Preparing for Heaven

Building the Eternal Phase of Your Life

View Transcript
God wants us to be humble with one another. Being humble with one another is to live together in dependence on God for everything in life, realizing that any good thing comes from His love for us.

And, when we are humble with one another, we recognize that we are no better and no worse than the others. We recognize that each person’s place in life and strengths come from God and are not initially of our own doing.

Humility must start with each of us being humble before God. This means accepting God’s position as far higher than one’s own. Living under God’s sovereign reign is humility. Taking direction and orders from Him as King and Lord rather than from one’s self is humility. Being dependent upon God for everything from the breath we take to our salvation is humility. Simply put, to be humble is to let God have His rightful place in our lives. It is a good thing to be dependent upon God for everything. God knows the best course for our lives.

Humility is to realize that we are totally dependent upon God and to live like we are not self-sufficient. We accept that we have been empowered by God to do anything good that we have done. We humbly give Him all the credit. We humble ourselves with one another, not acting better than anyone because we know without God’s gift of who we are, we would not do much of anything notable.

Biblical humility recognizes that we are not capable of taking care of ourselves without God’s help. We are in need of God’s undeserving love and grace for our security. Even when we work to have money to buy food, God’s contribution is greater. He gives us health, talents, jobs, and protects us from making job-ending mistakes. God’s grace precedes and accompanies anything righteous that we do.

It is important that we know we are not much without God. We are dependent upon Him for everything, and understanding, accepting, and living that truth makes us humble. The wise thing is to humble ourselves before God. The more we look to God for things we need, the more humble we are. We can attain good things on our own, but certainly not as much as God can give us.

James 4:6 quotes Proverbs 3:34 when it tells us, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” If pride puts distance between us and God, surely humility draws us closer. Weak humility draws us a little closer. Strong humility draws us very close to God. The level of humility that we attain this side of death will to a great degree determine our closeness to God in heaven for eternity. Closeness to God, however it shows up in heaven, is something for which we want to strive. Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to teach us humility through our knowledge, our Bibles, and help from those in our Christian Inner Circles.

It is one thing for each of us to be humble alone, but it is much more to be humble with one another. Personal humility is a great spiritual strength, but it is individual and must also become corporate. We need to bring that humility into our Christian friendships, our Christian families, and our Christian marriages to help one another grow in humility and to share the benefits of a truly humble relationship with God. We must work together to make sure we all are growing in our ability to be truly dependent upon God, not to just say we are. Then we need to exercise that dependence together.

Dependence upon God and knowing that He is the major partner in anything good that we do leads to treating one another equally, without concern for status or value. It honors God when we do not treat one another as better or worse, superior or inferior. For sure, we are different from one another. We each have an important part in the work of God. Therefore, we need to treat one another as critical. If any of our Christian friends or family feels less capable or less significant, and we leave them in that state, their link in the chain of synergistic action in the service of God will be broken. The result is that their lack of dependence upon God for ability and action will hurt things God wants done in our friendships, families and marriages.

Our attitude is to be humble toward those less obedient, not judging but providing loving concern and help to increase their obedience. Another’s disobedience might be ours if we were in her or his situation. So, humility rescues us from judging and sets us free to pitch in and help.

There is much truth in the statement, “There but for the grace of God go I.” For example, is someone in your Christian Inner Circle hesitant to be bold for Christ? Humility would recognize that if you had the same upbringing and/or similar defeats in life, that might be you.

It is humility in our Christian relationships that makes helping one another feel safe. The command to be humble with one another is vital to Christian community and spiritual growth.
Christians are to practice humility and eliminate pride from both individuals and the groups to which they belong. We need to remove pride, which shows up as arrogance, unforgiveness, judging others, not accepting others for who God made them to be, etc. These are all symptoms of the very dangerous sin of pride. Humility is the opposite of pride.

Each one of us must be helped, through group humility, to recognize our true importance in God’s work. It would be wise for our Christian Inner Circles to help everyone think of themselves in God’s way, not too highly or too lowly. Humility will have us affirming all our Christian friends, family members, and spouse in the strengths God has given them for His work and for His own glory.

To be humble is to not think too highly of ourselves, nor to consider ourselves inferior. God is the Sovereign Lord and designed each of us as He wanted. Therefore, we are not to compare ourselves to one another in the sense of value to the kingdom of God. We are one body in Christ, whether we want that or not. Everyone is equally valuable in their responsibility within the body. Like an old-fashioned clock, if the smallest gear does not turn, the watch is unable to do its job.

To want to be more or less than what God wants is to lack humility. We must accept dependence on Him to decide these things. If God chose an impoverished home for us to grow up in, He wanted us to have specific experiences for some work of His grace. Most likely, He wants us in the world as we are so that we can do something in His Name that could not possibly be done by someone who was raised in a wealthy home. To consider such poverty inferior is wrong if the best place to be is right where God wants us. As an example, I was able to work the dangerous streets of the South Bronx in New York City in 1967 without police escort because I grew up poor and was and looked tough.

Now, what are the benefits in heaven for becoming increasingly more humble before we die?
Humility that recognizes God as the source of all good things in the present will make us more likely to expect good things that we have never even thought of from God later in heaven. And, such desire to seek things from God now out of a sense of dependence will give us added humility in our relationships with the other citizens of heaven. We will more often tell others of things we asked for and received from the new and vast resources of God’s grace in heaven. And, we will inquire what others have asked for and received so that we can do likewise. If now you value the grace of God and ask for things within His will, heaven is going to be more wonderful. There you will ask for things to your heart’s desire.

If now we only occasionally think of how we are dependent upon God for things we need and want, we will begin our life in heaven with less tendency to ask to receive. This aspect of humility, that of remembering our dependence upon God and need to ask, will likely be able to grow in heaven. But, beginning with more ability to consciously and prayerfully depend on God will keep us ahead for all eternity of where we would have been if we had not grown much in being humble before God prior to death.

Heaven will be greater than the best candy shop we ever visited as children! We will want to ask for things we don’t even know exist when we get there. Who knows, they might be available. If we remember now to ask God to be able to see a soothing waterfall on our vacation, we will be more likely in heaven to ask to see a waterfall more magnificent than any we have ever seen. Since there are a million such examples, think of what we might miss out on if we do not more fully grasp the humility that is dependence upon God for everything.
Hopefully, we have all discovered something that was just too good to keep to ourselves. If so, we know the satisfaction of passing on that information and seeing others take advantage of it. Humility now will have us find things through asking God. Suggesting to others that they can ask God for the same thing will prepare us to be generous with everyone later in heaven.
More conscious dependence on God will open heaven’s gates wide to expect more good things from God. If we are prone now to rely on God for bigger and better things, experiences, spiritual growth, knowledge, etc., we will keep up that level of expectation in heaven. As a result, heaven will expand for us.

Surely, we might want to enjoy more in heaven because our spirits have grown to ask God for things. Simply put, in a year’s time in heaven, we can be the humble kinds of people who ask God for things because we know we are completely dependent upon Him. Then we will discover a thousand marvelous things per year.

Plus, we will be able to multiply discoveries if we are humble enough to ask others what they have asked for and received from God. And, let’s not forget the joy of telling others that they, too, can ask and receive from God things we have discovered.

Heaven is going to be great for all of us. But, let’s make it better by now becoming more humble in dependence upon God and in relating to one another as equals.