“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” (James 4:10, NKJV)
My thirteen-year-old son David is quickly growing into a young man. His voice is getting lower, his shoulders broader. A year ago, he passed me up in height (which in his mind was one of the most long-awaited, exciting moments of his young existence). And he detests pictures of himself as a younger boy or baby. He’s passionately enthusiastic in his pursuit of discovering manhood, and eager to leave behind all traces of anything less.
This makes me wonder what it felt like for God Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, whose presence fills the entire universe… to move in the reverse direction, becoming a helpless baby. To transition from the place where His eyes blaze like fire, lighting rods shoot forth from His fists, and the mountains tremble like wax before Him… to being an adorable infant whose cheeks all the aunties and cousins wanted to pinch.
This is the opposite direction from the development David is experiencing – and a change incalculably more dramatic. God’s mighty hands had created humans. Now their hands were changing His diaper.
I nearly stop breathing for a moment, trying to wrap my mind around the immeasurable amount of humility required for Jesus to submit Himself to such a reversal of His uncontested, unapproachable position at the right hand of God the Father!
His humility perplexed the devil. The devil doesn’t understand humility. He decided long ago that he wanted to take God’s place and receive the adoration of all creatures. When arrogance entered his heart, it corrupted his entire being. He has no space inside of himself that could possibly begin to fathom humility.
Humility is the secret wisdom of God. Paul references this in 1 Corinthians: “But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God…” (1 Cor. 2:7a, ESV). This wisdom from Him is secret and hidden from the devil because the enemy has no frame of reference for it. It completely confuses him.
From the very beginning of His incarnation, Jesus had His foe mystified. The devil couldn’t even find baby Jesus. Working through Herod, he tried hard to uncover his whereabouts. He utterly failed.
The same passage goes on to explain, “None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (v. 8) Jesus’ ultimate act of humility was to offer Himself as the sacrifice for our sins. This, too, absolutely confounded the evil one.
Jesus’ laying down His life was written prophetically into Scriptures centuries before He came to earth. The devil knows what the Bible says better than many Christians do. No matter. Jesus’ sacrifice of Himself was not on his radar, regardless. Again, this is because he simply cannot comprehend humility. He cannot anticipate it, he cannot plan for it, and he cannot conquer it.
Humility keeps you spiritually safe. This is what Holy Spirit means when He says, “For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3, NKJV). Every time you die to your pride for the cause of Christ, the humility that is born in you keeps you hidden from the devil. Just like the enemy couldn’t find baby Jesus, spiritually speaking, he can’t find you either. You are shielded from his sight and from his strategies.
Look at the connection here: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:6-7, NKJV). Do you see that? God has given us a very specific, entirely effective way to resist the devil: through humility.
Humility vanquishes the devil. Every time. Are you ready? Let’s humble ourselves today in the mighty presence of our triumphant Lord Jesus!
How is Holy Spirit speaking to your heart about humility today?