This post follows my post The Power of Humility, posted five days ago. Humility is relying on God, rather than on ourselves, in the sure knowledge that He gives the grace (the ability to succeed) to the humble (James 4:6). When we see God act, it increases our sense of security and makes us aware of His presence with us. We become aware that the One acting on our behalf is giving us the very thing which we have been unable to grasp for ourselves. It is the meek (humble) who will inherit the land, rather than those whose hope is based on power, rights, skills, or privilege.

But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.Psalms 37:11

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.Matthew 5:5

To act meekly, trusting God alone, is profoundly counter-cultural and very different from seeking to reach our ‘full potential’ as independent autonomous entities. Pride engenders self-reliance; humility frees us from total dependence on our insights and abilities.

Humility is sometimes portrayed as involving the adoption of a negative view of ourselves, but in fact, humility releases us to be who we really are, without the need for pretense. It engenders self-acceptance and saves us from having to construct a false self to convince ourselves and others that we are worthy of acceptance, love, and admiration. Our true self is potentially less impressive than we would like to be but is more peaceful, less self-absorbed, and easier to be with. Thomas Merton puts the heart of the matter quite succinctly: ‘In order to become myself I must cease to be what I always thought I wanted to be’. We do not need to aspire to be more gifted, good-looking, athletic, or intelligent than we already are. Humility is a great blessing, as it frees us from the need to be defensive about our shortcomings. It releases us from our desire to dominate others so that we feel superior; we don’t have to impress friends and colleagues to get the recognition we crave.

Humility, accepting our limitations, enables God to work through us more effectively and it puts us in good company. The Gospels, Mark’s in particular, intentionally highlight the way the disciples always seemed to get hold of the wrong end of the stick, often compounding their incompetence by suggesting a foolish course of action. When Jesus speaks metaphorically they take it literally and vice versa. The good news is that if God could use them so powerfully, despite their obvious limitations, then he can use us as well. His power really is made perfect in our weakness.

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.2 Corinthians 12:9

Walking humbly with your God now will prepare you for reigning with Jesus in His soon-coming Millennial Kingdom. It no doubt will determine the role that Jesus assigns to you.

Humility creates community. Rather than being a sign of weakness, being humble requires a certain strength. Humility takes much more courage than pretending that we are something we are not.

In the Millennium glorified believers will mediate Jesus’ rule throughout the earth acting as civil and criminal magistrates and judges and spiritual guides and leaders in all aspects of the Kingdom: worship, politics, health, education, business, art, sport etc.

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