Building Leaders Who Build the Movement & Change the Order of Things
“Get out of the way!” – Discovering Healthy Humility
U2’s new album ‘Songs of Experience’ has an awesome song (actually every track is awesome!) entitled ‘Get Out of Your Own Way’. This song has reminded me of an event in my life many years ago that changed everything…
I was not looking for Christian stewardship when it found me in 1992. That is when I was introduced to this beautiful way of life by our parish priest Fr. Darrin Gurr.
Once again I did not see it coming, when God called me to make promoting Christian stewardship my life’s work and ministry in 1999. That calling is a story for another time. My God-given mission in life is to share my belief in the Christian stewardship way of life. It is a calling that I believe I need to live boldly and confidently!
Still, at the same time I feel like I need to be gentle and remain humble. In the early years of my ministry I frequently experienced a tension between my desire to remain humble and the need to show confidence. Everything changed for me when I attended a ‘Face-to-Face’® retreat in 2007. I attended the retreat that weekend in search of finding a balance between humility and confidence. Something happened at the very start of the retreat that caught my attention to say the least. I heard Jesus’ voice and had a vision I will never forget!
We were all gathered for opening prayer and worship to begin the retreat. We were calling on the Holy Spirit to come fill this place! Then I heard it…“Get out of the way!” I could hear His voice, as if He were standing right beside me. It came again, “Get out of the way, my Father is trying to do something through you and you keep getting in the way.” The vision was as clear as the voice – Jesus swooping down out of the clouds, and He seemed to have a certain sense of urgency about Him. He stood behind me, and with almost an air of frustration with me, yelled, “Get out of the way!” I thought, “Am I physically in the way?” Then I had an epiphany; it was my pride that was in the way.
That vision was another God-incidence that became the turning point at which I began to embrace a ‘healthy humility’. At the same time I discovered a new ‘God-grounded confidence’. Following the experience of that retreat, I found a great deal of strength in remaining humble by simply keeping my eye on Jesus. I realized we can do anything if we stay focused on Jesus. By staying focused on Jesus, we can be all that God has called us to be, and do what He has called us to do. Peter could only walk on water as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus, when he looked away, he started to worry about what was going on around him, and he sank. (Matthew 14:30) When I worry about what people think, or become concerned about receiving recognition for my work, I am not being very humble. I believe that lack of humility inhibits my ability to receive God’s wisdom and guidance. Since that, “Get out of the way” retreat experience, I spend time in prayer every day – I don’t begin a day without it – no bible, no breakfast! Spending time in God’s word reflecting on the life and teachings of Jesus is AWESOME because He shows us the way to humility.
Humility is one of the virtues we must possess if we are to experience the fullness of life that Jesus came to give us. (John 10:10) Only by placing ourselves completely under Christ’s authority will we be given the wisdom and, any authority to boldly share the Good News with others. Pride is a very serious obstacle to authentic discipleship. My pride manifested itself in worrying too much about what people thought of me. The feeling that I had to prove something or impress someone was rooted in pride. Today, the most important audience for me is God. I simply keep “getting out of the way” and through the power of the Holy Spirit, God does the rest.
How do you cultivate the virtue of humility in your life? I’d love to hear from you.
Always grateful and hopeful in our good and gracious God,