Creflo Dollar - Defining Humility - Part 1
If you have your Bibles, go with me to the book of 1 Peter chapter 5, 1 Peter chapter 5, and we're gonna begin 5 through 7. Excited about this series because this is a series where we're gonna learn how to give way to God and what he wants to do in our lives, but also at the same time, how to block the ways of God in what he wants to do in our lives. We're gonna talk about humility, and that's so very, very important. It's important that I can bring this down on a practical level, not just you know, biblically knowing that the scriptures are just filled with points on humility. I just am not sure that a lot of Christians are really carrying it out. I don't want it to become a buzzword, something that we hear about, we know about, but we fail to execute partly because maybe we just don't know it enough, maybe we don't understand the practicality of it. But I do know that the grace of God will be released upon those who are humble, and I do understand that at the end of the day, the opposite of humility is gonna be arrogance and pride.
Now nobody in here is gonna jump up and declare, "Well I'm arrogant". But I tell you what, hopefully I can get you to see, but with the help of the Holy Spirit man, that maybe there are lots of areas where you were arrogant and just didn't want to use that word. It's kind of harsh, arrogant, "I'm not arrogant," but we have to understand humility for your sake, for God's sake, and for the sake of other people that are in your life. And so today I thought I would just deal with the definition.
I called today's sermon "Defining Humility". Defining Humility. Now it has been said, and I have heard that the difference between confidence and arrogance is humility. 1 Peter chapter 5 and verse 5, and if you look at this very carefully, it's gonna give you a lot of little keys of this definition here. Verse 5, he says, "Likewise you younger, submit yourselves unto the elder". Underline the word, submit. "Submit yourself unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject". Underline that word subject. "All of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility". So, it says, if you'll submit, if you'll be subject, then you'll be clothed with humility. "For God resisteth the proud, but he gives grace to the humble". Well I don't know about you, but I wanna be on the humble side 'cause I want this infusion of grace in my life. But if I'm on the pride side, then he resists, he withstands pride.
"Well, Brother Dollar, I don't understand why, where was the favor of God when I needed it? Where was this? Da, da, da, da". Well maybe now we can kind of examine ourselves and ask ourselves, "Am I prideful? Lord, reveal to me". This is a great prayer, "Lord, reveal to me areas of pride in my life". There's no need to be walking around with something and just not be aware of it. Lord, reveal, hey, let's pray a little prayer together. Let's say it together. "Lord, reveal to me any area of pride that's in my life". Well, I believe God loves me enough to reveal to me those areas of pride in my life. "He resists the proud, but he gives grace to the humble".
And then in verse 6, "Humble yourselves therefore". Since he gives grace to the humble, "Humble yourselves therefore under," see the definition is all in these scriptures. "Humble yourself therefore under," being subject, submitting yourself to "The mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time". So, God's got exaltation on his mind for you. And it may not happen when you want it to happen, but he is saying, and I heard this morning. I promise you I heard this morning when I was walking from the kitchen. God saying, "There's so much I wanna do in the lives of my people, but they won't let me". I'm like, "How is it they're not letting you". "They won't humble themselves to what I wanna do. They keep trying to get me to do what they wanna do, and I got them here for a purpose in their lives, and there's gonna be a set time".
Somebody shout, "Set time" and a due season, somebody shout, "Due season," glory to God. And due season always comes, so it's not only if it comes, but when. And he says, "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time". It's not if you gonna be exalted, oh, glory. But when you are gonna be exalted, if you're not building a dam of pride. And you know, I didn't cuss. A physical dam, you know, dam, say, "Dang, the pastor just said dam". A dam of pride. You're not church folk out here. Are you damming up something with prideful, arrogant ways? Think of this. God wants to exalt you. Will you let him?
And then he goes on and he says, this is so cool, I love the way they wrote this, because he's now giving you a very clear practical example. "Casting all your cares upon him; for he cares on you". He says what's the subject here? The subject is, you know humility and if you'll humble yourself, he'll exalt you in due time and all of these things he's saying here, submit, make yourself subject to, humble yourself, he gives grace to the humble, but he resisteth the proud. And he says, "Okay, you wanna really know if you're in humility or pride". He says, cast all your care upon him. If you cast your care upon him, you are in humility. But if you keep walking around with cares, listen to this, you are in pride. 'Cause you're not submitting yourself to him, you're not making yourself subject to him.
He wants to exalt you, but he like, "I can't do it, because I'm trying to get you to submit to the way that I can do things in your life, but you won't do it. I say, cast your care upon me. You keep carrying your cares. Not only do you carry your cares, you get on the phone and you start telling everybody what you're carrying, and then you get it on your face. And then you wear it and it's weighted on you, and you won't cast your care on him". And you know, "Oh y'all don't understand, I'm worried". Well, boy, baby, you are not worried. "Well I worry, that's what I do, I worry". Okay fine, I don't expect any grace to be given to you, so take a pill or something, all right. And God is like, "I wanna do something about the situation, and I wanna give you peace in the midst of the situation, but you won't do the simple thing. Cast all your care upon you. It's not your care, I've already signed for the package of all of your cares. I want your care, can I have your care"?
And you know what we literally saying? "No, it's my care. Get your own care God". Well I mean, he made us. "Casting all your care upon him for he cares for you". And so it's kind of interesting how the world would say that the difference between confidence and arrogance is humility. That got my attention, because confidence says, "I have skills and I recognize them, I'm confident. I have skills and I recognize them". But arrogance says, "I have skills and others must recognize them".
So, let's get kind of practical with this, if you don't mind. I mean, why does humility differentiate confidence and arrogance? Well, humility changes how we view ourselves. When we're humble, our goal is not to exalt ourselves. Especially exalting ourselves over other people when we're humble. Humility, like I said just a few minutes ago, it's beneficial for us, it's beneficial for God, God able to do the things that he wants to do in our lives, and it's beneficial for those who are around us. There is no verbatim definition, like when you go to the, you know, the dictionary, you see a word and it gives a definition there, and so this is why I'm doing a series on this, I want you to catch the life of humility.
There is no, you know, like, humility is defined, da, da, da, da, da. I've tried to do that and I've come up short every time. And as soon as I say humility means that, I run into other scriptures and it also means that, and I run to the other areas of the scripture and it also means that, so we need to just, we need to bake a cake here and put all the ingredients in there, and ask God to help us in this journey of humbling ourselves under the mighty hand of God. And the church here this morning said? Okay, yeah, I'm glad you're listening.
Now, let's look at a few examples. Go to Philippians chapter 2 verse 3 in the NLT. Philippians chapter 2 verse 3 in NLT. And here it tells us how to practice humility. Philippians chapter 2 verse 3, it tells us how to practice humility. Of course, that'll help us out here. And verse 3 says, all right, he's telling us how to practice it. Look what he says. "Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves". That certainly answers the question of how do we practice humility? Don't be selfish. So, what is he saying? When you're selfish, you're probably not practicing humility. Don't try to impress others. Sometimes we subconsciously just deep in there, we don't really mean to impress others, but we kind of wanna impress others.
And I think there's, as a part of our journey, we've got to kind of get to the place where we're ready to be honest with ourselves. Sometimes we lie to ourselves and we don't wanna admit that we lie to ourselves. Some will say, "I ain't a liar". Well, you need to tell yourself that 'cause you've been lying to yourself about a lot of stuff. Don't try to impress others. You value yourself enough, don't try to impress others. "Think of others as better than yourself". So, if I were you, I would take this verse of scripture, and I put this in my life notes and I kind of say, "Lord, help me to see this today. Am I selfish today? Was that a selfish act?
Help me to point these things out. Because as I begin to learn how to practice humility, I'm also gonna see favorable response come my way". Not that I'm earning it more than I might be blocking it. Be humble, be humble by not being selfish. Be humble by not trying to impress others. Be humble, by not the way that you're treating other people. And I remember the first time I was invited to this meeting and all of these big name people there, both preachers and politicians, they were just like, it was like, whoa! You know? And, and my first thought was, "Okay, how do I carry myself in the midst of this, Lord"? And he really spoke to me. At one time he told me to learn the vocabulary of silence, 'cause you gotta be careful if your mouth is moving all the time, it may eventually say some things that are gonna be prideful.
But he just said, "Well, humble yourself". I'm like, "I don't even know what that looks like". I mean, for a long time, people used to say it different ways, humble yourself, 'umble yourself, I don't even know what that looks like. I mean I never could understand the 'umble part, and I guess it's all right. I'm whatever, but I'm just like, "What does that look like"? Just don't try to exalt yourself. Be cool and I'm telling you, if I were to tell you just that room and who was there and so I humbled myself and the first thing I did, is I went to the very back of the room. There were chairs there, there were limited chairs there, and I decided everybody, anybody who needs that chair can have that chair. I'm gonna stand up.
And so I stood there and after I finished, the guy who was hosting the meeting who everybody in the world knows this guy, everybody, and his assistant came and got me, and he said, "Brother Dollar, could you come here? Such and such so, wants you to sit right by him". I'm like, "He know me"? The first thing I thought about was, it was an act of humility that immediately resulted into exaltation. You don't walk up in the room, demand 'em folks or somebody, 'cause you think you're all that and you're not really all that. I wanna go that route. I wanna go the route of humility to be exalted versus trying to exalt myself. If you understand that, say, "Amen".
Now, let's look at this one. Psalms 25 and 9 in the NLT. Psalms 25:9 in the NLT. So, now here we're gonna see how God blesses the humble. This is so cool, verse 9. He says, "He leads the humble". I love this, this is a blessing. "He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them his way". He will teach you his way, that's wisdom. I need to know God's way. The things that come up in life, that what could happen if you knew his way. How would he handle this? How would he approach this? How would he deal with this? And he says, "For the humble man, I'll show you my way". That's what wisdom is. Wisdom is knowing what to do when you don't know what to do. But humility postures you, the humility posture puts you in a place where God says, "I'm gonna bless you. I'm gonna teach you my way". Ooh boy, the life of humility. Say out loud, "I'm a humble person".
Boy, you're getting ready to go somewhere. You're getting ready to be exalted. Ain't no telling what, I mean, just by the day this coming into your system, and this is the reason why I love our church so much, at the beginning of every series, you're intense. I can't even get you to say yabadabadoo. You're like, "All right, leave me alone. I'm working on something here. I'm thinking, I'm trying to locate myself in this sermon you're preaching. Ain't got time to be hollering at you now. You know, that's your own insecurities, if you need somebody to holler at you, I need..." Hey I get it, because you're hungry to understand what you need to do in order to start walking in God's best. All right there's number three, let's look at this third example. Number three shows us the posture and the position of humility.
Matthew chapter 5 verse 3 in the NLT, Matthew 5 verse 3 in the NLT. Oh, praise God. Oh, thank you Jesus. I'm getting kind of fired up here. It goes back to the quickest way to be on top is to start off on bottom. And that doesn't make sense to the world. I ain't starting off on bottom. And that's why you never get started on that. The only man that starts off at the top is a guy who's digging a hole. Some of y'all are gonna get that next week, but you'll be all right. I love it. Verse 3, "God blesses those who are poor". And I'm thinking like, "Poor"? No, he says, God blesses those who are poor, and here's what he's talking about, "And realize their need for him". The King James says, "God blesses the poor in spirit".
So, he's talking about God blesses those who are poor in spirit, and they realize their need for him, "For the kingdom of heaven is theirs". So, here's the posture of humility, realizing that you need him. And that by itself, that total dependence on God, this is where we're going again, that total dependence on God, realizing that you need him, will give birth to humility in your life. I tell you, when I wake up in the morning, I need him today. When I go to bed at night, I need him, I need him. When my head hits the pillow, it'll hit the pillow in peace and my sleep will be sweet, I need him. Hallelujah.
And there's so many people, so many Christians even, that don't think they need God, like been there, done that, know how to do it. God's got a million ways to get you outta debt in one week. He may not do the same thing the same way every time, I need him. I don't wanna marry methods, I don't wanna marry methods. I don't wanna get to the point where I marry methods and I 'cause that method to become traditional, I wanna walk with God on a day-to-day basis, and last week he told me to do it like this, but this week he told me to do something that I have never done before, hallelujah. Hallelujah. And I say, "Lord, why we didn't do it like we did last week". He said, "Last week would've worked, but I wanna show you the many wisdoms that I have. I wanna show you the manifold wisdom that I have".
Oh, glory to God. He's showing me those manifold wisdom. Hallelujah. I don't know if you understand, but you are about to move to your next level. That's what it means to be exalted. And when you get there, you're not gonna be to pat yourself on the back saying, congratulations to you, you got to lift your hands up and give God the glory, and the honor, because you know it was nobody but Jesus that brought you out of the pit, and planted your feet on a solid ground, and put a new song in your heart. I realize I need him. I need him every time I teach. I need him, I need him when I drive.
We were on our way out just going, you know, around the corner. And Taffi said, "Hey let's pray. Father thank you that we're safe and no harm comes to us". I said, "Well that's different, that's new". She said, "All people getting shot by going to the grocery store. We are not gonna walk in fear on that. We're just gonna admit that we need Jesus to go to the grocery store with us now". See, before we didn't think we needed him so we wouldn't bother him. But right now, I need him when I go to the grocery store, I need him, when I'm riding on the expressway, I need him hallelujah. You remember that song? "I need thee, oh I need thee every hour, I need thee. Oh bless me now". It's a blessing.