Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Leslie Basham: Nancy Leigh DeMoss identifies some fears you might encounter if you were to truly approach marriage with humility.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: “So who’s going to worry about me?” God will. You humble yourself; God will lift you up. He’ll take care of your needs. “Well I’ll just be a doormat!” I’ll tell you what. If you approach your husband with a humble, teachable spirit, you’ll probably find that your husband will put you on a pedestal so high it’ll take a telescope to find you.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Tuesday, September 18.

If you’re following along in the Seeking Him workbook, today you’ll be studying chapter 2, lesson 2. This whole chapter is a hard-hitting lesson in humility. Nancy is teaching on pride and humility this week as she continues in a series called Seeking Him.

If all this talk about a workbook doesn’t make sense to you, visit ReviveOurHearts.com and get a copy of the Seeking Him workbook for yourself. Here’s Nancy.

Nancy: As we continue to seek the Lord for revival, we need to recognize that this issue of pride is no small matter. It is a big, big deal to God. The Scripture says that God opposes the proud, but He pours grace on the humble, that God stiff-arms the proud. The way I’ve heard it explained is, “He sets Himself in battle array against those who are proud.”

I don’t know about you, but I want God to draw near to me. I want to draw near to God. But we’re seeing that the only kind of people that can get close to God are the humble, the lowly, the contrite, the broken ones. So every vestige of pride in my life is something that keeps God at a distance from me. It keeps me separated from God. It keeps God setting Himself against me.

Imagine being opposed by the almighty God. That’s exactly what happens when we’re proud, when we refuse to humble ourselves, when we refuse to acknowledge our wrongdoing. When we refuse to accept responsibility for our actions, our attitudes, we make God our opponent.

And what does God do to the proud? Over and over again you see this all throughout the Scripture. Daniel chapter 4. This is the theme of the book of Daniel probably, and that is that “those who walk in pride he is able to humble” (verse 37).

God will humble those who refuse to humble themselves. God is committed, and you’ll see this all throughout the Scripture, to punish pride and to bring down the proud.

Let me read you a string of verses here from the Scripture about how God responds to the proud. Isaiah chapter 2, “The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day” (verse 11).

Several verses from Proverbs. “When pride comes, then comes disgrace” (11:2). “The Lord tears down the house of the proud” (15:25). Think about that. Is there pride in your home? Pride in your marriage? Pride in your heart? God says, “I’ll work against your home. I’ll tear it down. I’m going to destroy that which is proud.”

“Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished” (Proverbs 16:5).

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). “One’s pride will bring him low” (Proverbs 29:23). “Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart,” God says, “I will not endure” (Psalm 101:5).

And then the book of Jeremiah: “The proud one shall stumble and fall, with none to raise him up” (50:32). And then Obadiah: “Though you soar aloft like the eagle, though your nest is set among the stars, from there I will bring you down, declares the Lord” (1:4).

Here’s the principle all through God’s Word: You lift yourself up; God will bring you down. He promises it. Count on it. You lift yourself up—it’s true of individuals. It’s true of a family. It’s true of a church. It’s true of a nation. It’s true of a workplace. It’s true of nations in this world. You lift yourself up and in God’s way, and in God’s time, God will bring you down.

But here’s the other side of that. You choose to humble yourself and God will lift you up. He will exalt those who humble themselves, those who take their rightful place under his authority. So I want us to take a few moments here to look at the most powerful example of true Christian humility ever, and that’s the example of the Lord Jesus.

Turn in your Bible to Philippians chapter 2. You’re familiar with this passage, but I find this is a passage I need to go back to again and again and again to remind me of what humility looks like. This is the spirit that I want to have and you want to have if we’re going to seek the Lord—that we must have, the spirit of Christ, that humble spirit.

So Paul begins in Philippians chapter 2, actually all through the book of Philippians. You may want to read through that book and study it and look for evidences of humility, characteristics of humility.

There are also some evidences of pride in the book of Philippians. Remember the two women who couldn’t get along with each other? Paul says, “You need to learn to get along.” These are two women working in the church. Boy, do we have that in our churches today, women who can’t get along together.

Paul says, “Humble yourselves.” But here in chapter 2, the middle of the book of Philippians, is this wonderful portrait of the most humble One who ever lived, who also is the most exalted One who ever lived, the Lord Jesus.

So he says in verses 1-2, “If there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” He’s speaking to the Body here, to a local church.

He’s saying, “Hey, you people there at Philippi and you people there in Little Rock or Chicago or Philadelphia or wherever you live, in your local church there, be of one mind. Be of one accord.”

You say, “Does that mean we don’t have any differences, we don’t have any disagreements?” No, you’ll have differences, but you’ll be able to humble yourselves and love each other through those differences and move together in step in seeking and pleasing the Lord.

In your marriage, he says, “You, husband and wife, be of one accord.” That doesn’t mean you don’t bring different strengths to your marriage. It doesn’t mean you don’t bring your own opinions to your marriage. But it means you both, husband, wife, submit yourselves to the Lordship of Christ. And now it’s no longer she wants her way and he wants his way and her way’s right and his way is right. So there is this inevitable clashing.

Now there are two people who have come together, humbled themselves, bowed together, bowed their knees and their necks before the Lordship of Christ and said, “Lord, You’re in control of this marriage, this home, this church. Have Your way. Not my way, but Your way. Your will be done.” That’s how you become of one mind.

And Paul says in verse 3, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit.” Don’t do anything because of comparison. Don’t do what you’re doing to try to look better, one-upmanship. “But in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Another translation says, “Esteem all others as better than yourself.”

Let me just ask you. Think about your mate. Think about the people in your small group, the people in your work environment, the people you live and work with, go to church with. Do you esteem all those people as better than yourself?

I’ll tell you it’ll make a world of difference in your marriage if you start to look at your husband through eyes of humility, if you count him as more significant than yourself.

“So who’s going to worry about me?” God will. You humble yourself; God will lift you up. He’ll take care of your needs. “Well I’ll just be a doormat!” I’ll tell you what: If you approach your husband with a humble, teachable spirit, you’ll probably find that your husband will put you on a pedestal so high it’ll take a telescope to find you.

I’m not saying for sure that will happen. It may not. Your husband may not have a heart for the Lord. But there is something about us even as humans that is drawn toward humility.

When you think about it with your children—when they humble themselves and they have a teachable, responsive, flexible spirit, aren’t you more drawn to them than if they come in and they’ve got their arms crossed, and they’re rolling their eyes, and they’re resisting your leadership and your authority? Doesn’t that make you want to buck them when you see them bucking you?

God opposes the proud, but God draws near to the humble. So He says, “Count others more significant than yourselves.” You have to have the Spirit of Christ to do that. That’s not natural; that’s supernatural.

Then Paul says in verse 4, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Don’t just think about your hobbies, your interests, your things, your family, the things that are of a concern to you. Look out for the interests of others.

Ask yourself as you’re going to meet with somebody, “How can I draw out that person? What’s on their heart? How can I find out what their needs are? Their burdens? Their concerns?” Show an interest in others.

Verses 5-7: “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant.” That’s the heart of humility. Taking the form of a servant.

You say, “Yes, I don’t mind being a servant as long as nobody makes me serve. I want to choose who I serve and when I serve and how I serve.” Right? God says, “No, do it like Jesus did. He made himself of no reputation and took on the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”

This is the Creator of the universe stepping down to wash the feet of the one who would betray Him, taking the form of a servant. You’re never more like Jesus than when you’re humbling yourself to serve your family, to serve in your church.

“And being found in human form,” verse 8, “he humbled himself by becoming obedient.” That’s another mark of humility—obedience. Obedience. Pliable. Responsive to God-given authority. He obeyed the word of God. He obeyed the will of God. He obeyed the human authorities that God placed in His life.

And how far did He go in obedience? To the point of death! I mean all the way to laying down His life, even death on a cross. So what happened? Here’s God’s principle at work. You humble yourself. God will lift you up.

Verses 9-11: “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Peter says it to us this way, 1 Peter chapter 5: “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another” (verse 5). I want to challenge you when you get dressed in the morning not just to make sure you’ve got your clothes on, but to make sure that you’ve got humility on. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another.

You’d better get it on before you leave your bedroom in the morning. You’d better get it on before you see your husband. You’d better get it on before you see your children. You’d better get it on before you get to work.

“Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” That grace is something that you and I desperately need every day in every moment of our lives. We’re going to do a whole week on it in this series on Seeking Him.

You’ll never get God’s grace until you learn to humble yourself. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you” (1 Peter 5:6).

I want to tell you ladies—I’ve said this many times over the years and you’ll hear me say it again. You can never go wrong on the path of humility.

So when you go to bed at night, your face is to the wall, your back is toward your husband and there is a mountain of ice between you. Hurtful things have been said. He started it. You started it. You know at that point it doesn’t really matter, does it?

But you’re saying, “He needs to humble himself.” And God is saying, “You humble yourself. Race to the cross. See if you can get there first. Take on the mind, the heart of Jesus, the Servant, the One who considered others’ interests above His own.” Humble yourself.

See if you can be the first to seek forgiveness when you’ve spoken sharply to a family member—a child you disciplined in anger. Go back, seek forgiveness. Say, “I was wrong. I sinned. Would you please forgive me?” And if you can’t get the words out of your mouth, say, “God, I need grace to even humble myself to say the words.”

In every circumstance and situation of life there is a pathway of humility you can take. You can choose to clothe yourself in humility. More of Christ; less of me. All of Christ; none of me. That’s the pathway of humility.

You may think on the front side, “I’m just getting walked over. My needs won’t get met.” I can assure you your needs will get met. God will draw near to you. He will look after you. He will set Himself to lavish His grace upon you as you take the place of humility. If you don’t, you set yourself to a lifetime of God opposing you.

That’s what’s happening in our churches today. Marriages, individuals, couples, families—they’re being opposed by God because of pride. God says, “You want revival? I revive the hearts of the contrite ones, the lowly ones, those who realize they are nothing and I am everything.”

Oh Lord, how we pray that You would grant us a baptism of humility. Immerse us in it. Clothe us in it. May we choose the pathway of humility as Jesus did for our sakes. He who was rich became poor so that we through his poverty might be made rich.

Lord, help us to strip ourselves of that pride, that ugly, corrupt, self-centered way of thinking and living that keeps us in such bondage. And Lord, take us back into our homes as women who walk in humility, into our church, into our workplaces. To exude there the humility of Christ, to give off the fragrance of the humility of the Lord Jesus, not so others can say, “Look how humble she is,” but so they can say, “Look how great God is.”

May You be exalted. I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Leslie: That’s Nancy Leigh DeMoss with a message every woman needs on humility. Why? Because all of us are tempted to be full of pride. Nancy has been deeply helped by Dick Eastman’s thoughts on humility. We asked him to share some of those thoughts with us out of Philippians chapter 2.

Dick Eastman: You know, there has never been a revival or an awakening in history that you haven’t seen the quality of humility manifest itself as absolutely foundational. All of us are so familiar with the great, great directive of 2 Chronicles 7:14, which is quoted so often when we speak of revival or awakening.

Yet sometimes we miss the fact that the very first quality or directive that’s mentioned is not prayer as such, and it’s not even repentance, although that immediately follows. But it’s: “If my people who are called by name will . . .” We all know the first thing is “humble themselves.” And then after that it’s to pray and to seek His face. You see prayer there as more of the quality of asking God for blessings and things, where seeking His face is the essence of what we’re really talking about: It’s crying out to Him for who He is.

Then if we turn from our wicked ways, which is, of course, repentance, He promises first to forgive our sins and then heal our land. You can’t really look at the lesson of what humility is without going immediately to Christ and the cross.

One passage in particular that we see the description of the life of Christ and His humility so clearly is Philippians chapter 2. As I read here from the New Living Translation in verse 2, Paul is pleading with the Philippian believers. He says, “Make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.”

Then in the next verse in this translation he gives three “don’ts”, and they really fit this theme today. First he says, “Don’t be selfish.” Of course that’s where this all begins. Humility. Then immediately he says, “Don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.”

Then he gives the third “don’t”. “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too” (verse 4).

I’ve often said humility isn’t so much beating yourself down as it is raising up everyone else around you, because if you raise everyone else up around you, you’ll automatically be lower.

Verses 5-7 then say, “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges.” Now there’s the key.

Verses 7-11, “He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

I believe when the church begins to really humble itself they will make one of the greatest steps toward creating the climate that is necessary for a true revival to happen. In 1998, God spoke to me to spend an entire month in prayer. It was the second time it had happened in my life; I would lay aside my daily schedule, and the time I would spend at my desk, I would spend in prayer.

I determined it would be December 1998. Well, low and behold if I didn’t receive a little packet just a day or two before Thanksgiving, and it was one of the greatest gifts I ever received. It was a little book titled Humility. So I took it away with me to where I went to pray, which was a very warm climate.

So I was sitting in a park the first day and I decided to open up to the back of the book. I would normally never do that. I read where at the end of the book Andrew Murray said, “If you really want to understand humility, spend an entire month praying about it.” And so I did. Every single day besides the Bible that was the only book I read from.

Let me just read a couple of things that Andrew Murray said. He said on one occasion, “The Christian life has suffered loss because believers have not been distinctly guided to see that nothing is more natural and beautiful and blessed than to be nothing so that God may be all.”

Then he said, “Humility is simply the sense of entire nothingness which comes when we see how truly God is all and in which we make way for God to be all.”

Then a little later he said this, and I thought this was really great. “Humility is the only soil in which the grace is root. The lack of humility is the sufficient explanation of every defect and failure. Humility is not so much a grace or virtue along with the others. It is the root of all because it alone assumes the right attitude before God and allows Him as God to do all.”

Then he explains it just by saying, “If humility is the root of the tree, its nature must be seen in every branch, leaf and fruit. If humility is the first, the all-inclusive grace of the life of Jesus, the secret of His atonement, then the health and strength of our spiritual life will entirely depend upon our putting this grace first, too.”

We might then just say, “Well, how do you get humble?” Go back to that passage of Scripture. Don’t be selfish. That’s one thing. Another one: don’t live to make a good impression on others, but be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. And then that third “don’t.” Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others’.

When you look back historically to those great leaders that have made the greatest impact, they were humble by focusing on others. Humility is really a sacrifice of something and it’s a giving of yourself. That’s why it’s first on the list. 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If my people will humble themselves.” A spirit of humility is going to be key to revival.

Leslie: That’s Dick Eastman speaking on humility from Philippians chapter 2. We’ll hear from him again on Friday’s program. Before that we heard Nancy Leigh DeMoss talk about the link between revival and humility.

Nancy writes powerfully about humility in her book Brokenness: The Heart God Revives. It’s a classic message that will stick with you all your life. It’s a thin book that’s packed full of deep thinking on humility. It includes a list contrasting the difference between proud people and broken people, and this list will make you stop, think, and repent. We’ve printed the list on a bookmark, and we’ll send it to you with a Brokenness book when you make a donation of any amount to Revive Our Hearts.

Ask for Brokenness when you call toll free 1-800-569-5959 and make your donation over the phone. You can also take advantage of this offer by visiting our website ReviveOurHearts.com.

Nancy spoke on brokenness and humility at a large meeting of people involved in ministry. It was an anointed message that God used powerfully. Several days of public confession followed. We’ll hear part of that message tomorrow. Please be here for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.

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