|Humble In My Own Sight
by Tim Daniel, Rejoice In Jesus Ministries
One of the many delights of life I have experienced in my travels as a music minister, has been to visit God’s majestic mountains, all around the world. I’ll never forget the awe inspiring view of seeing them as they loomed upward, reaching into the sky, beyond the clouds Banff and Jasper National Parks in the Canadian Rockies, the Continental Divide in the American Rockies, the Highlands of Scotland, and the greatest of them all, Mt. McKinley in Alaska, which I saw from the cockpit of a bush plane at 11,000 feet (Boy, was that scary!). Where are the words that fully express the feelings these earthly wonders produced in me, as I gazed in silence at their mind boggling splendor? What do you say in response? "Wow!", or "Awesome?" Somehow, these human words seem to fail miserably in really describing what I saw. And in view of such grandeur and magnificence, another very interesting phenomenon took place. There, at the foot of every mountain I ever stood before, I profoundly saw myself, as very small.
I believe that we, as God’s musicians, should ever live to seek the place of standing before God, by faith, as I did those mountains. This was the secret of the Old Testament psalmist David, who had such power with God. He sang of the majesty and glory and holiness and power of his Lord, almost as if he knew it, first hand. We read that this musician walked before the Lord as he lived his life each day (Ps. 116:9). He enjoyed the sense that God was always before him (Ps. 16:8), and that when it came time to pick up his instrument and perform, it was easy for him to say, "I will play music before the Lord (2 Sam. 6:21)!" It’s as if there was no other place to be in the earth, but before the Lord. This was David’s secret place of safety, where he could hide and abide, in God’s presence, even as he stood before man (Ps. 31:20). It was there, while standing before the Lord, that the sweet psalmist of Israel received such revelation of God’s greatness, as I did, standing before the mountains, that he was able to say without effort, "I am small…I will be humble in my own sight (2 Sam. 6:22; Ps. 119:141)," and really mean it.
I want to talk for a moment about being humble in our own sight. This is what the Lord requires of God’s musician (Micah 6:8; Ja. 4:10). What a friend humility is to us; what a wonderful fruit of the Spirit. Just think of it, not having to be seen or heard or praised by man concerning our music, and being able to rest and not be driven at all, by ambition or glory seeking. The musician who bows before his Lord in true worship, refuses to think of himself, or his talent and skill, as something great. God is the great one! And though he may consider it a privilege to make music for Jesus Christ, He often marvels that God should use him, instead of others that he deems better, or more deserving than he is (Phil. 2:3). I recently heard of a sister in Christ who really loved to worship the Lord. To her surprise, she was selected from the choir, right at the last minute, to be the worship leader on what would become one of Hosanna Integrity’s greatest recordings of all times. At first, she flatly refused the offer, stating that she was not qualified to do such a thing. After much persuasion by her pastor and her husband, she consented. She was then asked if she had written any songs that could be on the new recording, to which she instantly replied, "Oh no, I haven’t." When pressed by her husband to share one that she had been singing around the house, which she had written, everyone loved it. The song was "Shout to the Lord", and the woman, who had honestly been humble in her own sight, was Darlene Zscheck with Hillsong from Australia.
Webster defines humility as possessing a deep sense of one’s own unworthiness, in the sight of God. Andrew Murray, in his sobering book Humility, describes it like this: "Humility is not something which we bring to God or He bestows. It is simply the sense of entire nothingness, which comes when we see how truly God is all, and in which we make way for God to be all." All things have come to us from God (1 Cor. 4:7), including our songs and our musicianship. Though we may indeed have talent and skill, our part is to surrender these things on a daily basis to Christ who lives within us. He is the power of God (1 Cor. 1:24), and He alone can take our talents and multiply them by His anointing, for His kingdom purposes. Smith Wigglesworth explains it this way, "Christ is working in me and bringing every thought into subjection, every desire into a divine plan of desire, and now I am working on a new plan- Christ performing and ‘me’ ceasing." (Smith Wigglesworth, The Complete Collection of His Life Teachings)"
O how the musician of God is sorely tempted to be a man-pleaser, needing recognition and at least, some measure of compliment or applause. But thank God for the relief that His humility brings, as we continue to put on Christ (Rom. 13:14). What a blessing this gift of God will be to us, beyond our wildest dreams. When man seems to be passing us and our talents by, we will be quite content to rest in God, ministering to Him, while we continue to sing our songs to our audience of One. Let the private practice of daily prayer and Bible reading, as well as an active waiting on God to form Christ in us, be our foremost passion, not our music. Brethren, God wants to show us His glory, making it easy for us to see ourselves as humble and small in our own sight, with no need to compare ourselves with ourselves (2 Cor. 10:12) at all. Then, we will see the songs that we sing and play become "songs of deliverance" (Ps. 32:7), in the hand of our Master, for His purposes. May it be so, to God’s glory. "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to Your name give glory (Ps. 115:1)." And all of God’s musicians say, "Amen."