Are You Being Humble?

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  • September 7, 2014

“Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth” Matt. 5:5

I love it when during a routine study; God sends us a curve ball. During this morning’s Bible study, I was reading the Beatitudes in Matthew 5, when in the notes of my “New American Standard (Key Word Study) Bible” I started reading the commentary notes written by “Spiros Zodhiates”. I got a couple of surprises! I wanted to pass one of these gems on to all of you warriors so that you could feed on the wisdom found therein. Probably all of us have read the Beatitudes a few times, and most of us most likely assume that we understand what Jesus was talking about. As you know, the Bible was not written in English, so we have to sometimes search out the deeper meaning of the Greek (NT) and Hebrew (OT) in order to uncover a more complete understanding of the Scriptures. I am not a scholar in these things, but Spiros Zodhiates was born in Greece and he has spent a large portion of his life writing books and opening up the Scriptures to the world. ( Zodhiates published over 200 books and booklets in English, as well as 82 in Greek, many of which are in-depth word-by- word commentaries on the books of the New Testament ) We know that no one person knows it all, but if what I am writing about helps someone out there, it is good seed! Does anyone think that we, as Christians, have become “too passive”?

There have been numerous times during conversations that the word “Humble” has come up in conversation, but there seems to be very little understanding of that 6-letter word. I personally have a hard time with it especially since I know how important ‘humility’ is in the eyes of God, and I want desire to understand it more fully! James says, “ Therefore it says, “ God   is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble .” (James 4:6)   ” Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. ” (James 4:10) There are a lot more Scriptures on being “Humble”, but I hope that you get the importance of understanding the word in the context of the Beatitudes, and the active implications of it. Many times the meaning of the “English” word translated as “Humble” means to be low and prostrate, and without pride. What this scholar described in the Beatitudes as “Humble, Meek, and Gentle” is a bit of a shocker though. Here is an excerpt from that commentary in my Bible:

(3) Humbleness , which is this context, means: become angry at sin . It is the active attitude of the Christian towards sin in combating it instead of a passive indifferent attitude . (4) When one exercises active combativeness against sin, he hungers for a new filling of God’s righteousness, which is the realization of God’s rightful expectation of the believer.

So…. let’s try to break this down a little bit and see what further gems we can recover within this small group of words. It answered a number of questions for me personally in regards to some puzzling things that I see in our ‘current church culture’ that has caused me and others that I know, great distress!!

I know for sure that in regards to the seemingly archaic word “sin”, there is very little discussion or preaching on this uncomfortable concept. It is like it has passed into the annals of an ancient past, and it is no longer applicable to anything in our ‘modern churchianity’! Hmmmmmm…..I don’t believe that God has changed His mind about sin, do you? Now the things that I see going on in the church, such as: the lack of desire to study God’s word, so much emphasis on “Experiential” stuff, all of these new ideas about how wild and crazy God’s ways are, toking on baby Jesus, talking about getting high, sloshed, hammered, and other such loose talk, leaves me ready to climb the walls in anger over the lunacy that I have witnessed of late. It seems that many of the more out front members of the “Emergent Church” and the “New Mystics” have lost their ever-loving minds!!!

The height of the insanity came when a couple of years ago we were at a meeting in Hamilton Ontario with a highly prominent, world traveling speaker who suggested to all of those present in the congregation that we should all “practice going through walls”. Folks, I am not kidding!! He told stories of how he was translated ‘at will’ to go and find, a couple of lost rings half way around the world. He talked about how he left his body in a hotel room in New Zealand and went to a house in the United States where he found his rings in a bedroom, in a house, sitting on top of a dresser. Then he said that he looked around the room and there were some other fine treasures in view that he considered picking up while he was there! I’m not making this stuff up! He taught “Practice Going Through Walls” as a Christian Doctrine. Can you believe it?

While this was all going on, the head pastor and a visiting pastor from another networking church were on the floor in front of me, in the prostrated position, stretched out on the floor, as if in worship to this “Garbage”. There was a lot of pressure to come into agreement with this disguised “Eastern Mysticism”. This is nothing new, as the Tibetan monks have been ‘astral travelling’ for centuries fuelled by ‘demonic power’! Hello!! It was at this point that Jody and I knew in our spirits that it was time to vacate the property, but due to the pressure of the mass of people who were in agreement with this junk, we mulled around after the service and eventually drove home to Barrie. On the drive home however, we felt very slimed, let me tell you! We started playing a CD that was given to us by this well-known speaker from the platform. After some minutes of listening to it, Jody and I turned to each other and said there is something wrong, we felt a dark depressive atmosphere invading the air in the car, so we very quickly threw the CD out the window and prayed all of the witchcraft off of us with a spirit of fervency! During the next couple of days we completely severed ties to any of this deceptive “doctrines of demons”, and we could see that the writing was on the wall. It was getting very close to the time for us to get a lifeboat off of this sinking “Titanic”! Things got progressively worse for this ministry as the months continued until finally, about 8 months later, we left that organization for calmer, saner waters!!!

So what am I getting at here? Sin! Sin! Sin! This cloud of deception can be called many things but most of all, it is SIN! God commanded us through the many writings in the Bible to stay clear of anything that is connected to the “Occult”. This stuff is equivalent to idol worship and demonic indulgence, IMHO! (I hope I got that phrase right? ‘In My Humble Opinion’) Speaking of “Humble”, let’s get back to the “Epistle” OK?

If we are “Meek, Gentle and Humble”, Jesus tells us that we will be blessed and we will inherit the earth. If Spiros is correct in the translation of Matthew 5:5, then we need to awaken our understanding to grasp a whole new concept of the Scripture reference here. We often think about being humble as someone who sits in a corner, thinking themselves so lowly as not to be noticed at all. Then we think of the invisible saint who never says a word, has no apparent outward enhancement in appearance, and stays hidden in the shadows. What if there is so much more to being humble? We need then to move our paradigm shifters to include a wider understanding of this concept of “Humility”. Most people would see being humble as a ‘ passive’ role when it is suggested here that in some instances, it is exactly the opposite ! We need to get aggressive against sin! {Moses and Jesus were both referred to as “humble, meek and gentle”, but do you think either of them fit the description of the common concept of “humble, meek or gentle”?}

Spiros uses the term, ‘combative’, which of course is a military term where one’s very life is at stake! Our lives are at stake every day as we fight the good fight, brothers and sisters! We are in a ‘dog fight’ every moment of our lives hounded by the “roaring lion” who hates our guts!!

“6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,  7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.  8 Be of sober spirit , be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour .  9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world .” 1 Peter 5:6-9 (Emphasis is mine)

In this case the word humble means to abase or bring yourself low, but we see from this Scripture that we have an adversary, we need to be active against him, as we will be able to overcome him by the power of the spiritual weapons bestowed upon us by God Himself!!

It’s time to get active against “SIN” brothers and sisters, in whatever form it may appear in our own lives, and in every instance where we witness it in the family of God!! How about a little more of the kind of “Humility” that Jesus is talking about in the Beatitudes? The next section of the commentary points out that following our active stand against sin, we start to get “more hunger” for God! When a hole is created, it makes room for something else. When the leaven of sin is cleared out, there is space for more of God’s truth and purity! Don’t turn a blind eye to sin anymore and think that it is someone else’s problem; it is “our problem” as it affects us all! Ask God to make you hate sin in your own life as much as you hate it in others!! Hallelujah! God is cleansing the hearts of all of those who have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches in this hour!!!!!!

With love, Rob and Jody

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