Remember: the way up is the way down

The Verse of the Day for July 13, 2019, provides a vivid illustration from Philippians 2:9-11 that “The way up is the way down.” This passage reminds us that humility is the key to promotion with the Lord Jesus Christ, the ultimate example of this paradox:

Philippians 2:9-11 (Amplified Bible):

9 For this reason also [because He obeyed and so completely humbled Himself], God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW [in submission], of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess and openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord (sovereign God), to the glory of God the Father.

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

11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled [before others], and he who habitually humbles himself (keeps a realistic self-view) will be exalted.”

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

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 (AMP):

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 title prayer from a collection edited by Arthur Bennett: The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions embodies the essence of our discussion:

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.

In the same way that Jesus Christ endured the cross, despising the shame, we are to follow in his steps, bearing our individual burdens and all the trials that we must experience in this life. As we humble ourselves, God will exalt us in due season and will be glorified.

We conclude with Vertical Worship offering this reminder that Christ is “Exalted above All” based on Philippians 2:9-11:

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One Response to “Remember: the way up is the way down”

  1. Melissa Says:

    Great reminder! Thank you for leading by example

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