Key Passage: James 4;1-10
Key Text: James 4:6 – But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
We all want to be great! Actually we all have greatness in us, but the tragedy is most people never attain the greatness destined for them. I am a student of leadership and I am always so excited to see new leaders emerge, but I am also always conscious of the fact that not all leaders become great leaders.
In almost every situation, leaders that become great have one thing in common. They have the grace to be great. This special grace is inextricably bound up in humility. It seems to me that God has reserved this grace for the humble. ‘Those low to the ground’. The bible says “he resists the proud but gives grace to the humble’. Proverbs says, ‘Before honour, humility’.
So in a mysterious way, the highest positions in life are reserved for those who are prepared to be really humbled. I hear you ask, what do you really mean? Moses had to be stripped of his Egyptian ‘princeliness’ before God raised him up to deliver Israel from Egypt. Joseph was stripped of his colourful coat, enslaved, and imprisoned before being super naturally elevated into being second most powerful position in all of Egypt. The bible is replete with these stories.
So why do so many leaders never get this grace? The answer is simple yet profound. It is found in a very simple word called ‘transcend’. In simple words they can’t get beyond themselves. By this they resist the stripping and humiliation that must precede and attract this grace. They begin to struggle for self-actualisation, recognition, relevance and position, when God has a destined greatness reserved for them.
If a man must be great, then he must become comfortable with being a nobody. Mandela was sent to prison for 27 years and all his plans dead, but God in the process prepared a nation for him. He came out of prison with a truly servant heart and today is the number one statesman in the world. Martin Luther King Jnr, saw a purpose greater than himself and gave his very life for it. Today, he has a holiday dedicated to his birthday. His name enshrined in history.
Greatness is like a cloak you get adorned with. You never really ask for it or aim for it, but by God’s grace, through His unique process, He clothes men with greatness. But to receive this grace, you must be ready to strip your self of your right to be somebody great. It’s a mystery, but that’s how it works!!!
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
Abraham could not enter greatness until he was willing to sacrifice the son of promise, Isaac on Mount Moriah. Only then did he truly enter the realm of greatness. God granted him grace for greatness.
I can’t end this without talking about the greatest leader ever. Jesus Christ the Lord. He came out of heaven and became a man. He emptied Himself of all His glory, became a servant and died, even the death on a cross. Just read the bible yourself and see what he did and the result of His actions.
Philippians 2:3-11 – Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Jesus received the grace for exceeding greatness, when He allowed Himself to become nothing.
Today you can receive this grace to be great, if you can humble yourself and allow God’s stripping processes in your life.
Let us Pray: Father, this a mystery I really want to understand. I know you have put greatness in me, but I really have been struggling to become great. I thank you that I cannot make myself great and today I stop striving. I yield to your process and I ask you for this special grace to become great, as you have planned. I ask this in Jesus name. Amen.