June 26 I Friday
“For the LORD takes delight in His people; He crowns the humble with victory.” —Psalm 149:4
Greatness in the kingdom is the opposite of greatness in the world. We find this theme repeated throughout all of Scripture: in the world it is marked by self-sufficiency but in the kingdom of God it is marked by humility; in the world it is marked by strength but in the kingdom of God it is marked by our awareness of our weakness; in the world it is marked by confidence but in the kingdom of God it is marked by vulnerability. As we seek to be great in the Kingdom of God, it is completely opposite to the way of the world.
The chief characteristic of the Christian life is humility. James tells us, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:10). This principle is echoed by Peter as he writes, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time” (1 Peter 5:6). It is our business to humble ourselves, and God’s business to lift us up. The late Presbyterian preacher Donald Grey Barnhouse used to say, “The way up is down. And the way down is up.” By that phrase, Barnhouse expressed that God is committed to bringing down those who exalt themselves but is also equally committed to exalting those who will humble themselves under His hand.
We can never be too simple for God but we can be too clever for God. We can never be too weak for God but we can be too strong for God. We can never be too poor for God but we can be too rich for God. As the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah records, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know Me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 9:23-24). Our boast in this world should not come from our possessions or physical means but from our understanding to know God.
Greatness in the kingdom is never found by looking for it. Rather, greatness in the kingdom is found as we seek to walk humbly with God.
In light of the reality that God created us and how He has graciously bestowed upon us spiritual gifts, may we seek to know God and resolve to humble ourselves as we walk in utter dependence upon Him.
Prayer: Lord God, You are indeed great. May my boast come from knowing You as my God and not of my own wisdom, strength or riches. Thank You, Lord.