2 Cor. 12:7-9
“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
There are five questions I ask people who are candidates for church membership. One of them is: “Do you now promise and resolve, in humble reliance upon the grace of the Holy Spirit, that you will endeavor to live as becomes the followers of Christ?” This question is important because it asks about two things, commitment and humility. “Do you now promise and resolve . . .” is commitment. There is something important about setting a course, making a decision, and sticking to it. But, “in humble reliance . . .” is humility. And humility before God is essential.
It is interesting how many things there are in the Christian life that have to go together; repentance and faith, for example, or prayer and trust. In ministry, spiritual gifts and love have to go together. In worship, reverence and joy go together. And so it is with commitment and humility. As we grow in Christ we see how all these things come into balance – and when they do, how they produce faithfulness and fruitfulness. It is Christian equilibrium.
A word about humility . . . the humble person is not one who looks at others and says to himself, “I am not as good as they are.” After all, the Scripture tells us: “there is none good, no not even one.” Real humility comes when we see ourselves in relation to Christ and when we see our strength in relation to the calling of God. The truth is, no matter how committed we are, we cannot follow Christ on our own; we lack the power and the vision. Our flesh is too weak and too foolish to follow Jesus. It is that understanding that leads one to “humble reliance on the grace of the Holy Spirit.”
Brothers and sisters, I want you to commit yourselves mind, body, and soul to Christ and to the ministry of the Gospel. But I also want you to understand that the plan, the purpose, and the power must come from Him. (SEE 1 Pet. 4:11).
--- Pastor Keith Andrews