Saturday, 01 August 1998 00:00

The Real Way to Get Ahead

James 4:10 (KJV)

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

Have you ever noticed that what the world thinks is usually the opposite of the way God thinks? Marriage and money are two examples of how the world's perspective is different from God's. How does the world tell you to get ahead in life? "Go for it," "Just do it," and other slogans. What does God say? This one verse gives us the true way for a person to get ahead in life!

  1. The Principle that James Stresses... "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord..."
    Years ago there was a contest in the London Times asking readers to respond to the question "What is wrong with the world?" The winner was the writer G.K. Chesterton who wrote: "Dear sirs, I am. Yours faithfully, G.K. Chesterton." How many people really believe that?
    1. This humbling is passive... literally "be humbled."
      "By the grace of God I am what I am" (I Corinthians 15:15). Humility is a gift. God is in the business of humbling His people; causing them to be dependent on Him.
      1. Nobody is to fight against God in the humbling experience.
        What is it that is happening in your life that is humbling you? Do you see God?
      2. Nobody can brag about his humility.
    2. This humbling is personal... "(be humbled) before the Lord."
      Whether you are at home, at school, at work, or simply with friends, God is at work. Remember that the next time you get embarrassed or ashamed; allow it to happen! In other words, rather than despairing in your circumstances—be strengthened!
      "Wherever I go... your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast" (Psalm 139:6-10).
  2. The Promise That Is Stated... "and He shall lift you up."
    1. It is conditional... "and" connects the promise to the principle.
      There is no exaltation of a person by God until there is the willingness to be humble.
    2. It is powerful... "and he shall lift you up."
      Martin Luther once said, "It is God's nature to make something out of nothing, that is why He cannot make anything out of him who is not yet nothing." Scripture continually stresses the truth that God exalts the humble: "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Luke 18:14).
    3. It is supernatural... "and he shall lift you up."
      The word translated "lift you up" is the word hupsei. Figuratively, it means to be raised to a position of blessing and dignity. God puts the humbled child ahead. "The highest honor in heaven will be the reward of the greatest humility on earth." (Matthew Henry)

    Jesus Christ is the supreme example of this humility (Philippians 2:5-11). Let this mind and attitude of heart be in you—that's the true way to get ahead.

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