Becoming a Disciple of Christ Part 5
God is looking for humility
Nita LaFond Johnson
New Orleans 2009 Revival Services
2 Chronicles 7: 14-15 If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer offered in this place.
God is looking for seekers. In the body of Christ, we have many hypocrites, those who say they love Jesus but will not truly live for Him. They may be people that know a lot of the Word but will not live for the Word. For instance, there are people who will stand before your face and tell you that they love you, yet their actions behind your back are just the opposite. There are individuals who will come to the Lord Jesus Christ and say to Him, “I love you, I love you!” and then they live their lives according to their own pleasure. They sadly demonstrate by their actions their true heart – the heart of a hypocrite.
God is not calling hypocrites to His throne; He is calling those with a true, pure, heart. You can be very young in the Lord and have a lot of the world in you, but if you will seek God with a true heart, He will be found by you. There are those who have been saved for twenty or thirty years and yet they are as much hypocrites today as they were fifteen years ago. He is not calling the hypocrite; He is calling those whose hearts are truly for Him, those who look at Him and desire to know Him. He is calling those whose desire is to be changed by His Spirit, those who want to hear His voice and in hearing is voice, want to obey, those whose consider their lives not their own, but who are willing, step by step and day by day, to give their hearts to Jesus.
There are many people in the Church today who call themselves by God’s name, but who are not really His. That is why He emphasizes, “If My people…” He wants to hear from His people, those with the heart of a true seeker whom today He is calling to His side to hear His voice, know His ways and to walk with Him, those who have learned to be pure seekers in order to be used of Him to even change history. While it seems as though the world is falling apart at the seams, God is still very much in control and nothing can happen without His permission. So in the midst of the chaos, God reigns and He is looking for those who want to draw close to the Kingdom of glory. He is calling His people to come, humble themselves, and pray.
The Church in America has by and large lived in a sort of deception. Many believe that Christianity is a religion that will allow you to love the world while enjoying the pleasure of knowing you will make heaven in the end. Today, in America, Christianity is practiced very differently than it was practiced in the first century Church. The Christianity in America is so far away from God’s concept, idea, desire, will and picture of Christianity that if we were to see His plan alongside our reality, we would be shocked at the differences. We have a Christianity that has been Americanized, wrought with Hollywood, and full of compromise. God is about to change all of that. Christianity is going to change; in fact, Christianity in America must change if the American people are ever to know who Christ is and what He is really about. People who are true seekers of God must be those who will enter into and produce this new wave of true Christianity.
I can remember years ago when the Lord took me into a spiritual experience and I found myself standing next to a building that looked like it was built for someone about four feet tall. The building was dilapidated and old, the property was run down and the house was all but useless. As I stood next to the building, I saw the Lord Jesus Christ walk toward me and look at the building. My heart suddenly became sad. As He approached me I said to Him, “Lord, what is the one thing that makes you the saddest of all?” He replied,” The fact that My Church has never entered into the maturity of Sonship as depicted in Ephesians 4.” This He replied while He looked at the building that reflected His Church.
Ephesians 4; 12His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church), 13[That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ’s own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him.
Of all the things that hurt the heart of our Lord, the fact that the Church has never entered into Ephesians chapter 4 verses 12 and 13 affects Him the most. When He spoke those words to me I watched as the sadness overtook His heart; it was a great sorrow. I could see where we were as a Church and where we are supposed to be. There is a great gulf between where we are supposed to be and where we actually are. This gulf is so vast that the only magnitude of dimension or proportion that I can equate it to would be that of the Grand Canyon. Sorrow filled His heart, and as it did, sorrow was filling my heart, because I could not figure out how we would ever get the Church from where we are now to where we are supposed to be.
Probably no country in the world has as much teaching and preaching of the Word as America. We have prayer movements all over this country, yet we are still so far from where we are supposed to be in Him. I was overcome with sadness. Desperate for some hope, I asked Him, “Lord, what is the one thing that brings you the greatest pleasure?” He said to me, “The Jubilee Anointing as listed in Isaiah 61. What the Church cannot do for itself, I am going to do with the release of the Jubilee Anointing.”
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor and afflicted. He has sent me to bind up and heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and to the eyes of those who are bound, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor] the day of vengeance for our God, to comfort all who mourn, to grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion — to give them an ornament, (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, a garment expressive of praise instead of a heavily burdened spirit, that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, magnificent, distinguished for uprightness and justice standing with God.]”
He is going to send the Jubilee Anointing to lift us up to this lofty plateau that we are called to walk upon. What the Christian walks in today and what the Christian was created to know in God are two entirely different things. We are like kindergartners when we should be college graduates in the things of the Spirit. Many people know the Word and memorize many Scriptures, they pray but they have never made the decisive dedication of their heart that will allow God to change them into adult sons of God. When you start on this lofty path, it requires a mind-change. You have to ask the Lord what the difference is between the way you live and the way He has called you to live. He has to reveal it to you so that you can understand it and begin to see how you must change. He is calling people out of the world to become seekers of Christ; He wants His Church to quit looking and acting like the world and allowing their lives to be ruled by the spirit of compromise. Everything becomes a compromise as you try to live so that the world will not get too frustrated with you and the Church will not get too frustrated with you. But the Holy Spirit is ever grieved with you because you have never picked up your cross to come and know Christ.
I want to make this point: In 2 Chronicles 7:14 God says first of all that His people should humble themselves. That is what the cross is – a spiritual mechanism that forces us into humility. I do not know about you, but I have never seen anyone carry a weightless cross. When Jesus carried the cross, He was bent down; the cross requires a posture of humility, of one being bent under the weight of God’s calling. I am not speaking of some bizarre concept in Christianity – this is what the Church was founded on. The Church was never founded on hyper grace – “You can do whatever and walk wherever you want because there is unlimited grace to cover it; God just understands your heart.” The Church was not founded on that ideology. I know places in Canada, and some probably exist down here as well, where teachers are teaching the Church not to even say the word ‘sin’. Not because it is unholy, but because it is a word that should not be in their vocabulary, the hearers are told. Yet, they can sin all they want because there is an abundance of grace to cover it. There is no humility in that. God requires humility as does the cross. Humility is the foundation upon which you seek the face of God. Figuratively speaking, without humility, you cannot crawl up to His cross or throne!
In my early days of Christianity, the teaching was to come boldly into the throne of grace. The picture they would paint is that you are a King’s kid, you just come in, stand there and make your demands to God, and the grace will be there. We must learn to walk before God the way Christ walked before God, walking in humility and lowliness. Jesus did not say, “Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest for I am proud and a good King.” Rather, He said, “I am meek and lowly of heart.” If the Son of God is coming to us as one meek and lowly of heart, imagine how much more important is it for us to come to the Son, meek and lowly of heart.
The Bible says that Moses was the meekest man in all of the earth. The Bible spoke of this man, Moses, and out of all the things it could say about him, it intentionally pointed out the fact that he was the meekest man who lived upon the earth. That virtue is the most important virtue for someone who is seeking God; a virtue so important that the Old Testament telescopes its whole history into this man Moses, who learned to walk with God.
If we want to walk close with God, we must look at Moses, Elijah, and others like them from the Bible, those who understood what it meant to sit out by the pond and be fed by ravens. Here is a man who spoke to kings but he never placated them. When he spoke to them he spoke the truth to them but when he walked in before God he was a man bent in lowliness and meekness, you would never find Elijah bragging, you would never find Moses bragging; those who really walk with God do not brag, the simply lift up and bring glory to God because they have learned to love His ways. “My people who are called by name, shall humble themselves,” this is what God is looking for in this hour, a humble people. My dear brothers and sisters if I could preach a message on humility every day for the next year it would not be enough. If every time I preached on humility, it did something in your heart; created a deeper desire for humility it still would not be enough.
What God is looking for today are not the trumpeters, He is looking for those who are meek and lowly of heart. He starts out His promise calling the humble; it is a change of mind that is needed in the Church. Where the Church has been taught in America to be proud, to stand up to the world by walking the way of the world, acting like the world, the Lord is calling for meekness and humility. You go into the Church and some of the fashions you see are worse than those in the world. The Church is lacking the humility, the separation, the consecration; God is looking for one who is humble.
People come to me and they ask, “How do I walk with God the way you do?” I tell them; the first thing is to humble yourself. The second thing; learn to hate your ways and love His ways. Learning to hate the traditions and customs of the world that keep you trapped from the knowledge of God is essential. It means your eyes are set upon His glory and majesty and off of your glory and your majesty. It means yielding your sovereignty that you might walk on the path of His own sovereignty; linked, held under His sovereignty. This must be combined with learning the ways of brokenness and contrition that He may be the God of all power in your life.
Moses was the meekest man on the face of the earth. Never have we seen a man walk in more power than Moses. The Bible links meekness and authority together. If we want to walk in the authority of Christ, we must walk in the meekness of Christ. If we want to walk in the power of Christ we must walk in the humility of Christ, which means, not demanding our own way from God but learning to walk in His ways. Rather than demand our own rights, we must learn to walk in His ways; if we want the power and authority of God we must learn to walk in the humility and meekness of God. He says; “That if my people who are called by my Name, will humble themselves.” You cannot even pray effectively if you do not learn to humble yourself! If you do not learn to humble yourself you will never know the right way to pray because His ways are higher than our ways, His understanding and wisdom is higher than ours and the only way to really touch and understand His high wisdom is to go low. The lower you go, the more you understand about His high ways, the higher you stand in yourself the less you will ever understand about God’s high and lofty ways.
Since He wants us to understand Him and He desires to reveal Himself to us, He says,”If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves.” There is a humility that can be worked by the art of man, a Christian who wants to voluntarily humble themselves before God and man. When a Christian is learning humility, this is a constant effort to go lower and lower into a person’s own estimation of themselves, to humble themselves and accept circumstances in that situation. If someone you know is not doing what they should do you humble yourself and do it for them as a servant but you do so without complaint. When you serve, you do it unobtrusively so people do not notice you are serving; only pride complains. When you are in a discussion with someone who demands to be right even if they are wrong, sometimes you just have to humble yourself and back up; standing for the right may end up being more wrong than backing down because of what it provokes in your heart. To have less of me and more of Him is the goal of the meek person on the earth.
My dear brothers and sisters please try and understand, our lives are spent every day here thinking about what we want to do and how we want to do it, only when everything starts working out badly do we really begin to seek out the face of the Lord and ask Him what His will is. And even then, still many will get busy to try and fix it for Him but the humble and meek awaken in the morning to live for God. They plan their day according to His will and desire, which will most of the time, bark against your desire and will. I cannot tell you how many people have told me that they are just doers and they assume if their heart wants to do it, then God must be telling them it is His will and I cannot tell you how many times those same people have gotten into trouble doing their will thinking that it is God’s. It takes time to hear God’s will, to sit at His feet and pray and to wait upon His voice in order to hear and understand His will, it also takes humility.
The Lord spoke to me one day and said, “When you live to obey you are going the right way." It takes humility to obey. It takes humility to first learn what it is you need to obey then more humility to obey what you now know. He also said to me once, “If you do not do anything else all day long but obey the one thing I have asked you to do you, have done all I need you to do in that day.” You can make yourself busy like Martha with ten or twenty things in a day and if none of them have been in God’s will, you have accomplished nothing. You have only accomplished one thing and that is being very busy, but you have not accomplished humility nor have you learned what it means to walk with God and that is why you are here. You are here to learn what it means to walk with God. If My people who are called by My name shall humble themselves; we humble ourselves to God, when we do so, there is grace and by grace we can humble ourselves to man. Without grace we cannot humble ourselves to God or man. Once we have humbled ourselves to God we can humble ourselves to circumstances because there is grace. Once we have learned the waves of grace, humility comes easier and easier.
I used to know a man who was a minister, the way he would talk, you would think he was the most humble person you would ever meet, but the minute someone did not give him what he wanted, his temper would flair. People truly wrought in humility have let anger go. People can look very humble and when their path is crossed and they do not get what they want they get angry; then you learn true humility is not really there. God is looking for the humble, those who have left their own ways behind, those who despise their flesh are quick to apologize and take responsibility for their failure before God and man, quick to turn when reproved; these are all traits of humility.
The Lord spoke to me several years ago in a vision and He told me, “Tell My people to prepare, because the storm of the eleventh hour is on its way.” I said, “Lord, what is the eleventh hour?” I had no idea what the storm was, I had all these things swimming in my mind of what it might be, then He showed me; pride, covetousness and greed, the lust of the eyes, the flesh and the pride of life. He said, “When this storm comes against the body, if the Church has not learned to humble itself, it will be swept away in pride and not even know what hit it.”
When pride overtakes someone they become un-teachable and unreachable. You can constantly share wisdom with them and yet, they will not receive your words, they may even imply that they agree with you. Unfortunately, the minute they walk away they are going to do what they want because pride rules their life. Due to pride and unwillingness to be taught, when the storm hits they will fall into the pit and lose their soul. What is coming; the demonic attack of spirits against the Church, is going to be of the nature that the Church has never known before. If you have not allowed God to do a work of humility in your heart, when you are under attack you will not know it because everything about the prideful attack feels comfortable and normal for your life. This happens because you have never allowed a work of humility to be done in your life. Next you will experience the lust of the flesh and then the lust of your eyes. It will be coming in such a dimension that the powers coming against the Church in these three ways will be so great that there will be a huge falling away in the last days.
When the Lord says, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves..,” it is an invitation to find your rest, your freedom and your protection under the wing of Christ, Humility allows you to draw close to Jesus, With pride He will withstand you. He does not only look away, He withstands you; which is a horrible thing for today’s Christian to realize about the Lord Jesus Christ. Humility points out its scepter and says, “Draw near.” Pride holds up its scepter and withstands the proud in heart. If you want to draw near to Christ you must learn to humble yourself and you must learn to humble yourself more in these days than you have ever done it before. "If My people who are called by My name shall humble themselves and pray". The Church has no idea what an awesome privilege prayer is, there is no greater privilege in the whole earth than the privilege of prayer. When you go into your prayer closet and you pray quietly you are in the throne-room of the great King of all the earth, the One who holds all creation in His hands and has the power to change anything and everything concerning you, but more importantly, you are before the sovereign God Who loves you so intensely that He gave the life of His dear Son to heal you and draw you close to Himself. You are experiencing the greatest privilege any human being can ever experience.
Some people look at Moses and think about what they would give to be a Moses; then look at the great works and power that flowed through him. if you were to talk to Moses and find out what Moses thinks about his life he would tell you the greatest privilege he had, all the says of his life was going into the tentative meeting and seeing God, face to face. He would speak of the privilege of going to the top of the mountain and beholding Him face to face; it was not his authority, power or the fact that he was known as the great king and mediator of all of Israel. It was not even because of his high priestly calling, it was because he had the privilege of going in before the King of kings, Lord of lords, the sovereign God, the God of Israel and to behold Him face to face. Prayer is the greatest privilege a human can know, when we go in before the throne of God, to know with your heart the sovereign One is listening, He cares and will do according to His will for you because you prayed. Your cup may be small or larger depending on what you are praying for but when it’s full. It’s poured out and answered prayer; so all prayer is important no matter how large, small or insignificant it may seem and no matter how great it is, it important because it is all part of filling the cup that God must fill in order to pour out His answer to you.
The more humble you walk, the faster you are going to fill that cup with prayer because humility begets authority; if you want to hear the voice of God then humble yourself. Learn to walk in contusion, when you learn to walk humbly before God you will hear His voice because He speaks to the humble of heart. Humility begets authority; there are many ministers and people in the body of Christ who do not have humility and yet they walk in authority but there is a difference between having authority concerning the things of the earth and having authority with God. The ministry mantle you bear automatically give you certain authority over the things of the earth, but, if you want authority with God you must have humility and be one who learns to hide behind the glory of the Son, not wanting to be seen, known or served along with all the others things so traditional in the hearts of men, but rather, bowing low.
I can remember one time the Lord was trying to teach me about humility in the very early days of my ministry and I was meditating on Matthew 11:28-30: Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good–not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne. As I was doing so, the humility of Christ began to come into my room and permeate every part of my room as I sat on the couch. I thought, “I am too high, Jesus is so low, how can I worship Him sitting up here when He is down there;” So I got on the floor. When I got on the floor His humility kept coming into the room, lower and lower. So I laid on the floor face down and still His humility kept coming in lower and lower and I began to cry. I said, “Lord, You are so low, humble and meek, it feels like I would have to be buried six feet underground to get below You so I could worship You. It feels like I could never get low enough to get beneath You so I could worship You.” If someone is sitting down here and you are standing up here how do you worship them? You cannot, and that is where I was, though my face was planted into the floor. Then it began to change, the humility started to leave and what began to fill the room was pride and it was a pride that grew and grew. As it grew, it grew in me and as it grew I became so arrogant, haughty and prideful no one could do anything right and I could do no wrong. I hated anyone who would try to get in my way and would not let me do what I wanted to do. The pride continued to grow until I became filled with hatred toward God because He was in my way. I would think of the Bible and all I would want to do was rip it up because it was His Word and He was in my way which grew and grew until I was in so much pain I was weeping and pleading to God to break that in me. Suddenly it did, and the humility of Christ began to come into the room and again and down, down I went until I could not get low enough to get underneath Christ and I was crying and asking the Lord what He was trying to tell me. He said, “Nita, the pride I let you experience was the pride of power and the love of power, it is what Hitler walked in and made him turn against humanity. Seek all of your life to walk in the humility of My son. The more you humble yourself the more I lift you up, the more you lift yourself up the more I will humble you.
When you walk in true humility, prayer is a beautiful thing, you are an audience to the King and you know you can have anything that you lay before Him that is in His will. You know that your prayers can change situations, people’s hearts, even nations if you walk in a place of great enough humility.
I had an experience once when we were doing a gathering in Washington D.C., I had gotten up early to pray, Luzy and I were rooming together and when she woke up I said, “Let’s pray together.” We began to pray and immediately I was taken into a spiritual experience; I found myself following Elijah. He was walking on a path down a corridor and before Elijah was many men and women whom I knew had great authority and power. As I was walking along, Elijah went one way and the other men and women went another. I felt drawn to follow the other men and women. I walked to the side down the corridor and there was only one door, they walked into that door. It seemed like an eternity but it was only minutes later that I walked in and thought, I am going to open that door and see what they are doing in there. When I opened the door they were involved in every kind of ritualistic worship you could possibly imagine; the decadence, licentiousness, I do not even want to speak the things going on in that room it was so horrible my heart broke and cried out, I did not know what to do. I was in so much pain that these people who had so much authority and power were bowing before idols and worshipping them; I cannot even tell you in what ways they were doing so, it is too awful to say. The greatest idol they were worshipping was the idol of self. I shut the door, my heart was broken and my soul aching; I wondered how they could do that to God and be so unholy when He is so holy and beautiful. My greatest question was, "why would they do this to Him."
I turned around to see where Elijah had gone and I walked back down the corridor, again going in that direction. There was only one door so I thought he would have to be in that room. I quietly open the door and Elijah was there down on both knees stripped down to his waste, wearing camel hair from his waist to his thighs. His hands were held up before him, his head was leaned back and tears flowing down his face as he worshipped God. He was so holy and so beautiful. He was kneeling down with such humility; his soul was so low in humility and emptiness of human pride, audacity all the things that grip the human heart. He was loving and adoring God through his tears. He said to the Father, ”How can I do it, I cannot do it; there is nothing in me Lord, You alone are worthy and can do what needs to be done. I am empty, nothing; I need You!” He was crying out and the tears were flowing as he praised and worshiped the sovereign power. He bent his head low to the ground and lifted it up again singing the same songs of adoration. I could see his heart, there was such brokenness, beauty, contrition, lowliness and meekness for God that it would stagger your imagination. Finally the Lord clothed him with Himself. He put his hands down in his lap and said, “Father, I have what I need.” He had God. He rose up to his feet, turned around, walked out the door, went down the corridor and was going to deal with all that was happening in that room. Humility and weakness begets authority with God.
If you want authority to affect the world, you have to be broken and emptied of pride. You have to walk in humility, meekness and you can only do that if you are a person of prayer. Meekness comes through a prayer life; the knowledge of God comes through prayer life. Yes, you must read and study the Word but it comes through your prayer life. Couple a true prayer life with obeying the Word and God will carry you to the highest place to do work for Him. Without brokenness, contrition, prayer life, and humility, what can God do except go find Himself a man like Moses or Elijah?
Today His eyes are searching to and fro across the earth, He is looking for one thing; humility. To those who are humble He will give Himself, His authority and power. As He looks to and fro across the earth let His eyes find you bent low like Elijah, broken in the glory of God. If He finds you there, He will lift you up in due season.