It is Time to Go Low
It is time to go low. For several weeks I have been hearing the Lord whisper this to me. It is time to go low.
As I meditated on these words, I understood that it was an instruction from the Father for the season of transition into the new year of 5777 which begins on 2 October 2016. We are finishing the season of the ‘vav’ which was about pegging His Ekklesia in place across the earth. During this year of 5776, God positioned and authorized His Ekklesia to connect heaven and earth. He has been preparing us for 5777. The number 7 is also the letter zayinwhich means ‘sword’. So we are moving into the year of the sword of the Lord. If the sword of the Lord is being released, then going low sure sounds like wisdom to me!
I believe that when the sword of the Lord is released, one of the things it does, is to sweep across the earth cutting down every high thing that has exalted itself against the Lord. So in the interest of not losing my head in the next season, I have started to look at how I can go low.
Being low is not hiding yourself away from the world and not doing anything or not saying anything. It is a right positioning of your heart towards God and the world around you. I think the best description I found is in Philippians 2:5 -8 (Message Bible) Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.
Jesus knew He was God. He knew He had all power and authority, yet He chose to lay them aside and become ‘nothing’ as it were. In order to fulfill God’s desire for Him. That is the quintessential picture of going low. This is true humility.
I finally got it, God is looking for me to HUMBLE MYSELF. As I thought about that, I realized that I do not really, practically KNOW how to do that. (Apart from putting on sackcloth and covering myself in ashes!) Over the years, I have not heard a lot of teaching on humility and especially on how to become humble. So I have gone on the journey to learn how to humble myself.
Think about yourself soberly
Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
Humility is not making yourself nothing. You are a treasure in the eyes of God. You are fearfully and wonderfully made with an awesome destiny that Jesus shed His blood for. You are NOT nothing, but you are also NOT everything.
I believe that the greatest impediment to our growth in God and the things of the kingdom, is ourselves. Or rather our belief in our ourselves. Our belief that we are the single most important person on the planet. The belief that our life and the issues in our life are the most important, most urgent or most difficult. Since the day we were born, we interpreted the world from our viewpoint and mindset. We saw everything and everyone from our own perspective and that carried over into our life when we got born again. Naturally, when we discovered that we had a destiny and a calling, we thought ours was the biggest and most important. We expect others to realise this, drop what they are doing and come and support our vision because it is bigger and better. This is what Paul is talking about when he says we are thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think. Our calling is unique and important, but so is everyone else’s destiny. After all – Jesus shed His blood for every person, not just a select few!
The other side of the coin is that we do not believe in ourselves at all. We think we are worthless and of no value to anyone. We feel that everyone else is better than us. We believe that the only good that will come from us is if we serve others and help them become who they are meant to be because we do not believe in who God called us to be. This is also a false belief, and results in false humility.
However, when we come into the Kingdom and family of God, our Heavenly Father is intent on us understanding that each and every person is equally important and special in his eyes. And each person’s assignment is equally important in His eyes. Humility is knowing who you are, being who you are and yet not focusing your energy on yourself. I love the way that CS Lewis put it: Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.
Esteem Others More Highly than Yourself
True humility grasps this. A humble person knows exactly who they are in Christ, yet chooses to prefer and esteem others higher than himself. I love the way the Message Bible says it in Phillipians 2: 3 - 4
Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top.Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
How do we begin to walk that out? How do we esteem others better than ourselves?
It simply means that we show interest in what others are doing. We walk alongside them, uphold and pray with them, laugh and cry with them as they walk out THEIR destiny. You celebrate their journey in Christ and not only yours. The conversation is not always about you and what YOU are doing experiencing, feeling or facing. You choose to honour others before yourself. You chose to help others before yourself, with no agenda other than seeing that person become who God made them to be.
As it says in Matthew 23:11, "he who is greatest among you shall be your servant."This is what Jesus did. He was secure in His relationship with the Father. He knew His destiny, His calling and He was settled in that, in His heart. He could do anything, no matter how seemingly lowly, because He knew what his life was about. His relationship with God was established and solid.
I think this is why we often fail in our pursuit of humility. We are insecure and afraid that if we give an inch, someone else will take what is rightfully ours. This is fleshly thinking. In the kingdom, the way up is the way down. It makes no sense, but if we continue reading in Mathew 23, verse 12 clearly says that God humbles the proud and exalts the humble. You cannot grasp at true success in the Kingdom. You cannot grasp at influence and exposure – if you do, you are exalting yourself and in due time, you will be humbled. (side note – I love the Message translation of Matthew 23:12 : If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.)
With the year 5777 almost upon us, it is time to go low. What I have shared just scratches the surface of humility. I am still learning, but I believe it is time to humble ourselves under His hand. It is not about us, we are here to serve His purposes. It is not about our agendas, it is about His desires and His plans. It is time to go low!