Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry

by Rayola Kelley

Q: Rayola, can you summarize in one word why Christians are not victorious in their walk?

A: Yes I can. That one word is humility.

Like the Israelites most people are stiff-necked. If a person is not humble they have the following problems.

They fall short of truly repenting. Repentance is an about face but people who lack humility can only give an outward show of repentance while refusing to allow themselves to be truly broken by taking accountability for personal sin. There can be no repentance without brokenness.

A stiff-necked person will have a superficial humility called fake nobility. This fake humility will show religious piety through various outward exercises such as tears of remorse but the exercise is empty. The reason it is useless is because it is nothing more than self-pity clothing itself in the martyr syndrome.

People who lack humility are unteachable. Although some may give you the impression they are learning, the truth never gets from their head to their heart where you can witness actual change. The reason the truths of God are unable to get farther than the head is because pride is exalted on the throne; therefore, the Holy Spirit is prevented from imparting truth to the spirit. God’s truth never becomes a heart reality.

Another evidence of someone being stiff-necked is the individual’s need for recognition or attention. A person who lacks humility wants to always sit in the place of honor. They become insulted or offended when they are not receiving recognition. These people end up competing with God and stealing proper recognition away from those who rightfully deserve it.

Finally these people are not submissive. Although these people may give the appearance of being submissive, it is nothing more than a religious cloak. This cloak hides the fact that they are still independent and resent having to submit to anyone or anything. In most cases, any show of submission on their part is a sick game and not a godly discipline of the heart or attitude. This lack of discipline shows a lack of character and maturity.

This is why the Bible is clear that the prerequisite for exaltation in the kingdom of God can only come from a point of humility. For a Christian that humility is brought forth when he or she is compelled by the love of God, broken by the reality of personal sin and has an attitude of a true servant of God.