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Humility is Power!



I fly a lot. I think you know that. In fact, I am on a plane right now, heading home to Israel after one of the most powerful ministry trips I have ever had. I will share more about that later. But today, I want share with you about the humility of Yeshua. What does that have to do with airplanes? Hang on.


The Key to Power is Humility

When I was in Brazil, I found myself on Sunday morning preaching at a large church that is part of a network. That day before, a pastoral couple in another city had been removed and disciplined for abuse, pride, and other issues. It was a real crisis, and it was all over X/Twitter! After leadership meetings all day, they gathered the congregation and the pastoral couple expressed repentance.


The next morning, I was asked to speak into that issue at their San Paulo church. The two pastors at this congregation of around 1,000 were so sweet and humble but really crushed after the week’s events. They had driven through the night back from Rio to San Paulo for the service.


One of the things I said is that we have a charismatic Christian culture that is fascinated with “activating” spiritual gifts. We want power. But we fail to see that the key to power is humility. Jesus set us this example by not merely washing his subordinates' feet (John 13), but through his incarnation and whole life, and death! on Earth. The man who has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18-20) is humble. James Thompson, in Pastoral Ministry According to Paul, writes, “He humbled himself in the most extreme way through death on a cross before God elevated him to a new status.”


Micro-disciplines and Humility

If I am honest, I only want power to the extent that it will help me fulfill my mission of bringing my people to Yeshua. My deep passion increasingly becomes to simply know Yeshua more (Phil 3:7-10). The only way to do that is to “share in the fellowship of his sufferings” (Phil 3:10). I have learned over this past two years—a year of dealing with depression and a year of studying Spiritual Formation, that little acts of humility bring us closer to his presence.


Let me give you an example. Understand that I have the ability to be the most obnoxious person when dealing with customer service agents. I can be rude to get what I want. But that old man rising up is not a man of God. They are at odds with each other. How can I expect to enjoy the Holy Spirit if I’m treating people as beneath me? This is why Paul said “In humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Phil 2:3). This morning, I was told that my luggage was overweight (which I knew), and they wanted $600! But instead of being rude, I stayed calm, encouraging them to look for a better and cheaper solution. (I knew it wasn’t correct, but I also had a plane to catch.) A few minutes later, it was $0.00. I could’ve lost my cool, and blown my witness.


As I went through TSA, I was told my TSA number was not in the system, and I would have to go in the other, longer line, where I would have to take out all my electronics and take off my shoes. I was annoyed but caught myself and said, “Lord, I am so grateful for this opportunity to humble myself—just a little—and not have an attitude.” Now understand, I didn’t wash anyone’s feet or take a bullet for anyone. I call these little acts of humility micro-disciplines. If you can master the micro-disciplines, then you will be ready when God calls you to make a true sacrifice. Every day, we are presented with dozens of opportunities to die to self, prefer others, and demonstrate the fruit of the Holy Spirit (God’s character in us). And that will lead to a more intimate relationship with Yeshua, and the power of the Holy Spirit.


Let me recap the main point: the cross, or humility, leads to power. Thompson explains:


“Both cross and resurrection—weakness and power—are fundamental for Pauline theology, not only as events of the past but as facts of abiding significance that cannot be separated from each other. The resurrected one is also the crucified one, and the crucified one is also the resurrected one. In the cross and resurrection, one sees both weakness and power in the transformation of Jesus Christ.”

What led to Jesus being given “the name that is above every name” (Phil 2:11)? He humbled himself and submitted to crucifixion. Not merely death, but death in one of the most painful and humiliating ways possible. Spiritual transformation takes place as we humble ourselves. Yeshua humbled himself in the most extreme way and will one day rule the nations because of it. Paul always points back to Yeshua’s story as our example when speaking about our transformation into new creations, says Thompson. “Though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9).


His power didn’t come from asking God for spiritual power, but from humility. I am not saying that we should not seek God for his power—we are told to (Luke 11:13). I am saying that we must have the right motives (love for people) and live a life of preferring others and being kind to customer service agents.

 

Conclusion

If you embrace such a lifestyle as a means of using your body as a “living sacrifice” (Rom 12:2), you will indeed begin to experience God’s presence, closeness, and power! Thompson continues: “In an affluent society, we have options for gratifying our own impulses for pleasure, acquisition, or entertainment that tempt us to constant self-absorption. … If Christians scale back their lifestyles because they learn to identify with the crucified Christ, they will become models for others,” not to mention grow closer to Jesus and be more effective in evangelism. There is a sweet fragrance that comes through living the crucified life.

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I don't believe that Christians should want power. Power belongs to Jesus Christ alone. In the article, you make Jesus to be merely a person like us, i.e. He EARNED the name above every name BECAUSE He humbled Himself. He already had the "name above every name" at the beginning of creation. He is God and He was not teaching us how to be God-like, His whole purpose in coming to earth was to redeem us from sin and restore us to relationship with Him.

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Thank you Kim for your reply. Let me respond to the most severe comment first. I did take note when I wrote that that it could be misunderstood… Jesus was always, and always will be, he is the creator of all things, the second member of the Godhead. However, if you look at Paul's language in Philippians 2, it does read as I wrote it. This is Paul, not Ron. "And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name..." Php 2:8–9. The Greek word for "Therefore" is dio, which can als…


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Shalom from Israel! I am Ron Cantor and this is my blog. I serve as the President of Shelanu TV.

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