Love: Receiving Christ’s Humility

This is the seventh post in the series To Love is to Live in Christ and is based on 1 Corinthians 13: 4 “it [love] is not proud”.

In choosing to be crucified for our sins, Jesus chose to lean into his Father’s Love. And in the leaning, his own fleshly will was bent to that of his Father’s. For “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them” (1 John 4: 16).

Submission for the life of many, true humility, is most perfectly reflected in our Saviour, in him being rooted in Love, through:

  • the terrible anguish – Luke 22: 44 NIV: “And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”
  • the indescribable feelings of rejection – Matthew 27: 46 “About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)..”)

and in the greatest action of Love of all time (Luke 23: 46):

Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”[e] When he had said this, he breathed his last.”

Love is not proud because God is Love: “For the believer, 5012 /tapeinophrosýnē (“humility”) means living in complete dependence on the Lord, i.e. with no reliance on self (the flesh).” (HELPS Word-Studies, 2011). We receive this humility, this submission to the greater will of God, as we lean into God through the awful circumstances of life. He clothes us in it, in and through feelings of deep anguish, rejection, despair, anger, grief, loneliness, hopelessness, as we turn toward Him. It is both a gift and a decision to receive the gift He extends us.

This morning, I was feeling dejected, angry and desperately unworthy of God’s grace in confessing my failure to pursue my children in kindness through their unkindness. But as I stood there glorifying Christ in the worship time at church it was as if something broke within me. As I sung of God’s Majesty and Power, my feelings of dejection, anger and unworthiness gave way to actions of absolute adoration and awe. I felt my spirit bow and God cover me in His cloak of Love, a Love that broke the power of all the human feelings raging through me. Tears flowed, peace blanketed and joy poured out of me.

I leant in and He embraced me in the leaning, taking hold of my will to bend it unto His own. It wasn’t my own humility taking root, but rather Him breaking the hold of human pride upon me to gather me under His protective wings. As I professed His greatness in word, the Living Word I spoke, in and through the confession of my great need, took hold of my heart and poured in the Spirit’s Living Water. It is then that my spirit bowed, and His actions of humility and gentleness took hold of me.

Receiving Christ’s actions of humble Love thus requires us to both lean and God to embrace us through His Word and Spirit precisely in the confession of our weakness. When we come to Him – to His Word and Spirit – as ourselves, in desperate need of His Love, His Grace, His Comfort, His Hope, His Peace, His Wholeness, only then can our broken human heart find rest, as He breaks our will that presses us into dejection, anger and unworthiness to submit it to His: a will that presses us into His deep, abiding Love for us.

So, let us come before Him, confessing our desperate need and let us speak His Living Word into our hearts, letting Him take hold of our will to bend it unto His. Let us allow Him to embrace our heart, mind and body into His beautiful rest. Let Him pour in His Living Water, so that we might pour out His humble Love. Let us sing:

Great are you, Lord (All Sons and Daughters)

You give life, You are love
You bring light to the darkness
You give hope, You restore
Every heart that is broken
Great are You, Lord

It’s Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise
We pour out our praise
It’s Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise to You only

You give life, You are love
You bring light to the darkness
You give hope, You restore
Every heart that is broken
Great are You, Lord

All the earth will shout Your praise
Our hearts will cry, these bones will sing
Great are You, Lord

 

 

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