evident to other people as much because I made sure I had the correct outward behavior when I was in front of others so I would impress them, but sometimes it would definitely slip out in my conversation and my behavior because as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. (see proverbs 23:6-7)
For the most part though, I looked like I was doing just fine from the outside, but my inner-life was a mess. This is why, once I began to personally understand God’s grace, a lot of my friends were shocked when I started revealing all the thoughts I had struggled with over the years. I didn’t even know what was going on inside myself for a long time because the devil had me so deceived. My friends would say, “you never seemed to be like that to me.” That is because they were seeing behavior modification at it’s best. This is why I always say with conviction, that behavior modification and heart transformation are two completely different things.
I could have continued living the Christian life based on keeping the law perfectly and I may have continued gaining little spiritual freedoms here and there, but trying to keep the law was just absolutely wearing me out because of course, I couldn’t keep it perfectly. Nobody can!
I was anxious, frustrated and sick from the high level of stress I was placing myself under. By the age of 42 I finally began to realize that I just couldn’t pull off living this Christian life. The law had done it’s job! By the end of 2011 the law had brought me to the end of my rope, just like the Apostle Paul said in Romans 7:24 (MSG).
I am thrilled to say that I am now less self-conscious (and happier) than ever before and I am on a journey of living more and more Christ-conscious every day by the grace of God!
I want to use the true story of David and Goliath to show you the power in living Christ-conscious.
First, let’s look at Goliath’s disrespect toward David and David’s response to Goliath in 1 Samuel.
1 Samuel 17:43-51 (NIV)
43He said to David, Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44Come here, he said, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!
45David said to the Philistine, You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.
Wow, what a speech! It is crystal clear that David was not conscious of himself in any way whatsoever, including his inexperience as a soldier, his age or his size. He does declare to his enemy what will happen, but boasts in what the Lord is getting ready to do through him, not in his own ability. Do you see this? This is the reason he could be so bold. It had everything to do with God and David knew it. He knew that the weight of bringing the victory was not on his shoulders. Let’s see the result he gets from living conscious of Christ instead of conscious of himself.
48As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.
50So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.
51David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran.
You gotta love it! David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet his enemy and to kill him! Obviously David had learned a great deal more than how to tend sheep over the past years. In fact, if you read all of chapter 17, David recounts other times that the Lord had given him victory.
Who would have thought that David was being trained to slay a giant all those years. God never wastes anything. It’s obvious he was very strong in his faith in God’s ability and since He was, he didn’t waste his time focusing on his own inability.
I want to encourage you to look up some scriptures with the word humble or humility in them and read the scripture the regular way first. Then re-read each scripture and replace the word humble or humility with the phrase Christ-conscious or occupied with Christ.
When I heard Pastor Joseph Prince share this explanation for the word humility, as I was reading His book Unmerited Favor, and began replacing one of these phrases above whenever I saw the word humility, it really helped me understand better what it truly looks like.
When I read the Bible, I want to get the full meaning of what God desires to get across to me and I know you do too. One of the things I’m sure God wants to get across to all of us is a greater revelation of humility because when we are walking in humility, it means we are being Christ-conscious and we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us!
If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!