How does a person become great and powerful? Our usual answers revolve around realizing the goodness within ourselves, overcoming the competition around us, and suppressing all of our weaknesses.
God’s plan is the opposite, of course, and it works far better: humble yourself.
Peter put it this way:
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
~ 1 Peter 5:6 NIV
God is God. I am not. He is mighty, and I am not. This is the most powerful realization you’ll ever come to in your life. It’s not about you. It’s about him.
Being humble doesn’t mean not being great. It simply means leaving your greatness in God’s hands. Being humble doesn’t mean never seeing justice. It means leaving justice in God’s hands.
I’ve been pretty honest with my family and my church that sometimes struggle with depression and with anger. And while I’ve not yet come to a place where I always realize and do this in the moment, I’ve learned that humbling myself is the single greatest tactic for fighting those tendencies.
When I’m humbled before God, I yield all rights to self-ownership, vindication, and self-righteousness. I am responsible for my choices, but I don’t have to be capable of keeping myself perfectly okay. I can trust God with that.
When I’m on my personal throne, I hold people who hurt me in unforgiveness. When I get off the throne and kneel before God, who am I that I should punish anyone with unforgiveness?
When I’m on my personal throne, I feel entitled to being right, to being first, to being best. When I get off the throne, I get to simply trust God to determine if I’m right, if I’m first, or if I’m best. And when those kinds of issues are placed in his hands, he is faithful and trustworthy.
I believe that one of the most powerful things you can do each and every day, as well as in those moments of emotional crisis, is to abandon self, slip off the throne of your life, and humble yourself before the throne of God. Give him absolute authority over you and trust him to determine if and when you’ll rise to greatness, and he will, in due time.