A solid believer’s walk is so important, especially in the life of a new Christian. The protagonist in Restored Grace, Carol Scape, travels this often tricky road and tries to help others along the way.
After tragedy hits in Book One, Shattered Guilt, Carol turns her life around in Book Two. She’s determined to help her shop clerk, Virginia, and others while navigating her new faith to do so. Many of my favorite personalities return from Book One. If you haven’t read Shattered Guilt, here are some insights about Bay Town.
For blog week, I’m sharing my walk of faith. At the end of Week One, everyone can obtain a free PDF of the Bible Study, A Believer’s Walk. Today, I’m writing about A Believer’s Walk in Humility.
I’m sharing about the things I find absolutely necessary in my believer’s walk today. I wished I’d put more importance on them earlier. But, my life is in God’s hands, and I thank Him that He’s not done with me yet. For the next seven days, I’m covering Humility, Consistency, Prayerfulness, Compassion, Fellowship, Devotion, and Trust. Please stay with me to the end and claim your free PDF on Day Seven. Let’s grow together.
A BELIEVER’S WALK IN HUMILITY
I mentioned in another blog post that Kay Warren was my first Bible Study Teacher. As a young wife and new mother back in the early 80s, I asked Kay what I could study in regards to humility. After all, Jesus was humble. Pridefully, I thought she would say I didn’t need to study that. But I had a lot to learn about Jesus, and she was a patient teacher. She smiled and answered, Philippians is a great start. Now, humility is one virtue I wished I’d learned first.
My shoulders slumped, and I smiled back…convicted. Philippians became one of my favorite New Testament books, but I’m embarrassed to say it’s taken me years (almost forty) to recognize my prideful traits and actions. My friend and I love the phrase, “God keeps us on a short leash.” Meaning we sooner than later recognize our sinning. I’m thankful that the Lord is quick to convict my heart.
Pride is ugly, as Elizabeth in everyone’s favorite book (well, almost everyone) realizes. But humbleness is beautiful, and the whole dying-to-self thing is the key. That’s why I love the above scripture so much. It resonates in my head whenever I get the me-me’s. The characteristics of humility are vast, but here are a vital few.
CONFESSION IN HUMILITY
Without confession in humility, how can we be humble? I’ve been a believer for a long time, but critical thoughts still push their way into my brain. That first ugly feeling grips my heart, and I hate it. But then I receive a nudge. It’s God’s loving grace as he calls me. Did you ever hear that old 80s song, “It’s your kindness that leads us to repentance, O Lord?” Take a listen. I often find myself singing it.
Through God’s loving-kindness, confession is freeing and cleansing. Thank you, Jesus! But it isn’t just confession in humility. It’s repentance too.
REPENTANCE IN HUMILITY
Stop, drop and repent is basically repentance in humility. When I recognize and ask the Lord’s forgiveness, my next step is to purpose not to go there again. Sometimes it’s difficult because my mind wants to keep replaying and rationalizing my wicked thoughts. I am justifying my critical judgments. You know, like when someone cuts you off on the freeway? Or someone says rude, or unkind things. I just play a dialogue of vengence in my head. But the call to repentance is relentless. In my desire to please the Almighty God, how can I not repent?
Again, I can’t very well be humble if I continue in my sinful actions. But the key is recognizing that I can’t do it alone. God’s work within me is the catalyst. In Restored Grace, that’s Carol’s difficulty as a new believer. Still, don’t we all sometimes barge ahead and make resolutions based on our own strengths?
Music helps me to rely on God’s strength. I love music, and so does Carol, but as a new Christian, she doesn’t have many uplifting songs in her repertoire. But thankfully, I do. Another favorite song that humbles me is by Johnny Lange. The first time I heard it, tears flooded my face. “I am Only a Man.” Listen here.
It’s a song of true humility, confession and repetence. It’s really heartbreaking as he realizes he can’t do it alone, and cries out to God. The agony he feels is so real.
HUMILITY IS DYING TO SELF
There’s no easier way to say it than humility is dying to self. I recite the verse below almost every day. I also quote it to my kids (grown) when they’re grumbling about something beyond their control. What are my motives? Most likely, I want something, and I’m not getting it. Even something good. Like children behaving or others being more thoughtful.
I remember a lesson in dying to self. I can’t remember why anymore, but I was so mad at my husband that I wanted to scream. So I did. I jumped in the shower, turned it on, cried, pounded the walls, and shouted, “But I’m right, Lord!” That still, quiet voice spoke, “Not anymore. You’re not.” That’s all it took. When we demand our way, we’re never in the right. I’ll never forget that lesson.
Whenever I think of imposing my suggestions or views that aren’t being received, humility in dying to self is a convicting reminder. To be honest, it makes me feel very gracious, and it feels so good. Try it sometime. It’s easy to insist on our way, especially when we want what’s right. But if it’s not being received, die to self.
MUCH MORE TO HUMILITY
There is so much more to humility that I can’t cover in this post, but it will be in the free PDF, A Believer’s Walk. I’ll offer to send it on day seven of the Restored Grace Blog Tour posts this week.
But for now, remember, confession, repentance, and dying to self is the key to humility. At least for me, it is. I’m a sinner saved by God’s grace, and I never want to wallow in the ugliness of sin. I pray that no one would either. I’m grateful that God’s Holy Spirit moves us to humility through these avenues. I certainly couldn’t do it on my own, and Carol in Restored Grace finally realizes that she can’t either.
Please check out the Bloggers’ reviews of Restored Grace and enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a signed paperback of the book. I’m so grateful for readers and reviewers.
Thanks for joining me, and as always, feel free to email me your prayer requests. If you haven’t already signed up for my email newsletter, here’s a link. You’ll receive my free e-book. Essential Ingredients, a short novelette dear to my heart.
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