Monday, November 9, 2015

The Matured Expression of Humility

The first and foundational posture of humility is one that expresses repentance by groveling in the dust in the position of prostration, but the last and highest posture of humility is one that is pictorially depicted by someone rising up and walking into the fullness of their destiny by obeying the entire counsel and will of God.  But this mature picture of someone walking in humility never OUTGROWS prostration; it rather GROWS OUT of prostration.  Walking before God and being perfect subsumes the previous steps of life and is necessarily dependent upon those previous steps to get to the ultimate erect posture that is the prerequisite posture for walking.  In other words, the humility of prostration is like a baby picture, inceptionally wonderful and promising; but the humility of walking with God is like a portrait of Enoch, eternally wonderful and the consummation of someone who walked with God consistently until he fulfilled God’s perfect will for his life.

Walking uprightly is even more humble by nature than contrition because contrition implies episodes of failure to walk uprightly.  And God’s ultimate goal or design for man is that he walk with Him, not grovel at His feet.  Sure, there is a sense wherein the heart of any uprightly walking man is paradoxically prostrated, because uprightness of action can only be achieved by prostration of attitude.  Just because “before honor comes humility” (Proverbs 15: 33) does not mean there is no humility in honor; quite the contrary: honor is the coronation or fulfillment of humility.  To not get up and fulfill specifically what God has in store for us is inherently prideful.  If God, for example, says to point out another person’s sin in loud and bombastic terms, and instead you fall on your face to intercede and bemoan his condition, then the proper expression of humility—in this particular case—is to cry out in a loud and bombastic way.

Humility is too often expressed only in baby clothes and seed form, but the end of humility is best expressed as a man walking humbly before God until a crystallization of godly character is realized.  Indeed, “The end of a matter is better than its beginning” (Ecclesiastes 7:8).  Mature humility is therefore about transcending our roots and making fruit, about overcoming the very things which used to bring us to prostration in the first place.  A picture of humility can be visualized by thinking of someone being completely fleshed out and fitted into a mold surrounding their entire body.  It would depict their three dimensional form and the amount of space displaced to fit them there.  Symbolically, this physical displacement of mass represents the parameters or boundaries of the full extent of that person’s responsibility before God; to not fill out the entire space would be to deficiently walk in humility.  A healthy maturation is only achieved if, as one matures, responsibilities and requirements grow with him.

To fulfill the will of God is the same thing as fulfilling one’s destiny, and humility is about our destiny and the will of God becoming the same thing, about solving the seemingly paradoxical dilemma of God’s sovereignty and man’s free will coexisting simultaneously in perfect harmony.  It is about our responsibilities and freedoms existing within the same space and time, about the boundaries which define the parameters of our own Promised Land (the extent of where we dare to live and breathe and have our being) being fully possessed and owned forever free and clear.  Ultimately, we can only be humble in proportion to the gate of our stride as we follow hard after Him; as God enlarges our steps beneath us, we become more and more brazen and determined to possess our full inheritance.  To grow into incrementally larger spaces, to inhabit more and more of the promises of God, to find that the lines have, indeed, fallen to us in pleasant places, this is the matured expression of humility, the song of humility and one of the primary chords of our existence.