Sunday, July 21st, 2013
Success Strategies (Part 17)
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His Mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His Mouth.
Isaiah 53:4-7 (NKJV)
As 21st century Americans, what can we say about the humility of our King? The King Who chose to be humble in appearance, lifestyle, conduct and death? Were other Bible super-heroes humble?
In humility, Abraham followed an unknown God. Seeking peace, he deferred to his nephew Lot, a man inferior to himself, the superior choice of land.* Moses was 'Very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth' (Numbers 12:3).
King David called himself 'A worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised by the people' (Psalm 22:6), even 'A lost sheep' (119:176). Of her appointment to become the mother of Jesus, Mary said God 'Regarded the lowly state of His maidservant' (Luke 1:48).
When Peter received his first favor from Jesus, 'He fell down at Jesus' Knees, saying, 'Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!' ' (Luke 5:8). In Isaiah 53:3, Jesus is described as: 'A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.'
How is humility played out by God's performers hoping to rise in Hollywood? With subtlety: at the right times in the right places: 'Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves' (Matthew 10:16).
But never forget Whose you are and Whom you follow. Never lower yourself to the standards of a snake or raise yourself to a platform of arrogance. Never buy into man's definition of glory.
We are commanded to follow Jesus. Because without exception, God promotes heroes of humility. Therein, humility is a strategy for godly success.
To Be Continued...
* Abraham and Lot: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2013&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Success Strategies (2013) series.