Humility; March 19, 2018

Dan 10:12 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.”

What an encouragement to committed prayer! Not many people have angels show up to give them answers to their prayers, but the principles are the same regardless. Daniel did two things exactly right: he made a firm commitment, and he did it in all humility before God. Thinking about it, Daniel had that in common with Billy Graham. Both of them had a personal humility that radiated to those around them, but at the same time they were so assured of God that they were unafraid of any mere person. The reason Billy Graham could and did advise presidents was that he was exactly the same way with anyone at all, as my wife can attest from personal experience and association. That came from an awareness that God is so far above and greater than us that differences between people, in wealth, power, influence, strength, or anything else, become completely meaningless. Daniel was afraid only when he encountered angels, whom he knew to be direct representatives of Almighty God. We would pray and act much more effectively if we had the same attitude! God honors people like that. Twice, in verses 11 and 19, the angel speaks to Daniel as one “highly esteemed.” We tend to try to puff ourselves up, but it was precisely because Daniel did the opposite, humbling himself before God, that he received that accolade, as well as the answer to his prayer questions.

I grew up being aware that human beings are of equal value, since assorted dignitaries used to stay in our home when they were traveling through Fukuoka. However, since my father was often classed with those dignitaries, I tended to think I was somebody special myself. Conceit is certainly a snare! However, my parents modeled real humility to me as well, much in the mold of Daniel and Billy Graham, and I am grateful. Actually, that runs in my family. An uncle, who was a well-recognized scientist, once said to one of his daughters, “If you are as smart as they say you are, you won’t let people know you know it.” I’ve found that people who insist they are the smartest person in the room, generally aren’t. Frankly, I’ve learned that God’s smart and I’m not, and that applies to every human being on the planet. The smartest thing we can do is what Daniel did, committing ourselves to learn all we can of Him, in all humility.

Father, thank You for Your patience with me. I have spent far too much of my life in stupid pride! Thank You for “stooping down to make us great,” as David wrote. (Psalm 18:35) Help me walk as Daniel did, in both full humility and full assurance, so that I may be fully available to You for whatever You want to do through me, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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