Humility is the Key to Following God

Not My Will but Yours

“Not so, Lord!”

Arguing with God is illogical.  God is God.  He is the omniscient, omnipotent ruler of Heaven and Earth.  He knows the beginning and end of all things.  His ways are also higher than mine.  This means I often don’t understand His plans or purposes.  I am not God, therefore, my comprehension is extremely limited.   Disagreeing with God is therefore silly by definition.  It is also disobedience.  This is why humility is so important in a Christian’s walk.  It is the living like God is God and  I am not.  Whose plan is better to follow as a result?

I know this conceptually.  Yet, if I am honest I find myself debating God on many occasions.  I bet you do too.  Man has been arguing with God since Genesis 3.  I don’t like it when things do not go according to my plans.  I get upset when my expectations are not met.  I really like my own opinions.  I don’t enjoy when God gets in the way of what I want and I tell Him about it.  For more read A Slave by Choice and Trusting God in Difficult Times

For great Bible verses on humility read 35 Challenging Bible Verses about Humility

It most often happens when I have a big case of the “I’s”.  My heart is set on what “I want” “I feel” “I hope for” and “I hurt over” rather than on God.  I place my judgment in front of God’s in my life.  It becomes particularly problematic when I am not willing to let this go when God shows His plan.  This is when I find myself disputing the truth with the One who formed me out of dust.  I forget that God does a better job of taking care of me than  I do.  I know it is dumb and arrogant to argue with God.  Yet, my love of self compels me.

I am not alone in this folly.  Some of the greatest figures of the Bible were just as unaware of their lack of humility as they argued their case to God.  They believed they were right and God was wrong.  How could God not see how wrong He is?

For more read Why am I NOT Growing in Christ? A Hard Hitting Answer and Missing the Real Messiah – Reflecting on Palm Sunday Sermon

The Excuses of Moses

Moses is a great leader of the Israelites.  God chose him to lead His people to freedom.  God’s Law was given through his hands.  Moses shows great faith as God uses him.  Moses has awesome miracles are done through him.  Yet, he does not start this journey to the Promised Land well.  Moses begins his calling by arguing with God.

The God of Heaven and Earth appears to a simple shepherd.  He speaks through a burning bush to one of His creations.  God commissions Moses to do an amazing job that will define much of human history.  What is Moses’ response?  He objects to God’s plan.

Moses claims to not speak well.  Humility-in-the-Bible

He asks how the Israelites will know him?

He says Pharoah will never listen.

Moses repeatedly tells God His plan is bad.   God picks Moses.  Moses says “Not so, Lord!  That will never work!”  The man argues with the voice of God coming from a bush that is on fire but is not consumed.  Talk about being self-involved, right?  These objections are ludicrous when you realize Moses is talking to God.

Did Moses make a conscious decision to tell God that He is wrong?  I don’t think so.  He simply forgets who is boss.  He loses sight of humility.  Moses puts his doubts and fears above his trust in God.  Moses’ ways are higher than God’s. You cannot serve two masters.  Here Moses picks to serve his own emotions rather than God.

Thankfully, God is patient with Moses.  He allows him to learn humility over the years that follow while leading the Israelites.    For More on this issue read Who’s the Boss? and How Do I Follow Jesus?

Peter’s Objection

Peter experiences a similar pride driven conflict with God in Acts 10.  Peter learned obedience and humility the hard way by this point.  He argues with Jesus in the Gospels and is rebuked.  He doubts Jesus plan and is proved wrong.  He doubts and betrays Jesus and is restored.  He should have humility down pat by now.  But since he is just a man, like me, pride always lurks ready to assert itself against God.   It comes out in dramatic fashion.

The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. 10 Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance 11 and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. 13 And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”

14 But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.”

15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” 16 This was done three times.

God gives Peter the vision with from heaven.  It is meant to show Peter that he can eat any food he wants.  The Mosaic Law is fulfilled by Jesus, therefore, the dietary laws are no longer applicable.  The larger message is Gentiles are now part of God’s Church as they have been made clean.  It is a momentous moment in the Bible.  God speaks directly to Peter.  Peter’s response?

“Not so Lord”

It would be funny if I was not prone to the same clueless response.

Do you think Peter set out oppose God’s plan of redemption?  Certainly not!  Peter is simply heavily emotionally invested in Judaism.  He loves the Law.  His life is defined by the rules and regulations of Moses.  He holds this attachment higher in his mind than God’s clear direction.  Peter’s comfort level came into conflict with God’s plans and Peter refused to yield.

Peter had plans!  He did not like them disturbed by that pesky old thing called God’s will.  He wants to remain holy and did not want God getting in the way.



I Want it My Way!

This is a glaring example of man’s lack of humility conflicting with God’s plan for life.  Peter simply thinks his judgment on an issue is better than Gods.  How often do I find myself doing the very same thing if I am being honest?

God tells me to humble myself and serve.  My response is “Not so, Lord” like Peter.  Or I may lawyer up and argue about the details like Moses.  I want to serve my plan on my terms.  As Isaiah puts it:

“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” 

It is hard to admit that God often speaks and I so often chafe against His Words.  The truth is simple.  God is the only One in the conversation who knows everything that will happen in history.  He is the One who knows the perfect will for my life.  He is the One who loves me and wants a good for me that I cannot even comprehend.  I am just along for the ride.  He is the Master.  I am just the servant regardless of what my pride tells me.  For more read Trouble Shooting Our Hearts

Humility is vitally important in the Christian life.  I cannot serve the One who desires to bless me without it.  I cannot let the things of the flesh die if I am proud of them.  His ways are higher than mine.  If I want His ways, therefore, I cannot have mine.

So what about you?  Are you arguing with God and not even realizing it?  Are you kicking against the goads like Paul?  Are you acting like the servant or the Master?

Like Moses, is God telling you to do something and you are finding every reason it just won’t work?

Like Peter, are you so attached to what you are comfortable with you can’t see His better path to take?

Is your reply “Amen and Hallelujah” or “Not so, Lord!

Your answer dictates what your walk with Jesus looks like.   God’s judgment is always better than yours.  The question is whether you are willing to admit it.  This is the heart of humility.


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