(From a sermon of Bro. Julius Adewumi, Night Vigil, 2/17/95)
The scripture says "exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." (Heb.3:13). While we see the day approaching, it is vey important for us to exhort one another.
I will like to exhort us today on humility. This is in response to the vision the Lord gave to me some days ago, which I will narrate in a moment. I have watched over the years that my people suffer from the spirit of pride. Pride spirits can attack both the rich and the poor folks. Do you know it is pride if you are poor and you refuse to accept an offer of help from somebody? Pride is not just in men who are highly placed. I was in a shopping center one afternoon. I saw a homeless man pushing a shopping cart which contained all his possessions. You can recognize the homeless anytime, by their dress and the luggage they are pushing or carrying. I felt pity for the man. I moved closer to him to talk to him and to give him hope if only I can tell him about the gospel. At least the scripture said "to the poor the gospel is preached". When I mentioned God, the man churned me and told me he did not want to listen to anything I wanted to say. It was pride! The man was angry at God - the only One who can solve his problem. I shook my head and walked away from the man. "Pride goeth before destruction; and an haughty spirit before a fall."
When I said I have watched over the years that my people suffer from the spirit of Pride, I mean the people from my country.
I was watching a satellite broadcast of one United Nations Conference in 1979 or 1980, when the Civilian government was in power in Nigeria, and Mr. Shehu Shagari was then the President. Mr. Shagari was in the conference and it was his turn to address the conference. I was working then in the satellite earth station in Nigeria. When Mr. Shagari rose up to speak, he stood and look around (I might say in pride). The Lord spoke to my heart immediately: "Do you see the way he was so pompous? that was the problem of Nigeria. From the Holy Spirit in me, if I could read "pride" written all over him in the way he rose up and looked around, what then do you think the Almighty God saw? Sometimes we may say "a man should be proud of himself, yet at times it is an evil pride riding over the man's shoulder". There is always a prevailing spirit in every society. Nigeria has problem with the spirit of pride! That is why it is hard to get a good leader to head the government of the country: Everybody wanted to rule! They forgot the proverb which says, "uneasy lies the head that wears the crown".
We can see traces of the same problem even among us who are believers. How many times have we, Nigerian brethren, gathered to conduct prayer meetings only to be terminated due to the same proud grumbling and no leadership? because every man thinks he ought to be the leader. Yet we, Christians, who had been redeemed, ought not to fall for the same spirit. The bible warns against pride. The bible also warns that "My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation." (James 3:1).
The vision which the Lord showed to me some days ago is in line with what I am saying here. The body of Christ worldwide needs "humility" which is also necesary to go in the rapture. (Read Rapturing Faith part 7 ). Meekness is the fruit of the Spirit. If we have the Holy Spirit, let's allow the Holy Spirit to bear the fruit in us! The Lord is coming for a church which is perfect, without spot or wrinkle, and blameless. It means the body of Christ has got to be perfectly humble.
In Isaiah 57, God said he dwelleth in the high and holy place but also with him that is of a humble and contrite spirit.
"For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." (Isa.57:15).
Nobody goes away from here in the rapture unless the Lord carries him away! God himself who will carry us away said "he dwells with the contrite and humble spirit". We better be humble therefore if we intend to go away with him. Therefore we have got to be humble in the body of Christ, not just talking about the problem of any country now. We are not of this world and so we should not even allow traces of the world sickness into our life.
The aspect of humility we should also consider is the following: in the move of the Lord which is coming soon, be humble and "don't take glory for what the Lord will do through you!" We should pray and say to the Lord, whatever you are doing now or will do through me in the ministry, I want to make sure that I do not take any glory which belongs to the Lord.
A minister said, the Lord told him that he cannot work out the anointing to make people be slain in the spirit when he prays for them. If he has a formula to work it out, it will not be the Lord doing it. It will be the man doing it. The Lord has to do it by himself and any time He wants. How true! We've got to be humble therefore for the Lord to use us anyhow he wants to use us. It is pride which makes some brethren prefer to be used in one dimension and not in the other. For example, everyone wants to be used to touch or pray for folks so that they'd fall down slain in the spirit; or everyone wants to be the one who will prophezy and let it come to pass the second day. We must be humble in this area of what we will want to do for God also.
The vision I saw is as follows. I usually try to relate my visions, because somebody somewhere may say "maybe it doesn't mean that". It may not mean what I interprete it to mean, but look at the vision and take it as you please. In this vision, believers are gathered in a place waiting for perhaps the beginning of a fellowship. Then somebody came and pointed to a spot and said: "that is the place for the teachers". Immediately everybody rushed to that spot. Which means we are all teachers. No one is left to be taught. Then I woke up.
That's all the vision. Nobody is left on the pew. So nobody to be taught. When I woke up I simply agreed: that is our problem. We need humility in the household of God. Remember, it is the state of the heart of the saints which the Lord is showing here. You may not be striving with anyman physically to take the podium or pulpit, yet your heart may have already taken over the pulpit when you do not have a "teachable spirit" anymore.
Another wisdom that comes to me is the following: we have to accept the fact that God is raising up all of us as potentially great people. Remember what I will say here because it ministers to me personally when I think of it this way: God wants to bring forth a people which will be so powerful that they will cast down the Devil. A prophet somewhere has been putting the devil to ransome? but at the end of the world, which is now, God wants to use maybe 144000 of them (the number of the first fruits - Rev.14:1). One hundred and forty four thousand prophets of the calibre of Elijah, scattered all over the world. The Devil will be really in trouble, won't he? The Devil will be really in trouble if God can get 144000 prophets of the calibre of Elijah, at the same time on this planet, and God using all of them. Let's say they are all going to manifest at this end of the world. You should say "I ought to be one of them; if we are counting 144000 potentially powerful ministers of the full gospel in the world, should not the five or ten of us ministers here be included?"
We should relax then and say we are potential candidates for the number. There is room for many of us in the number of the Elijah company of believers at this endtime. There is no doubt about that, yet God still wants us to be humble. Let's say from this country of USA alone, God will choose about 30000 out of the 144000, because there is a large number of ministers and believers here: Go, count 30000 powerful ministries in the USA and you may realize that yours have a chance to be a candidate. Then there is no need for ministers and potential ministers bashing one another. There is room for many of us in the number of the firstfruits. But God is still saying we need the humility! Let our heart be humble.
When the Lord says he is looking for 144000 prophets of the calibre of Elijah at the same time in this end of the world, the Devil is really in trouble. Yet God still wants these prophets to be humble in order for him to dwell with them because God dwells with the contrite and humble spirit. That is what I am pointing out.
In many words, Christ preached this humility when he spoke to the apostles. In Mark 9:33-37 the Lord emphasized that "anyone that desires to be first among you, let him be the servant of all". The Devil knows how to rouse up pride to cause trouble in the household of God. The apostles of the Lord had a similar problem when they were following the Lord. The question arose among them "which of them should be the chiefest?" When Peter, James and John had gone with the Lord Jesus to the mountain, the rest of the apostles didn't know which of them should take charge.
The Devil have some demons whose special job is to make people think big, or want to be big so as to cause conflict and confrontation. But the Lord has put enough verses in the bible which if we remember them and if we abide in the word, we will be able to perform our duties and beat the Devil.
"Everyone that humbleth himself, shall be exalted".
The Lord always remind me that "why do we glory in anything we do not produce by ourselves. "For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?" (1Cor.4:7). If every gift and faith and power is given to us by him, then we have nothing to glory about.
Now to the children among us: Pride also has to be resisted among the youth. If there is a new style in your school, a new shoe, and you long to get that new shoe, it may show that there is no humility in you. If there is a new fad, the lattest shoe in town, and you have been pressuring your parents to buy it for you, it's a form of pride which you must resist as a Christian. Because in the dictionary meaning of humility, it describes modesty, being conscious of ones defects: i.e not wanting to show off. Now the boy or girl that craves for the lattest shoe in town definitely wants to show off. It's another form of pride. Therefore if you are one of those who see the lattest dress or lattest shoe in town and you desperately want to get it, humility is missing somewhere. As a Christian youth, God wants you to display sobriety and humility in such things. Also among adults we ought to show modesty in things we try to acquire, not trying to be like everbody else, not racing with the Jonesses. Remember the vision above: everybody wants to be a teacher. Let's be humble!
"Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men." (Phil.2:3-7).
We need to meditate on these verses. The Lord Jesus summarized it in his words when he said, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." (Mat.11:29).
I pray that the Lord will burn these words into our hearts and help us to bear the fruit of meekness, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
Bro. Julius Adewumi. Gospel Distribution Ministry,