None But The Humble Heart
"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart; these, O God, You will not despise"(Psa. 51:17).
"But on this one will I look; on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at My Word" (Isa. 66:2).
What is a sure essential to a Christianity that really works? How do we get close to the heart of God? What is the one thing without which there is no real personal revival?
Let God Himself answer in these words: "For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones" (Isa. 57:15).
"The Lord is near those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit" (Psa. 34:18).
What Is Revival?
Spiritual revival is not confession of sin as much as that may be in evidence. Spiritual revival is not even inner conviction of sin or external evidence of grief for sin, as potent a reality as these may be. Spiritual revival is not even changed lives or changed communities.
That without which revival does not exist is a humbling of the human heart and spirit before almighty God. If you won’t let God humble you, no vital, close dynamic relationship with God is available to you! You can spend as many hours in prayer as you might or run yourself ragged serving others, but without a contrite heart, no Christianity will really work for you.
What Is Revival Humility?
First, be assured revival humility is not something exclusively reserved for times of mass revival. Far from it, my dear Christian friend. Like every one of God’s gifts of grace, you have a right to begin enjoying it right now and every moment of your Christian life.
Humility is not the end of all enjoyment, not a long face and a sad heart, and definitely not thinking self-depreciating thoughts. Rather, humility is simply agreeing with God about us.
How does God see His human creatures? He knows we need Him as our creator and as our sustainer. "All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist [hold together]" Colossians 1:16-17 informs us. We can’t take one breath to sustain the next instant’s life without His divine permission and enabling. God sees Himself not only as our source and sustainer, but also as our reason for being. Colossians 1:16 says not only that all things were created by Him, but they were also created for Him: for His use, for His praise, and in our case, for His companionship.
Let’s ask that question again: how does God view His human creation? Accurately. Precisely as we really are. Certainly not with the self-deluding, prideful view we have. He sees us created in His own image to bring Himself praise, honor and glory. He sees us with this glorious image terribly marred by sin. He sees this sin as the stuff of which destruction and death are made, as the awful plague and abomination it is. Moreover, He sees sin actually put to death and destroyed at the cross positionally. As we walk in Him, denying ourselves and rejecting our self-dependence, it is put to death in practice, too.
He sees the potential for the restoration of His own image in mankind by His indwelling presence. He sees the potential for eternal good produced by Him and His mighty life in us to His eternal praise, honor and glory. He sees the possibility of growing fellowship between Himself and this once-corrupted human creation. He sees it all being accomplished by His own initiative and His own dynamic – His life lived in ours – and none of it as the result of independent human effort, which He knows is prideful and counter-productive.
To See As He Does
What is it that stops us from seeing ourselves and God as He does? Pride! Pride becomes the unforgivable sin if allowed to continue. Nothing good is in that prideful independence from God that keeps us isolated, separated, and desolated apart from Him.
Pride consistently chooses its own perverse and destructive way in preference to the good and perfect way of God. No words can fully describe its ignorance, blindness, stupidity and folly; nor yet the eternal death, damnation, and destruction that are both the stuff of which it is made and its natural end result.
How we need to be humbly thanking God for His undeserved mercy and grace. Our pride would lift us up, instead, to steal from that eternally glorious, gracious God something of His honor and appropriate it to ourselves in all our impurity, imperfection, and degradation. Let us praise Him always for the amazing availability of His forgiveness even of such unfathomable insolence!
Living in Delusion
All our lives we’ve been living in awful delusion. As a result, we’ve been terribly cheated. Pridefully looking to and depending on our helpless selves rather than our completely capable God, we’ve been constantly shortchanged. Our rebellion has isolated us from righteousness, peace, joy and our one true Love. It has robbed us of the gentleness and goodness that alone can make life a pleasure. But we have no ability to do anything about it. Real revival humility is the simple recognition of your inability and God’s ability.
If you think you can develop your humility by trying, go ahead. When you are sick of having fallen for the same old lie again, return to the Father, ask His forgiveness, and trust Him to give you His humility. After all, you’ve been granted access to God and all He is and has by the blood of Christ. Come to Him in no merit but His. Rest in your established place of union with Him, knowing that He is working humility in you for His glory.
Let me assure you that, as poorly as you may do this, God will be pleased with even your most feeble response to His love. He’ll begin to make real to you something of these heretofore misty realities. He’ll begin to become more precious and all in opposition to Him despicable. This will be the humbling of your heart and spirit in revival humility.
Taken from A Christianity That Really Works by Ron Marr. Used by permission of the author.