To This One Will I Look

By Francis Frangipane

Transcendent, Liberating Humility
Of all virtues, Jesus elevated meekness above the others. Why? Humility is the door opener to grace: no virtue enters our lives except that humility bids it come. Without humility, we have no sense or attachment to our personal need; we see no reason to change or appropriate future grace.

Yet, humility is not only host to the other virtues, it is also the life essence that sustains them. It is humility that recognizes when love is growing cold and humility that confesses our need for greater faith. Without humility, our virtues harden into lifeless statues within the sanctuary of our hearts. Thus, humility sustains the unfolding of true spiritual nobility. It provides increasing wholeness, life and growth to all other virtues.

Consider: when asked by His disciples "Who then is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Jesus put a child in their midst. He said, "Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven" (Matt 18:1,4).

What a sublime wonder that, in heaven, the height of greatness is measured by the depth of one's humility. Listen to Wuest's Expanded Translation of this verse: "Therefore, he who is of such a nature as to humble himself like this little child, esteeming himself small inasmuch as he is so, thus thinking truly, and because truly, therefore humbly of himself, this person is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

Jesus came not only to bring us to heaven when we die; He came to establish heaven where we live. Thus, He introduces the realm of God to His disciples with the words,

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt 5:3).

Beloved, there are no proud beings in heaven. Here on earth we see the strutting pride of leaders and celebrities; we behold pride again in our racial and cultural identities and divisions. We see unrepentant pride in many marital divorces and church divisions; and the offspring of pride - envy and jealousy - in the inordinate desire to be glorified before men. In heaven, praise to God fills the atmosphere, not pride in human achievement.

Jesus said the kingdom of heaven belongs to the poor in spirit! Not the perfect, but the poor -- those who know they are spiritually needy -- these will find a welcomed home in the kingdom of God. But there dwells not one proud soul in all of heaven.

Hear again the promise of the Lord:

"In that day you will feel no shame because of all your deeds by which you have rebelled against Me; for then I will remove from your midst your proud, exulting ones, and you will never again be haughty on My holy mountain. But I will leave among you a humble and lowly people, and they will take refuge in the name of the LORD" (Zeph 3:11-12).

Only the humble take refuge in the Lord. Do you defend yourself? Do you seek retaliation or vengeance for life's injustices? Or, instead, do you take refuge in God? If so, then humility is growing within you. Remember, neither the proud nor the self-righteous look to God; only the lowly trust in the Almighty.

To the humble He gives grace. Grace is not just unmerited favor, it is God's promise to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. When we confess our sins, when we openly reveal our flaws and our ongoing need of divine help, we find the Almighty a ready companion to transform our lives and meet our needs.

Listen again to the promise of our God:

"For thus says the high and exalted One who lives forever, whose name is Holy, "I dwell {on} a high and holy place, and {also} with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite"" (Isaiah 57:15).

Revival cannot be conjured up by man; it doesn't come just because we put a sign outside our churches and advertise. No, true revival only comes from God. Yes, and of all types of people upon earth, God chooses to bring revival to the humble. Indeed, He gives even a greater encouragement: He promises to dwell with the contrite and lowly.

Humility, the door that welcomes virtue, is the catalyst to all things spiritual. God resists the proud, but gives help to, and dwells with, the humble.

Beloved, there is nothing God desires from us except a humble heart. Listen well to this final great promise of our Creator:

Thus says the LORD, "Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest?"

"For My hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being," declares the LORD. "But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word" (Isaiah 66:1-2).

The great King, the Eternal One, sifts the nations in search of a certain type of person: he who is humble, contrite of spirit, and who trembles at His word. He says, "To this one I will look."

"Lord, I humble myself of my pride and innate tendencies to exalt myself. I long for the secret courts of the Most High and to dwell in the secret place with You. I humble myself before You, O God. Let this day be the beginning of lowliness in me."