Brethren, I brought some of these up last week. Asa, it says, he even, when he was diseased in his feet, sought the doctors, not the LORD.
Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but sought help from physicians. 2 Chronicles 16:12
Christian, when you are in financial need and you do not seek the LORD first, when you are in medical, physical needs, and you do not seek the LORD first, when you need food, when you need clothing, when you need help, when you need a home, when you need a church, when you need understanding, when you need humility, when you need…brethren, whatever it is, if you are not seeking God first, it is pride, it is relying on the arm of the flesh and God hates it and it is absolutely opposed to the way God created this Universe. You’ve got to become convinced of that, you’ve got to see that in everything.
When you lay your head down on the pillow at night, you’ve got to thank God that you have a pillow to lay it on, when you wake up in the morning –thank God that he gave you another day.
Brethren, you’ve got to be convinced of this, that when you do not acknowledge Him, it dishonours Him. When you do not go to Him for every single need first and foremost, you dishonour Him. Brethren, man is so arrogant, he is so proud and he is so independent and you’ve gotta see it in yourself. If you’re going to do battle with it, you’ve got to see it brethren for what it is. You’ve gotta see it, that your independence…God did not make man to run around and boast in his own gifts or boast in anything he has. The apostle says, “What do you have that you have not received?” (1 Cor 4:7) You don’t have anything, not anything… Without Him you are worthless, without Him you are useless.
Brethren, live in the light of that. That is the first and foremost fundamental principle if you’re gonna do battle against these fleshly passions and one of those passions is self exultation. It is a desire in you to set your self forth, to poster your self, to position your self, to look as though you are something and to take credit for it. Brethren, that’s innate in us as natural men and God help us, we are not natural men anymore, we live in the power of another, the power of the Almighty and brethren, you’ve got to do battle right there, you’ve got to do battle with this.
Brethren, let this truth rings in your heads. It’s not just that when you don’t honour Him, He withholds this stream of grace. The Scripture says it very plainly that He opposes the proud. Brethren, I remind you of 1 Peter 5. He’s dealing with Christians when he said, “God opposes the proud” Can I tell you something? There are examples in the Scriptures…God doesn’t just oppose the lost proud, He opposes the saved proud. You will say, “Can that be?”, “Can there be saved proud?” Brethren, that’s what Hezekiah did, that’s what Asa did. When James and John wanted to sit at the right and the left hand of Christ, that’s what they were doing. When they were arguing about who is going to be the greatest, that’s what was happening. That was the same Peter who was one of those arguing would later come along and say, “God opposes the proud.” Listen, Peter was pretty haughty: “even if all others deny you, I WILL NOT.” God let him fall, square on his face. He let the devil have his way with Peter, in a way that the devil had to ask for special permission. Brethren, when God sets himself against you, to oppose you, watch out, cause you will be opposed. So, be careful!
We’ve got to be convinced of these things. Brethren…you’ve got to be convinced you need this. You need to be convinced there is too little regard in the church, there is too little regard in the preaching, there is too little regard in your self, in my self, for this very thing. The call to humility, I’m afraid it has been indeed too little regarded in the church and I think it has been because its true nature, its true importance has been little appreciated and I’ll tell you this: Humility does not come effortlessly. It comes with battle, it comes with tears.
Brethren, it’s like everything else in this spiritual realm. It comes through desire, it comes through earnestness, it comes through being persuaded that I need that, it comes through make it one of the chief things you are battering, that “battering ram” of prayer against the heaven’s fort, “Father, give this to me, give it to me! You told me that you would conform me to the image of Christ, give me humility. I see it as a good thing.” “Clothe yourselves with humility!”, the apostle said, in another place, he said that he urged us, he encouraged us, he exhorted us to walk in a manner worthy of our calling with all humility and gentleness. With all humility, brethren! We’ve got to desperate for this, we got to go after it, we’ve got to be earnest for it. You pray for it like your soul depends on it because it does. It does brethren, it does and we’ve got to be convinced of it and I’m not certain brethren that we have been entirely convinced of just how much we need it. It needs to be an object of our special attention, our special desire, our special prayer, an object of our faith.
What do I mean by that? By faith brethren, you need to lay hold on this, “Lord, you promised that you would conform me to the image of your Son and one of the crowning characteristics is that He is gentle and lowly in spirit,” He did not please Himself, He did not come to be served but to serve, He told us to follow Him…”LORD please, give us this. You told us that if we would cry out to you, you would not withhold any good thing from us. You told us if we then being evil know how to give good gifts to our children…that how much more you would give every good thing to us that ask(Luke 11:13).” “LORD please, we’re asking for this thing, we believe it to be good, we believe it LORD.”
This needs to be an object of special practice, we must strategize in pursuit of humility. Jesus said, “learn of Me!” Brethren, many of you, young people, recently were in school or you are now in school. Think about your hardest subject. Did it come easy? You had to learn, you had to study. Brethren, I can tell you this, as I was telling some of the folks in Laredo (http:// gcclaredo.com), on Sunday: I went through four level of callus. Brethren, you won’t learn four level of calculus effortlessly and I guarantee you this –You are not going to learn the humility of Christ, the gentleness of Christ, the lowliness of Christ in passing(casually) or in some halfhearted effort of Bible reading once a week or twice a week.
Brethren, you learn calculus by effort, by strain, by sleepless nights, by study and you’re gonna learn Christ harder than I learned calculus. I guarantee you brethren, it’s gonna be all out earnestness to learn this humility.