The way down is the way up

james-4-10

Revised and re-posted from a previous blog entry, the Verse of the Day for January 26, 2017 reveals that “The way down is the way up.”

James 4:10 (NIV):

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

This scripture reminds us that humility is the key to promotion. Of course, the ultimate example to illustrate this paradox is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 2:5-9 in the New King James Version offer this strong exhortation:

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,

The opening phrase of this passage also brings to mind these lyrics:

Let This Mind Be in You

Let this mind be in you

Which was also in Christ Jesus.

Let this mind be in you

Which was also in Christ Jesus.

Let this mind be in you

Which was also in Christ Jesus.

 

Let this mind . . .

Let this mind . . .

Let this mind be in you.

 

God gets no pleasure

In forcing us to obey.

But He wants us to follow Him

His spirit leads the way.

 

Let this mind . . .

Let this mind . . .

Let this mind be in you.

 

We say we are waiting,

Waiting on God to move,

But we’re the ones God’s waiting on,

His perfect will to prove.

 

Let this mind . . .

Let this mind . . .

Let this mind be in you.

 

Now don’t keep God waiting.

He wants to reign in you.

Ask yourself what is God waiting

For you to let Him do?

 

Let this mind . . .

Let this mind . . .

Let this mind be in you.

Jesus Christ points to the duality of humility and promotion when he says in Luke 14:11:

For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted

Jesus Christ associates being humble with a child in Matthew 18:4 (Amplified Bible)

Whoever will humble himself therefore and become like this little child [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving] is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

The same point is made in a different way in Matthew 23:13 (Amplified Bible)

Whoever exalts himself [with haughtiness and empty pride] shall be humbled (brought low), and whoever humbles himself [whoever has a modest opinion of himself and behaves accordingly] shall be raised to honor.

The essence of this discussion of the paradox of humility and promotion is so clearly expressed in the title prayer from a collection edited by Arthur Bennett: The Valley of VisionA Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions.

The Valley of Vision

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine;
let me find Thy light in my darkness,
Thy life in my death,
Thy joy in my sorrow,
Thy grace in my sin, Thy riches in my poverty, Thy glory in my valley.

James 4:6 and James 4:10 are set to worship music:

Without question, in terms of promotion with God, humility is the key. Indeed, the way down is the way up.

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