We have become pleasers of the world and ourselves. Our outer image has deceptively covered up our inner dirt. The layers pile up trying to uphold unrealistic expectations of a Christian. But for how long will we deceive one another and most importantly ourselves? God transparently sees all that concerns us and we cannot deceive Him. He knows all our flaws, weaknesses, sins and is still willing to use us despite all this.
There is exquisiteness about the characteristic of humility. It is a characteristic which brings us closer to the ways of God, disbelieving we are better than one another and brings about acceptance. John the Baptist is a man whose humility I greatly admire. His life from beginning to end is an inspiration and can immensely help us with our spiritual walk.
John the Baptists’ evangelistic journey was not in a mega church, he did not have a social media account nor was he on a tv channel; he was in the wilderness! How many of us would devote our lives to evangelizing in the wilderness?
He did not wear a flashy suit, nor did he have a glass pulpit, however he knew who he was in Christ and his God given purpose!
Matthew 3:1-6 John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
As much as times have changed, it was evident that John was not living the most luxurious life, and yet was not complaining. Many of us hold ourselves back from doing God’s work because of not living up to a ‘particular standard’. But who are we trying to please?
John who knew his purpose and did not think he was better than anyone because he was more anointed. He could have glorified himself as there were not many men of God around during his time. However, he remained humble.
Matthew 3:11-12 ”I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you witch the Holy Spirit and fire”
Even with all the annointing he had, he did not count himself better than anyone else. He didn’t complain about the little he had, nor did he brag about his relationship with Jesus. He was respectful and regarded Jesus as higher than him. Although he was being used by God, he knew he was unworthy and not righteous. He was humble.
Matthew 3:13-14 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
How many of us have thought we were better than others because of our annointing or spiritual gifts? Does one ever think God has given some spiritual gifts because of their good deeds? Do we show off because we know an annointed person or well-known pastor. I know I have.
Many of us have received prophetic words of what God has ordained over our lives and what is to come. Some may even share this with others. Despite knowing his great calling, John never boasted about it.
Luke 1:76-80 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.
Sometimes, God can allow us to fall flat on our faces, experience disappointment and shame in order to humble us. He then teaches us to fully depend on Him; for us not to say we did things with our own might. Regardless of how clever, how hard we work or how rich we are, God requires humility and wants to be present in all of it. The love of God cannot be earned, can it be bought- yet despite all we continuously do daily, He still choses to love us!
We can learnt a lot of from the character of John the Baptist and can implement it in our lives!
Matthew 11:7-15 ‘’As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written:
Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. Whoever has ears, let them hear’’.
If you are able to relate to the above, I have good news for you. God ready to change you. He is able to assist you in being the person whom He ordained you to be. May we deny our own feelings, desires and ways of life and fully surrender to Him. He loves it when we wholeheartedly repent and walk along-side Him. Today is a new day, fresh start and new beginning.
Humility of John the Baptist- prayer
I come before You a sinner. I have been proud, arrogant, self-centered and not Christ-like. I have believed in my own strength, deceiving myself that I could walk this life journey alone. All I am is because of Your love, mercy and unconditional love. You foresaw my short-falls, my sinful nature, and yet You still decided to die for me. Forgive me for all the times I have taken the ultimate sacrifice for granted. Have mercy upon me. I humble myself before Your throne of grace and ask that You change me. Remove all my outer layers and cleanse my spirit.Mould me into the person You ordained me to be. Right now, I pray for the humility that John the Baptist had into my life in the name of Jesus. He was not focused on his physical attributes or the food he ate- he was content. Give me that same contentment and focus. Give me direction on my purpose and the grace let go of the things of the world. For it is written: “…that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”- Phillipians1:6. In Jesus’ name, AMEN