Humility is the fundamental law for all salvation, and now it has become crystal clear for me that in the deepest sense there is nothing else besides this. God gives grace to the humble, and what people think about you doesn’t matter. The proud, the high-minded, the arrogant, and those who are wise in their own eyes have God as their opponent.
Salvation and humility go hand in hand
The simplest concept of what humility is, can be gained by having small thoughts about yourself. When this has had a tremendous effect on you, it will be manifested by the fact that you receive grace. The humble receive grace (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5), and to receive grace means that you receive all the help that you need. You can even spend the whole night praying to receive love, but it won’t help a bit, if you aren’t humble so that you can receive grace.
You only receive as much grace as the humility you possess. When it can’t be noticed that there is any progress at all in your life, it is because you are not receiving grace. You can accomplish a lot in your own human strength. You can attempt to compensate for a lack of grace by being zealous in different things. You can be capable, and you can be good, as a human being, but all that human goodness and ability doesn’t help a bit if God opposes you. You aren’t acknowledging anything; you aren’t judging yourself, but defending yourself instead.
It is apparent when things have succeeded, and there is progress in a person’s life. Most people aren’t humble at all. They transgress in what they say, and don’t even ask for forgiveness. What God wants to do so much, is to transform us inwardly. You can think that you have been treated unfairly, that you haven’t been treated justly; you are occupied with what the others think about you. You aren’t occupied with God, but with how you are treated by other people. It’s because of this that you are unhappy, and can’t become happy, because God is your opponent.
Humility: The whole issue!
Many people lack a lot of light. Nothing happens in a person’s life, except through these two laws [the laws concerning pride and humility]. He who humbles himself – voluntarily abases himself – will be exalted. (Matthew 23:12; Luke 14:11) If you are a little bit humble, it will succeed a little bit, and if you are especially humble, it will succeed especially well. Just the little bit of understanding that you have, as a human being, should be enough to tell you that it must be detestable in God’s eyes when a human being has great thoughts about himself. How can God bless an arrogant person who has no self-acknowledgment? It’s a law of life that He can’t bless such a person.
Everything revolves around this one issue. If it doesn’t succeed, you are and will remain human and soulish. It isn’t just that it’s right to be humble; there isn’t anything else that matters. Things just won’t open up for you if you aren’t humble. That’s why you don’t have a living interest in the Bible. It is, to the highest degree, fatal to think that you do things well and don’t need to acknowledge anything. If you judge others, then you are ungodly, but if you judge yourself, you won’t be judged.
God gives grace to the humble – always
In James 4:6, it says: “God resists the proud.” Then you think: “I’m not proud.” But that is exactly what you are when you don’t receive grace. God gives grace to the humble – always. When you are humble you acknowledge the truth about yourself instead of judging and criticizing the others. “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God!” 1 Peter 5:6.
God is interested in thoroughly saving us. It all depends on how we take things. Each one must understand this as well as he can. That a person humbles himself is something that almost never happens. On the contrary, people defend themselves.
Humility isn’t just the main issue, but the whole issue – there is only one issue. We determine by our own choice the kind of life we will have. It is never anyone else’s fault if it’s going badly with you!
Adapted from a message by Elias Aslaksen in Hønefoss, Norway on January 14, 1976. First published in Norwegian in the booklet, “Last Messages by Elias Aslaksen” in January 1979.
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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.