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The Promise Of Humility

Unless you’ve been to Israel, you may not know that Bethlehem is only about 6 miles south of the Old City in Jerusalem. It’s currently situated in the West Bank of Palestine and has been in existence for about 3,400 years. We know it mainly as the place of Jesus’ birth, but so much more in the Bible happened here. It is where Naomi returned with Ruth. It’s where Ruth worked in Boaz’ field until they were married. The had a son named Obed. He had a son named Jesse. Jesse’s youngest son David became the most famous king of Israel. The name of the city translates, “House of Bread”.

I find it amazing that God did so many things in this town generations beforehand to ensure that this would be the place Jesus would be born. If you think about it, Bethlehem is a story of how God exalts the humble. David wasn’t even considered by his dad as a possible candidate to be king. He was an humble shepherd. It was also the humble shepherds who were first given the news that the Messiah had been born. Even the manger was an humble place to house the King of Kings. There’s a pattern there that you and I can’t afford to miss. Humility preceded the favor of God.

In Luke 14:11 Jesus was teaching about humility when He said, “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (NLT). Humility is a mindset of understanding our position as the created being who is nothing without the Creator. That knowledge should keep us hungry to have a deeper relationship with Him. It should cause us to obey whatever God asks of us knowing He will equip us and partner us with those who will help us fulfill His will for our lives and further His kingdom. Great men and women don’t just have humble beginnings, they find a way to stay humble even in success.

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The Path To The Promise

  
Have you ever tried to right your wrongs? Have you tried to do two good things for every bad thing you’ve done? Have you tried to play God in situations? We’ve all interfered with things thinking, “This is what God wants. Maybe He’s been waiting on me to do it.” So we stick our nose where it doesn’t belong and we try to do what only God can do. We try to enforce God’s will in a situation only to make it worse.

Abraham tried it with Hagar. He knew that God was going to give him a child, but he couldn’t see how. To me, that’s the most dangerous territory we can find ourselves in. When we know what God’s will is, but we don’t see the path to the promise. In those moments, we often try to do God’s work for Him. We improvise and innovate in order to make what God said co e true when we think it needs to. Why? Because we are impatient.

I imagine David felt this way too. It had been declared to him that he was the next king of Israel, but his best friend’s dad was the king. There was no path to the promise. As Saul hinted him down, David had the opportunity, on more than one occasion, to kill Saul and to inherit the kingdom. But David didn’t do what Abraham and so many of us do. He didn’t make his own path, he waited for God’s path to open up. What made him different?

I believe the answer is in many Psalms, including Psalm 19. In verse 13 David prayed, ” Keep me from stupid sins, from thinking I could take over your work” (MSG). David prayed often that God would keep him from doing what only God can do. He asked God to keep him from deliberate sins. He used the power of prayer to ask God to help him live the way God wanted him to. In return, he got the patience to wait for God’s plan to work itself out without him messing it up.

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