In James 4 and again in 1 Peter 5 the scripture tells us that we are to humble ourselves. We need to learn humility—how to humble ourselves.
How do we do that? In Numbers 12:3 Moses is identified as a “very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.” What was it that made Moses so humble? After all, he had great power and wealth, and the highest position in his country. He had spiritual privileges, talking with God personally, and he performed incredible miracles. How could he be so humble?
Here are some things that contributed to Moses’ humility. First, he spent forty years in the desert, because of a failure on his part. Humbling ourselves means we have to learn that in our own strength, we are failures. For ten years of my life, I thought I could make “things happen.” I had to learn that in myself I can do nothing.
Then, you remember that Moses had a speech impediment. He stuttered and couldn’t give a speech, so Aaron became his spokesperson. That had to be humbling for a great leader. It was a constant reminder to him that his talents and skills were not sufficient. The Apostle Paul had that same experience—a thorn in the flesh, he called it—which God did not remove because he knew Paul would need that thorn to remind him of where his strength came from, to keep him humble.
I encourage you to learn to be thankful for the impediments you have, the things missing in your life, which contribute to helping you learn humility. It’s extremely important that we be truly humble, and, like Moses, we need reminders of our needs so that we can humble ourselves.
One reason Moses was able to be humble is that the highest priority of his life was to know God. Moses knew God better than any other person on earth. He spent lots of time alone with God. You know, when we start to focus our lives on knowing God, humility is an inevitable result. You learn true humility as you learn who you are in comparison to who God is.
In Philippians 2 we read that Jesus humbled himself to become a servant. Servanthood is one revealing sign of true humility. Recently someone was complaining about the fact that when he came to church, no one gave him any attention and he couldn’t form any real strong relationships because people weren’t friendly. And I thought to myself: A servant doesn’t react that way. A servant doesn’t come into a group to see what that group can do for him or her, but rather, comes ready to do something for others. We learn to humble ourselves as we learn to serve others.