“Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honor and life.” (Pr.22:4)
Bishop Anatoliy Belonozhko started his preaching explaining why he chose to name the sermon “Blessings follow after humility”. He has just returned from a trip to Chervonograd, where a daughter church celebrated its fifth anniversary. Bishop Anatoliy stayed in a flat of believers where different scriptures were hanging on the walls of the room. Having seen this scripture before, I have read it and automatically forgot it, but after a while I returned back to it and started reading it carefully trying to grasp the meaning. This scripture touched me and I understood that I had to preach about it.
It appears that the wealth of a person depends on his humility. Honour, anointing, authority, and position also depend on humility. The fear of God, health, longevity and the whole life depend on his humbleness. This is a very serious word!
Humility is the key and pass to blessings.
Humility is the condition of getting the fear of God, honour and wealth. Our life depends on our humbleness. This is the foundation of our life and ministry. Without humility you are building your life without a foundation, as a result everything can come crashing down, all because of the absence of humility.
What is humility? Who can we consider as being humble?
1. Someone who first of all sees and admits his own shortcomings and mistakes, but not the sins and shortcomings of others can be called humble.
“To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men–robbers, evildoers, adulterers – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Lk.18:9-14)
This is a very instructive parable and it is connected with the church. The problem was that the Pharisee considered himself higher than other people not confessing himself as a sinner. The tax collector did not dare even to look up to heaven, he beat his breast repenting and confessing his imperfection. This is a sign of humility.
Bishop Anatoliy gave an example – family. In every family there is a war between two main powers: pride and love. The family where pride wins will be destroyed. If love wins this family will find happiness and prosperity. It is easy for a humble person to build a family because in every conflict he sees and accepts his guilt. Also, he is ready to repent and reconcile. After he will work on his shortcomings and eradicating his sins if there are any sins.
Humilityis a constructive and creative power of church, ministry and relationships. Pride and selfishness are destructive powers.
The closer a person is to God the more he sees and realizes his imperfectness. Humbleness shows whether you are with God or without. Some people say they know God, and walk with Him, but if a person does not have humility these are just empty words. Bishop Anatoliy continued: “If you think that humility is a sign of weakness, try to live in humbleness at least one day. Only a strong person can submit because this is not actually a weakness, but a power.”
2. A humble person is able to submit himself to a definite order. There is a definite order in all areas of our life: constitution, commandments, dos and don’ts, rules of the road, discipline, church’s hierarchy etc. Proud people try to avoid an order as it is difficult for them to submit to any rules, but a humble person submits himself to any order. For example, there is an order of a day at work that a humble person puts above himself and totally submits to it. Humbleness is also the ability to submit yourself to the governing authorities.
There are many scriptures about humbleness in the Bible. Jesus humbled Himself on the Cross. Abraham obeyed his calling leaving his family and land. Mary answered meekly: “May it be to me as you have said.” This is an ability to bend your head and be obedient.
The root of the words “humility” and “meekly” in the Russian language is “peace”. The word “meekly” means to stand at attention and be ready to execute an order. It is not difficult for a humble person to honour his spiritual father. The power of the church is in humble sons who fulfill the will of their father. The power of the church is not in a quantity of people, as crowds followed Jesus; but in disciples – humble and meek sons who rejected themselves and staying humble in all life situations.
Bishop Anatoliy Belonozhko quoted several aphorisms and scriptures from the Bible about humility:
- It is not easy to be humble, but its fruits are sweet.
- God blesses all people every day by one hand, but He humbles one by two hands.
- “…This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word”. (Isaiah 66:2)
- “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)
Dear friends, brothers and sisters, let’s learn how to be humble from Jesus “…learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”(Matthew 11:29), – finishing the preaching, Bishop Anatoliy addressed the congregation. “I want this sermon to not just be information, knowing is nothing. It is highly important to apply this knowledge. Remember that you cannot please God by fasting, prayer, or ministry if there is no humbleness in it.”
Be abundantly blessed!
From the service of the Central Embassy of God church.
The press-center of the Embassy of God church.
Translated by Valeria Granova
Edited by Krystyna Price