Reflections On Scripture – Fourth Sunday of Advent

“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 (NIV)

“And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. . . . He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.'” Luke 1: 46-48, 52 Part of Mary’s Magnificat (NIV).

What does it mean to walk humbly with God? I can think of a few things. We shouldn’t promote ourselves and our agenda. Jesus said that the greatest ones in the kingdom of heaven would be the servants of all. We are not the ones who call the shots in our lives.

Walking humbly means that we patiently trust him and believe in him to work things out for good in our lives, even when we can see no good in our circumstances or in the circumstances of those around us. It means that we place our confidence in him and wait without striving, even when we are itching to take action on our own behalf despite God having forbidden us from doing so.

Walking humbly means that we assume people besides ourselves have words of wisdom to offer. We listen to others who disagree with us without dehumanizing them or clobbering them with our beliefs. It also means that we listen to ancient wisdom, not assuming that our denomination or stripe of Christianity represents the full breadth of God’s wisdom.

It means being full of grace and truth like Jesus. And only Jesus can cultivate grace and truth in our lives. We need only be open to him (a disclaimer: God’s cultivation of fruits in our lives such as grace and truth is often painful as he must till the hard and unplowed ground of our lives in order for us to flourish).

God elevates those who do not elevate themselves but elevate him.

We see how he elevated Mary. She was blessed among women for carrying and raising our Savior. As pastor Bob said this morning, God chose a girl in a backwater town–not (these are my words) a girl from the royal court. She had no connections, nothing to recommend her. But God observed her and chose her.

God observes us–our quiet and secret obediences–our struggles and doubts. Nothing before him remains unseen.

Are you struggling with waiting on God to promote you, to work in and through you? Wait on God. He promises to lift up those who humble themselves before him–in due time.

Do you have insights on what it means to walk humbly? If so, do share them with me and any others that stumble across this blog! We have much to learn from you.

May God’s blessing rest upon you.

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