Celebration: A Sound of Humility
Concerning humility, Andrew Murray said - "Pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you." As a maturing leader, the older I get the more value I have for humility. Whatever success we may achieve as leaders, humility reminds us of our anchored limitations; but it uplifts our dreaming and believing while pursuing greater things. I realize that any of the long-lasting accomplishments I have achieved in my marriage, parenting or leading are the product of God's grace at work in my life. Over and over again I am reminded of my limitations and Christ's ability to overcome those limitations. 1 Peter 5:5 tells us that God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble. Thus, Andrew Murray's quote blasts through the corrosive noises of our culture like a lone trumpet being joyfully played on a sunny day. If only we as leaders could get a shot from our doctor that inoculates us to prideful feelings and attitudes... However, no such thing exists; but what does exist is the practice of humility. One way to practice humility is to celebrate. No, we are not chest beating leaders asking the crowd to recognize our accomplishments. We are servants of a glorious King, wanting and working for Jesus to get everything He paid for. We are empowered sons and daughters of God who serve with the heart of a king and lead with the heart of a servant.
Practice humility by celebrating. For example - during a recent weekend service, in the middle of my sermon I extended an invitation to the people to come forward if they wanted to receive Christ's forgiveness and yield their lives to Him. Sixteen people came forward that day and said yes to Christ and His life. They didn't all come forward at once, but over the course of 4-5 minutes they slowly trickled forward. What surprised me during that time was that a man who came forward, turned around and headed back to his seat. We hadn't prayed yet and were waiting for people to come. I wasn't sure what was happening. Then, one of our workers told me that he was going back to his seat to get someone. WOW!!!! This man is giving his life to Jesus, receiving his forgiveness and experiencing the regenerating work of Holy Spirit; and right away he was bringing his family to Christ! It was an unbelievable moment - a moment I could not have created or orchestrated no matter my talent or charisma. It reminded me of Acts 10 when Cornelius and his entire household chose to follow Jesus Christ as Lord. This was a first for me. A man went and got his household and said, "We are going in this direction together." Even as I type this, this is hard to believe...
I have to believe that this is an invitation to a new normal for our church. God wants to save households. God wants to save families. Today (Monday) while sitting in my office, I killed pride when I humbled myself and celebrated WHAT CHRIST DID!!! I didn't do it. Andrew Murray reminds us of this truth - "Humility is nothing but the disappearance of self in the vision that God is all." I was just an instrument through whom God blew the sound of redemption and this man and his family heard it and responded. When attending concerts, I've never applauded the instruments; but I've applauded those who make those instruments sound amazing. In like manner, let's not applaud ourselves, but applaud a magnificent God who sounds through us. After all, we are just instruments.
Grace is attracted to the humble. The humble celebrate Christ and what He does. Therefore, celebration is a sound of humility. Listen to it. Try sounding it. It will sound great and will make you sound glorious.