“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6).
In this study we are going to look at the simplest two-fold condition for receiving the blessing of a sanctified heart. Firstly, there is the need to humble ourselves before God, and, secondly, to believe in humble faith.
There are those who teach that consecration or absolute surrender brings the promises of God into our lives, but this is not what the Scriptures teach.
The promises of God will never come into our lives if we have to wait until we are 100% surrendered to Him. Christ did not say to the Samaritan woman, “Surrender fully to me and I will heal you.” Nor did He say to the leper, “Consecrate your life to me, body, soul, and spirit, then I will cleanse your body.” These blessings came from His free mercy and love.
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost was not dependant upon the full and complete surrender of the disciples. The promise came from God’s free grace. Consecration does come, but it is manifest in a grateful heart for all that the Lord has done and given.
Many struggle to receive sanctification through absolute surrender, but they are never able to attain it. The struggle produces despair, weariness and a loss of faith. Instead of getting better they grow worse.
The way of faith proclaims that the Lord requires humility before consecration … “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8.)
The Lord is asking for a humble heart in each of us. Yes, sin must be confessed, but there has to be lowliness of spirit too. Those who humble themselves before Him tell God about their inability to believe and obey, and of their constant failure and falling short of His glory. They never speak of their own goodness or that they are in some way deserving of even the least of the blessings. No, they recognise their sin, fear, unbelief, unwillingness and rebellion.
If we stand before Him in humility, then we have done our part, what more can we do? From that moment God will do His part, He will exalt us to the place He has purposed for us. True humility receives the blessing of full assurance and joy.
Though it might not sound true, trying to achieve absolute surrender less important to the Lord than humble and serious confession. Those who are ever presenting their bodies to Christ need first to cast away the proud, unbroken spirit, and then come as the helpless leper did. If not, they will go away empty.
Don’t be hindered by the lack of absolute surrender
The devil will use this lack in us to keep us from Christ and the blessing of sanctification. We must come to the Lord the way we are, and tell Him about the idolatry, the inability to obey, and the rebellious unbelief.
“Only believe” is what the Lord would say to us at this time. Those who simply humble themselves, not by acts of contrition, but in faith, will find that God will bless them beyond their imagination.
How easy it is for the “works” kind of religion to slip back into our lives. Even godly Christian are guilty of thinking that some deprivation of the body will bring the promises of God into fruition. We are fooled into believing that we have to prove to God that we mean business with Him, yet all the while He desires that we bow ourselves before Him in humility and faith.