Humility: Enlarger of Faith
by Rev. Elbert Willis
Foundation for Strong Faith
Christian speaker describing God’s blessings: “God’s blessings are like the objects exposed in a store window. One could clearly see the objects, yet could not reach them. If told to stretch out your hand and take them, a person would answer, ‘I cannot, there is a thick-paned glass between me and them.’ Likewise, Christians may clearly see God’s promises of love, joy, health, prosperity, abiding fellowship and fruitfulness, yet something hinders the true possession.” What could it be? Nothing but Pride.
I. GOD’S PLAN IS TO ENLARGE OUR FAITH CONCEPT
1. God’s willingness and desire for us to have is by His promises. Jn. 14:13,14; 15:7,16; 16:23-24; Mt. 21:22; Mk. 11:24; I Jn. 3:22; I Jn. 5:14-15
2. We are encouraged and challenged to believe these unlimited promises.
3. God’s mighty power is able to produce as we believe.
II. SATAN’S PRIMARY INTERFERENCE METHOD: PRIDE
1. Have we been taking so much trouble to believe, while all the time the old self in its pride was seeking to possess God’s blessings for itself?
2. Not the normal outward thought of pride, but Pride camouflaged as self-confidence, self-will, self-seeking and self-exaltation.
3. One can have a strong intellectual conviction and assurance of the truth while holding to pride.
4. Pride causes the failure in our pursuit of faith.
5. Pride causes our commitment to be superficial and short-lived.
6. Pride hides and operates secretly in the Christian life as “termites in wood.”
7. Pride, faith and humility cannot be reconciled together.
8. Pride desires to receive so it can glory in self and not God.
III. GOD’S SOLUTION: HUMILITY
1. Humility is acceptance of our place as dependents, who claim, or get or do, nothing except what grace provides.
2. Humility prepares the person for living truth.
3. Humility knows that to not trust Him is to dishonor Him.
4. The blessings that people receive without humility are grace, and usually limited and short-lived.
— This is the reason why success is not more constant and continuous.
5. Humility and faith examples:
A. Mt. 8:8-10 — The centurion said, “I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof, but speak the word only and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority…” At this humility and faith, Jesus marveled and said, “I have not found so great faith, no not in Israel.”
B. Mt. 15:27-28 — The mother spoke, “…true, Lord, yet the dogs eat of the crumbs…” Jesus answered, “O woman, great is thy faith…”
Humility: Enlarger of Faith
Man knows very little about humility. It seems to be a grace that we’ve shied away from, that we have not understood. As I think of humility, it makes me think about faith. When I was in college and seminary, we were studying all the books of the Bible. Before I graduated from seminary, I’d read Hebrews 11:1 where it says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.” I’d read that often. I wanted to understand faith, I wanted to know how to believe God. But for years it eluded me. I kept on, trying to learn a little here and a little there. I know, after the Lord filled me with the Holy Ghost, the word on faith began to come open to me. And I began to understand what faith was. I began to understand, in other words, how you feed your faith and how it would grow, and how faith would break out of this natural dimension into the spiritual dimension and shake things. God honors faith. I learned how to believe God for my health, where I couldn’t before.
My wife was a nurse for years, and I had to trust man for my health; but through faith I learned how to trust God for my health. It’s been many years now without even an aspirin, and we raised our children that way. I learned how to believe God for our finances, where I didn’t have to trust in man any longer for it, because I knew God would make a way. And I learned to trust God for our protection. But you know, as that became clear to me, there was always this word, humility there.
In 1976, on Easter morning, the Lord spoke to me. He said, “Son, I’m going to give you three keys to a continuous, victorious faith walk.” I can remember I got excited. I got my pencil and paper out and I said, “Boy — I’m finally going to GET it.” God spoke to me and said, “Meekness, Humility, and Gentleness.” Now that’s all He said, and He was through. I was all ready for Him to explain it all to me, but He didn’t explain anything. But progressively during the years He’s been explaining it. Progressively during the years He’s been unfolding it to me; and these words of meekness, humility and gentleness began to come alive to me where I understand them as I did faith and healing and protection and prosperity, and how to believe God for whatever it might be. But I believe this is how God operates. He gives us something to encourage us to reach out for.
I believe that humility is the very nature of God, because God is a servant, not a ruler and a controller. The Bible says, “God so loved the world that He GAVE.” We’ve seen in Scriptures where Jesus came to serve. You see, the nature of heaven is serving; and the nature of this world is getting. The nature of heaven is giving; and the nature of this world is getting.
Can you imagine how this world would be if every human being in this world was just interested in serving and helping others, instead of getting and ruling and controlling? The world’s system is birthed by self, the competitive spirit, to rule and control and outdo the other person.
If the nature of heaven, and the humility of heaven were more operative in your life and my life, boy, I’ll tell you what — this is what it’ll be. You can imagine how, if everyone in the world was out trying to help each other, just trying to serve, you’d have to get in line to help somebody. But you just about have to pray for a miracle to get somebody to help you, the way it is in this day and time.
But, you see, the nature of the world is perverted. God gave me something a long time ago about faith, and He’s helped me to apply it to humility. I used to always say, “The best way to find out how to walk with God is to find what the world says to do, and go in the opposite direction.” You’ll be closer to God, because the world is at enmity against God. That means the concepts and precepts of the world will not lead you to God, but it will lead you to the god of this world. It will not lead you to the eternal God. Therefore, one of the best ways to understand what humility is, is to look at the world and see what the world is after, and what the world is trying to get and what the world is trying to do, and realize that cannot be the nature of God. God wants us to learn His nature.
I believe in these next years that He’s going to unfold to us HIS nature as never before. I believe out of us understanding His nature as never before, that faith is going to work like it never has before. I believe arms will grow on and legs will grow on, and miracles will take place. We know in the past several years we’ve seen a lot of miracles. Many people have been healed right here in this Center. Eyes have been opened, ears have been unstopped, creative miracles have taken place, hearts, lungs, cancer, you just name it. They’ve been healed.
Last week one of the sisters came in the office and brought me a red rose. She said, “Brother Willis, I’ve never done anything like this. The Lord just impressed me to buy a red rose and give it to you.” I said, “Well, thank you.” I said, “Sister, the Lord’s blessed you, hasn’t He?” she said, “Yes, He certainly has.” Because about four or five years ago she got hold of some of our tapes over in another state. She had cancer, and they had given her up to die, but when she brought the rose, she had put on 40 or 50 pounds. When she first came here, she was like a bean pole. But through hearing the Word and standing on the Word of God, God’s given her a miracle, and loosed her and set her free from that killing, destructive cancer.
I believe as we learn more about the humility of heaven, it’s going to be like flushing the channel out so the power of God will move like it’s never moved before. We need to know that God wants us to know the nature of God, the nature of heaven. As the nature of God LIVES in you and me, and it controls our lives more and more, we’ll be able to flow more like God.
But remember, He spoke this to me in 1976, here it is years later, and understanding is just like a rose beginning to bud open, and then all at once it opens up all the way. That’s like truth. A lot of times God will start dealing with you about something, but what do you do? You’ll not stay with it long enough for it to open up, where you begin to understand it.
I believe that we’re in that place in history, and in that place in the Christian experience, where the knowledge of the Word of God that we’ve learned will open up. The Bible says that knowledge would increase. And knowledge is increasing so fast in the world today that by the time they develop something new and get it patented and get it out, it’s old. That’s just an example of what’s going on in the spirit world. God’s knowledge is going to begin to be unfolded to us as never before, as we walk humbly before Him and serve Him.
All right, with these thoughts in mind now, let’s look at John 5:44. Then we’ll follow our outline just as we have it in the front of the book.
Okay, John 5:44 says, “How can you believe…” Now see, the title of this teaching is Humility: the Enlarger of Faith. That’s why I talked about faith, is to help you understand that humility will ENLARGE your faith. Because, see, humility will teach you to trust more in Him and less in self, then God will be able to flow through you in a greater way. He’ll be able to help you more. When someone will permit you to help them that doesn’t know how to do something, then you can help them more. But if you start trying to help them and they know more about it than you do, you can’t help them very much.
So many times, we think we know more about living and more about life than God does. God’s trying to help us and get us straightened out and get this mess straightened out, but we think we know more about it than He does, and we stay in the mess. We keep our lives all fouled up, and God’s trying to help us every way He can. His grace, His love, His compassion is always reaching out to us.
So He says, “How can you believe when you’re in a mess like this?” “How can you believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?” He says, “How can you really believe when you’re seeking to get so many things for yourself? And you’re not seeking to get them for the glory of God?” He says, “How can you receive, when you’re so interested in cars and homes and financial prosperity and success, which I died for you to have. I want you to have them simply as objects you might use for the benefit of my kingdom.” He says, “So how can you receive when you want to heap all this stuff up on yourself?” Well, I’ve said this many times in a lot of our pastoral faith teachings. When we first started to learn the faith message, and we got a hold of Mark 11:24, “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them,…” what basically happened — we saw a way there to get everything we’d ever wanted, quick! Because everybody jumped in there and claimed them a new car, a new home, a whole new wardrobe of clothes, $500,000 a week income, and all the bills paid. We were going to get that pow, pow, pow, and then we were going to work for the Lord all the rest of our days! In case you don’t know, it didn’t work that way. This is why so many have fallen by the wayside, because they could not get it operating that way, and they weren’t willing to pay the price to stick in there. It works! I believe it’s God’s will for us to reach into all of it.
All right, lets read the introductory remarks here.
This is a little story that I read. This Christian speaker was describing God’s blessings. Here’s what he said: “God’s blessings are like the objects exposed in a store window…” Let’s say for example, you went to the mall and you were walking through the mall looking at all those objects. He said this is how God’s blessing are. “One could clearly see the objects,…” I’m going to use Sears Roebuck as an example. You may wonder why I use Sears Roebuck. Well, when we had the old Center on University Street, for over five years Sears Roebuck let us use their parking lot. They’re in a big, nice place now. They think they’re out there just because they made a lot of money, but we PRAYED for those people! We needed a parking place because we only had enough parking for about 30 cars, and you can’t park cars for 500 people in a 30 car parking area.
So let’s say you go over to Sears and look in one of their windows, and you can see the objects in there, the clothes, or whatever it might be that you’re looking at. “…yet you could not reach them.” You could see them through the glass window, but you couldn’t reach them. If someone would tell you, “…‘Stretch out your hand and take them,’…” you would answer, “…‘I cannot, there is a thick-paned glass between me and them.’ Likewise, Christians may clearly see God’s promises of love, joy, health, prosperity, abiding fellowship and fruitfulness, yet something hinders the true possession.” That’s a good example, isn’t it?
We’ve learned the promises of God, here at the Teaching Center. The past several years there’s been more teachers in the body of Christ than ever before in the history of the Church. There’s never been a move of God like in the past few years with so much in-depth teaching, where the Bible has been taken and broken down. God brought forth a lot of men in the Holy Ghost move that had a lot of theological training that they had to get rid of, but at the same time through their training in college and seminary they learned how to break the Bible up. They learned how to dissect and bisect it, because the Bible was written in a known language. So any language that’s known can be broken up. It has rhyme and reason and rhythm to it. Are you with me? So the teaching move came forth, and we’ve learned the promises of God.
I know many times as I’ve traveled in the country, I’ve always told the people, it’s one thing to know the promises but it’s something else to possess them. The first step in your Christian experience, is to learn what God promises you. Then you have to learn the conditions that will enable you to move from intellectual knowledge of the promises, into that place where faith will possess those promises and you can have them manifested in your hand. That’s like the picture of the window. You see it in the window.
You and I know the Bible, we know the promises. As we pray we say He promised us victory over sin, over sickness, and over poverty; but it’s something else to possess that victory. It’s something else to walk in victory over anger, or frustration, or confusion, or resentment, or bitterness, or rejection, or insecurity, or inferiority. It’s one thing to KNOW that it’s there; but it’s something else to walk in it. It’s one thing to know that Jesus bore your sickness and infirmities, but it’s something else to walk in health. It takes some time to learn these things and get the Word working in you. It’s one thing to know that He promised you financial prosperity, but it’s something else to get the money in your pocket. That’s like seeing the object in the window, but not being able to possess it because of the pane that’s there.
Now listen to me carefully. You see, the window pane is so clear that you really can’t see it’s there. This is usually what interferes with a Christian receiving from God, and us receiving on the level that God has wanted us to receive. I feel like the level that we received from God in the past years has been small. Now compared to years ago, it’s been much larger because of the increased knowledge in the area of faith. You see, up until the past few years there was not near the understanding about faith that has come forth in the last few years. I mean, the revelation knowledge and unfolding of the Scriptures about faith as there’s been in the past few years has been astounding, and astonishing compared with what it was in the years before. Now there’s always been some men and women through history that had knowledge of it. You can’t find many of them, but there are some. But there’s always been this primary thing here that hinders and interferes with the enlarging of our faith.
All right, let’s go on now. “Something hinders the true possession. What could it be? Nothing but PRIDE.” Humility and pride are opposite of each other. So what we want to do is tell you how humility will enlarge your faith by helping you to understand what that window pane is. Now see, that window pane is so clear until it’s hard to see what it is. And because we human beings are born in this flesh, and were servants of sin so long, pride has a secretive way of operating in our lives. And until the Holy Spirit illuminates in our lives, we can’t really see it. The way the Lord made this so real to me many years ago, He said it’s like a blind man. You can point a blind man’s face right toward the sun, and say, “Can you feel it?” He says, “Yeah, I can feel the sun.” You say, “It’s right there.” You can take his face, but he still can’t see it, until his eyes have been opened.
You can take a man or woman that’s been lost, which we all were once, and we become a Christian. But until GOD helps us to see the pride or the things in our life, we can’t see. We’re like a blind man. Have you noticed as we go along we discover a little more and little more? Well, believe you me, we haven’t discovered it all! If we had, we’d already be translated. We’d already be gone. So that means that pride and these things operate so subtle and so thorough in with humanity, until they’re not really distinguishable by you and me except by the anointing and power of the Holy Ghost. I believe as we begin to humble ourselves before the Lord, pride flees, we’re going to begin to see, and be empowered by God to override these things in our life that have hindered our faith from being enlarged.
Now we know there’s no problem with God, there’s nothing wrong with God; so if the Word is not working as it should, then the problem is not up there. It has to be where? And this is the hardest place to put that finger. It’s easier to blame mama, or daddy, or Uncle John, or Aunt Susie, or my husband, or my wife, or my lack of education, etc., etc. That’s all pride. You see, pride always excuses ME. Pride always blames someone else. Pride never says, “It’s me.” You see, it’s like the subtle, crafty devil, deceitful, and it’s like that pane. It is the opposite of humility. And this is what keeps faith from operating as it should operate.
So with this in mind now, let’s start with our outline. We’re just going to follow along with it.
I. GOD’S PLAN IS TO ENLARGE OUR FAITH CONCEPT.
Now we must realize God wants to enlarge our vision. God is unlimited, His power is unlimited, and He wants us to tap that unlimited power. But we have to know the channel to get there. These hindering sins that beset us can keep us from moving with it.
1. God’s willingness and desire for us to have is by His promises. Now notice all the Scriptures I have in the outline. Five of these are from the gospel of John, two are in I John, and one in Matthew, and one in Mark. They’re all the sayings of Jesus. Five times in these Scriptures Jesus says, “whatsoever you desire,” “whatsoever you ask the Father.” Two times He says “anything” and one time He says “what you will.”
Now brothers and sisters, if those are not some exceedingly great and precious promises, I don’t know what is. Why do you think God said “whatsoever” and “anything” for? He’s not trying to con us, He’s not trying to use the old carrot stick approach to ease us along. He’s not trying to motivate us; He wants to encourage us — the world uses the word “motivate.” But He’s saying, “Now I’ve come and died and I’ve opened a doorway to you to unlimited power, unlimited prayer promises.” He’s saying, “Now through the Holy Ghost I’m going to help you to understand that.” Now the disciples tapped this power, and down through the ages men and women have tapped this power, and brothers and sisters, if it’s ever been tapped by any man or any woman, it’s tappable.
I watched part of a movie called, “The Right Stuff,” about the astronauts. And you know, finally ONE MAN broke that sound barrier, and after that, whomp! whomp! Well, brothers and sisters, if any one man has ever believed God, then we can! It’s there. It’s there. But there’s keys to this, there’s principles in it; and only as we humble ourselves before the Lord and are faithful and continually seek His face is the Holy Ghost going to reveal to us the window panes. If they’d been all that easy to see, we’d already have them out of the way. Cause, see, we’ve been able to see what the world calls “sin.” Get rid of them.
But most of the sins are like window panes; they block us from getting it. We know God says it, we know God’s true, but yet we can’t get it. God’s not a liar. He gave us unlimited promises to challenge our desire, to stir us up to desire to seek Him. He says seek and ye shall what? Find. He’s not trying to play cat and mouse with us. But the world tries to make you think that. God’s honest. If He’s not then we don’t have anything. If He’s not, this whole thing is a hoax. You’re talking about the biggest hoax in history — Jesus pulled it off, and of course this is what the heathen says, what the agnostic, and the skeptic, and the atheist says, it’s a hoax.
I remember when I first started going to college, it shocked me. The history teacher gave one of the concepts about Jesus, that He was just a good politician. He found a way to get everybody to follow Him by offering them all plenty — the great society concept. It’s still around. Can you imagine how many young men like me were in there that day? That woman probably put a doubt in their mind through higher criticism and intellectualism. But brothers and sisters, God’s not a man that He should lie, neither the Son of man that He should repent. Hath God not said it and shall God not do it?
So He is willing and desires for us to have His promises.
2. We are encouraged and challenged to believe these unlimited promises. A lot of times people say, “Well, you can’t believe God for that.” Why can’t you? I mean, God says you can, but the world says you can’t. You see, the world tries to take the Bible, the unlimited promises of God, and because we’re so small, bring them into the reason of man. If man can’t figure it out and he doesn’t think it can be done, that’s pride. Well, brothers and sisters, God supercedes logic and reason and common sense. If he doesn’t, then this whole thing’s a hoax.
In the beginning, He said, “Let there be light!” And there it was! Sun! I’ll tell you what — that supercedes logic and reason and common sense. That’s why we had to come up with evolution. Of course it’s going to die out in the next five or ten years and they’ll come up with E.T. or something like that. They’ve got to get another one. I mean, they swallowed one, they’ve got to swallow another one.
So if God is not supernatural and unlimited, then this whole thing is a hoax, a fraud. We’ve been deluded to the “nth” degree. But this is what God is trying to get man to do, is break out of the natural and break into the supernatural — just like breaking the sound barrier, going through this one and that one and going on.
So we need to realize that God encourages us to reach out and believe Him for the supernatural. Christianity in itself is supernatural. It’s impossible to be a Christian and not believe in the supernatural, because the new birth is supernatural. The dead in Christ shall rise and go to a pie-in-the-sky called heaven. Now if you don’t believe in the supernatural stuff, you’ve got to forget about that. Those people have been dead for thousands of years, and they’re just going to rise up. I mean, you HAVE to believe the supernatural. So Christianity is supernatural in itself. But Christianity is not dealing with earthly concepts, it’s dealing with heavenly concepts. And as these heavenly concepts rule and reign in our hearts and minds, then FAITH is released, and our faith is enlarged. God encourages us to believe that.
You know for years, I couldn’t believe that a person could really live healthy all their life. But I don’t have any problem about that at all now. Jesus has kept my body healthy all these years, not even an aspirin, and I LIKE it. It’s exciting to believe that you can live your life and you don’t have to be SICK. I like it! It’s a great, hopeful thing. It’s a great encourager, because the world is spending billions and billions trying to do it; and Jesus said, “I’ve got a way for you.” He has the way for us to heaven, the way for health, the way for prosperity, the way for victory. And humility is the way to enlarge our faith.
3. God’s mighty power is able to produce as we believe. God’s power is able, brothers and sisters, to produce as we believe. We have to be encouraged to believe God. Isn’t it amazing how much you have to preach to try to get people to believe God? You wouldn’t think you’d have to do very much talking to try to get people to believe God for health, but boy, you’ve got to preach it and teach it, teach it, teach it, and teach. Because they say, “Ahhh.” They won’t believe God for it, and like I said, God made this so real to me years ago.
I’ll never forget the first time I started learning about healing. I went down to the hospital in Franklin. I walked in there to a dear sister and I said, “Well, sister, do you want me to pray for God to heal you?” And she looked at me and said, “Well, it may not be God’s will to heal me.” Then she turned around and said, “Honey, hand me my pills.” I said, “Sister, if it’s not God’s will to heal you, what are you taking that medicine for? If it’s God will to heal you with the medicine, then it’s God’s will to heal you direct.” I said, “Wait a minute now, we’ve missed the boat in here somewhere.” And I started realizing, you know what? I said, “If GOD’s not greater than the pill, man, heaven ain’t there.” I mean, if He’s not great enough to heal us, then He’s not great enough to raise us from the grave. All those people have been dead for thousands of years. I mean, if He’s not greater than that, if His power is that limited, then surely He can’t do anything like that.
But see, God wants to encourage us to believe for the supernatural. The world tries to discourage you. The world says, “Be reasonable, be sensible, be logical.” Boy, if you are, you’ll never get to heaven. That’s why more people are not in the church today, because it’s not reasonable, sensible and logical. God didn’t intend for it to be. You’ve heard me say it many times — no man would write a book like the Bible and honestly expect you to believe it. No man’s stupid enough to write something like this and really expect you to believe it. You know, about walls falling down and walking on the water, and raising the dead, and stopping the sun, and sticking a rod out, and the waters parting; a rod turning into a serpent. I mean, no man would write anything like that, and really honestly expect you to believe it. If he did he would tell you, he would call it fantasy. He’d say, “I’m going to tell you a fairy tale;” but God said, “I’m not going to tell you a fairy tale, I’m going to give you the ways of glory, the ways of heaven that challenge and stir your hearts. Because in these last days you’re going to need to BELIEVE Me. But there’s a DOORWAY we’re going to have to learn to go through.
II. SATAN’S PRIMARY INTERFERENCE METHOD: Pride.
Now let’s look at a few thoughts about pride to help us understand how pride can be that glass window.
1. Have we been taking so much trouble to believe, while all the time the old self in its pride was seeking to possess God’s blessings for itself? Have we been studying faith and trying to believe, believe, believe, and all the time the old self has been trying to get everything just for itself? How many people are really believing God for a lot of money to give to the kingdom? Most people are believing for just enough to get them out of trouble, or get them a better car or better home. Could it be that all this time we’ve studied faith, underneath that old pride, old self was saying, “Hey, I’ve got a way to get everything I’ve ever wanted.” Wouldn’t you like to be taller? Now God wants something like that, but you know old self could sure want that — to be a lot taller. Some would like to be a lot thinner, some would like to have your nose straightened out a little bit, you know; and my head full of hair! Etc., etc., etc. Are you still with me? Now God gives these things that are in line for us to have them, but we have to make sure our motive is proper for it.
2. Not the normal outward thought of pride, but Pride camouflaged as self-confidence, self-will, self-seeking and self-exaltation. All of our life we’ve been taught to be self-sufficient. From the time we were born we’ve been taught to take care of ourselves! It’s built into a person. Do you ever notice a little child? When you start trying to help them? “Me do it!” They can’t even talk yet — “Me do it!” And they can’t do it. That’s just like us. God’s trying to teach us how to live, and we say, “Me do it!” He tells us what to do in the Bible, but we’re like a little child, “Me do it!” We have several grandchildren hanging around the house — I can just see them all the time. As long as they get their way everything’s fine. But if they don’t get their way, “AAAAAAHHH.” Grown people do the same thing today. As long as they get their way, it’s all right; if they don’t get their way they just puff up, like an old peacock.
You see, that’s why I gave you that example about the glass window pane, because we’ve been looking at pride as what we see so many times in a person that’s haughty, and boastful. But we haven’t realized that many times pride is just that little self-confidence that we have, that independence, that self-sufficiency. We’ve been taught all our lives to be independent. As quick as we can we want to make a child independent of us, teaching them how to walk by themselves. We get most of them walking quite a few months before we should, and brag about it. “My boy walked when he was six months!” “Mine’s just seven months old and walking all over the place!” Independent!
“Well, Brother Willis, they’re supposed to learn how to walk.” Yes, they are; but you see, this kind of carnality and nature is the nature of man. This is that window pane. We’ve just accepted it and brought it over into Christianity, and it keeps our faith from operating, because it’s pride. It’s trusting in self to do it, and not God. Because man didn’t want to trust in God for healing, he had to come up with something to heal himself. Are you with me? He didn’t want to believe God for the rain, or whatever he needed, so he had to come up with all kinds of chemicals he could inject into the ground and the food and everything to speed everything up, so he could get MORE. Not greed, but just make more MONEY, but not greedy! I mean, we’re not greedy, we just want to make the acre produce five times as much. What for? Well, just to help the people. What people? That pride has to cover it up.
Now listen, saints, I’m not just talking; I’m talking where we live. And we have to find out where we live if we’re going to walk with Christ, and He wants us to.
3. One can have a strong intellectual conviction and assurance of the truth while holding to pride. You see, many people today have a strong intellectual assurance and conviction that the Word of God is true, that they should be humble, that they should obey the Word of God. You’ll find about every Christian says, “I believe the Bible from cover to cover;” but you don’t find very many of them walking it from cover to cover. They’re trying to tear the pages out. “Well, this doesn’t fit, this doesn’t make sense!”
God didn’t intend this to make sense for you and me, not our natural intellect; but it makes sense to Him. He wants us to have the mind of Christ; then we’ll understand the Bible, and the Word of God, and the precepts of heaven. Then God’s glory shall begin to shine in us. This is why He said, “Learn of Me.” He said, “My burden is light, My yoke is easy; take My yoke upon you and learn of ME and you’ll find rest for your soul.” What’s your soul? Your mind, your will and your emotions. He says, “Take MY yoke upon you.” He says, “Get into MY harness, get into MY way of life, in the midst of that world down there, and in My way you’ll discover, as you learn of Me,” and you’ll find what? Discover rest for your mind, your will and your emotions. It’s heavenly living on earth.
Oh, brothers and sisters, I believe we’re just beginning to enter in to the things that God has for us. I believe through all the years of teaching and learning that God’s been helping us to grow up where we get to the place where we can handle some things. And I believe we’re about to begin to see and understand these things. I believe the Spirit of the Lord, the Holy Ghost that lives inside of you and me today, is going to begin to help us to understand these things as never before. I’m excited about it. I believe we’re living in a great day and a great hour.
4. Pride causes the failure in our pursuit of faith. We must realize that pride causes failure. The Scripture says pride comes before what? A fall. And humility before honor. Get your concordance and look up the word “pride,” and get yourself a few Scriptures. I have my Scripture cards on the humility of heaven that deal with humility and pride. Let me show you a few of these on pride: Listen to I Peter 5:6 — “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” II Chronicles 7:14 says, we’ve quoted it many times: “If my people which are called by my name” will do what? “Humble themselves and pray…” We’ve done the praying; I wonder if we’ve done the humbling. He says He’ll do what? Hear from heaven. He said, “If you’ll humble yourself and pray, I’ll hear, and I’ll heal the land, I’ll heal your life.”
Proverbs 16:18,19 — “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.”
Proverbs 13:10 — “Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well-advised is wisdom.”
Proverbs 22:4 — “By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honor, and life.”
Listen, brothers and sisters, I’ve become convinced more and more and more, of course I’ve always known that pride is a factor, but I’ve become convinced more and more and more that it is a destructive thing, it’s a danger area.
We are talking about a fourth thought. Pride causes failure in our pursuit of faith. This ministry is known as a faith ministry. I’m known all over the United States as a faith man, because I believe Jesus for my health, wealth and protection. Brothers and sisters, I’m convinced that pride has hindered us in our pursuit. Notice I said “us.” Now I’ve got it working. For example, let’s say yours is working on the first grade level. I say mine may be working on the second or third grade level. I don’t think we’ve anywhere near tapped what God wants. But you know, only pride will make you think that you have a lot more than what you have.
Now I’ve seen it work, the blind eye opened, the deaf ear unstopped, many, many, many times. But still, we’ve just tapped it; so pride has interfered with our pursuit. You see, we’ve all reached out to learn how to believe God, but we haven’t got it working like it should. What do you think’s hindering it? God? What do you reckon it is? Guess! We like to blame somebody else. Pride never likes to say, “It’s ME.” It likes to say, “It’s YOU. It’s your fault; you’re the reason.” It goes on and on and on.
5. Pride causes our commitment to be superficial and short-lived. You see, when pride is there and you make a commitment, it’ll be superficial and short-lived. “Well, how do you know?” Here’s what happens. When pride is there, you’ll make a commitment to get something, and when things don’t work out like you thought it ought to, you take your ball and go. That’s pride. Pride says, “I didn’t get what I wanted.” Pride says, “I didn’t get my way; I didn’t get treated like I thought I should have been treated; I didn’t get the respect I should have had; I didn’t get the job I should have had, and the money I should have had. I did this and I did that.”
I’ve heard many a person say, “Brother Willis, I tithed and gave for two or three years and I didn’t get anything.” I said, “Uh oh, I didn’t get anything; that’s right.” I said, “We used your money for the gospel, but you didn’t get anything.” Pride! See, you’re going to make your commitment short-lived, brothers and sisters; it’ll cause you to fizzle, it’ll cause you to run out of steam, because pride comes before what? A fall. The Word of God is true. So that means when the falls come, pride is there. So what are we doing? We’re wanting to learn the humility of heaven so our faith can be enlarged and work better.
6. Pride hides and operates secretly in the Christian life as “termites in wood.” If you and I knew what was hindering it, what would we do? Get rid of it. If faith is not working, something is hindering it. It’s like that glass. Or it’s like termites in the wood. You can’t see the termites in the wood until one day, all at once, they break out. And when they break out it’s too late. That’s how pride is. It likes to hide amidst our human abilities, our human strengths, and undergird and inspire and encourage these human abilities and human strengths. But brothers and sisters, until the Holy Ghost takes the veil off our eyes, we can’t see.
Remember I talked about how many years I wanted to learn faith, and didn’t? And He gave me the words “humility, meekness and gentleness” in 1976? This is years later. You know in 1978 I began the first series of teachings I taught on Resurrected Living. I taught Abiding in the Vine several years ago. I taught Like Jesus a couple years later. I taught Crises in Conquest — all of these were dealing with reckoning yourself to be dead, dealing with humility, giving up your life so you can take up the life of God. Assuming another life, another nature.
You and I have the two natures — the natural nature and the spirit nature. They’re battling for control, they’re battling over which one’s going to reign — Christ, the spirit nature wants to reign, and cause us to live like heaven; and the earthly nature wants to rule and cause us to live like earth. Which father are we going to live like — earthly father or Heavenly Father? We have to submit to that heavenly nature, so we can live like our Heavenly Father. But we submitted to the earthly nature, and prides been like the window pane. We’ve been reaching out to get what God’s promised us, but just can’t get it. And brothers and sisters, I’m convinced that pride has been the factor that’s hindered our belief more than anything else. And pride is the opposite of what? Humility.
7. Pride, faith and humility cannot be reconciled together. It’s like water in with the gas. You say, “Well, Brother Willis, how am I going to know what area pride’s in there? Just be humble before the Lord, and say, “Lord, my life is not as it ought to be. Something’s wrong somewhere. It’s not You.” That’s humility. That’s a humble statement. A humble statement says, “Lord, It’s not working for me like You say, so something’s wrong somewhere. It can’t be You; so it has to be something there that I can’t see. Father, in Jesus’ name, let the Holy Ghost begin to illuminate it. Help me, Lord, to see what’s hindering me becoming the man or the woman that You want me to be, because God, I want to be.” That’s our desire. I know everyone of us say, “Lord, I want to be more like You.” “Well then,” He says, “humble yourself before the Lord, and He’ll exalt you.” How are you going to humble yourself before the Lord? By saying, “Lord, I can’t live this Christian life within myself. I’m going to have to learn how to believe You and trust You to enable me to do it.” But we determine ourselves many times to do it, and we find ourselves in failure after failure.
8. Pride desires to receive so it can glory in self and not God. I’m afraid a lot of times our testimonies are our way of bragging. Our testimonies many times are a way of bragging. Now God wants us to give testimonies. But boy, I’ll tell you what, when we give a testimony, we have to make sure. Because I know I’ve given testimony after testimony during the years to encourage and challenge people to believe God. But you know, many times when I’ve given one I’ve wondered, “Lord, as I was giving that testimony about how You healed me, or gave this miracle or gave that miracle, Lord, is the root of that testimony YOU, or self?”
You tell that testimony of all that God has done for you, and boy, hallelujah! people look at you and say, “Man, I’d like to be like Brother Willis! My God, he walks in health all the time.” Well, it’s TRUE; but what is the bottom line motive for me sharing it? Are you still with me? Now if the bottom line motive is to encourage you and challenge you, then hey, I have the basis. But I wonder if every time it’s been pure, or if sometimes it wasn’t gas and water. I’m ALWAYS looking at those things; and you have to. Because your faith won’t work if you don’t. I’m having to look at them deeper and deeper and deeper because I’m not getting the whatsoever and anything and all things! That means there’s something wrong somewhere.
“You people are hard-headed, bull-headed, that’s why it’s not working.” Or you can sit out there and say, “Well, it’s just because that preacher doesn’t have any anointing on him.” He’s been anointed to give you the Word that you can do all right. You can sit out there making excuses, and I can sit here making excuses, and we all go down the boob tube. We all lose out. And that’s all P R I D E. Pride likes to excuse itself. It feels better when you blame someone else for your failures, doesn’t it? But if you have to accept it yourself, my God! That’s hard. “Me? Well, I might have a problem with pride, but boy, I’ll tell you what — So-and-so…”
How do you know a Ford if you’ve never seen one? You’ve heard the old saying, “I’d like to buy her for what she’s worth and sell her for what she thinks she’s worth?” Or “I’d like to buy him for what he’s worth and sell him for what he thinks he’s worth — I could make a fortune.” All I ask you is, “What is it in YOU that can see that in them?” What kind of garbage is that in you that sees that garbage in them? It’s not holiness, and purity, and godliness. It’s that old carnality. It’s that old sinful nature that’s rising up. Many times we can spot it, and it’s like the pot calling the kettle black.
All right, pride desires to receive so it can do what? Glorify itself, not God. What is our purpose for living? Do you want God to bless you? Why? What is the real bottom line motive of it? Are you willing to look that deep? Are you willing to pull the covers back that far? I know in some of my older teachings I dealt with this. What we do, we say, “God, we’re all covered up. God, I want You to show me EVERYTHING about me.” And He pulls it down a little bit and we, “Oh…” After a while He gets it down past the nose and He shows a little bit more, and we, “Oh…” And every time He shows us something, we can think of somebody else. Have you ever noticed that? Somebody needs this message. I bet you know a bunch of them you wish read it, don’t you?
God wants us to take that cover and pull it all the way down, and make us naked before Him so we can see ourselves. Then we’ll cry, “Oh my God, my God, my God…I didn’t know.” He says, “I know you don’t; but let ME expose it to you.” Humility says, “Lord, whatever You have to do, do it. Lord, I want to know the truth.” And He says if you know the truth it will do what? Set you free.
III. GOD’S SOLUTION: HUMILITY
Now, Roman numeral “I.” was God’s plan to enlarge our faith. He encourages, He challenges, He gave us all these Scriptures about “whatsoever” and “anything” and “what you will.” He just opened the door! But brothers and sisters, He’s got a built-in safety factor there; because if He didn’t we’d all be in there having it all. Let me ask you something: If those promises worked literally for everybody, what do you think all of us would have now? Do you reckon there’d be any old cars out there? There wouldn’t be anything out there probably but Cadillacs and Mercedes, etc. You say, “Not me.” You’d probably have a van that cost more than the Cadillac!
What kind of house would you go home to if ALL of our faith worked right now, and we got what we wanted? Where would you go on vacation this year? Well, I can tell you what — that’s proof that it hasn’t been working like he says whatsoever and anything. So we need to find out why. It’s because our motives have not been proper. We haven’t been interested in being blessed for the benefit of the kingdom of God, but we’ve been interested in being blessed for our personal benefits. And that is PRIDE, it’s not humility.
Jesus said, “Not My will but Thy will be done.” He said, “I didn’t come to do My will but the will of Him who sent Me.” God wants you and me to come to the place, and only He can bring us to the place. You and I cannot do it within ourselves. You and I can seek His face, and only He can bring us to the place where we say, “Lord, let me live just for You. Lord, let me be a CHANNEL of blessing. Lord, let me be a man or woman that You can FLOW forth through, Lord, that I might touch other people’s lives.” The only thing you can take to heaven with you, saints, is people. We need to come to the place where we say, “Lord, let me LIVE Your life on earth, that my life might be a witness that others might come to know the Lord Jesus Christ.” And brothers and sisters, that’s humility.
You see, humility says, “I want to live a life, Lord, that will just be pleasing to You.” You say, “Brother Willis, how about ME?” Ah, ha, there it is! “What am I going to get out of the deal?” Everything you’ve ever desired, if you seek first His kingdom! You know, God’s blessed us during the years, but I’ve always known it’s just been a tiny drop of it, compared to what it ought to be. I’ve known the reason for it is seeking first the kingdom. I’ve always been wanting to reach people. Now, I haven’t been flowing in the purity that God’s wanted me to, but I’ve always wanted to reach people. And that’s one reason that I’ve been able to pray and get the percentage of my prayers manifested that I have.
But brothers and sisters, I’m not satisfied. I’m realizing more and more and more that if I’d been more interested in others… Are you still with me? You see, God told me something years ago. He said, “Son, you be busy building My kingdom, and I’ll build the ministry.” He helped me, gave me some instruction that helped me to keep on building His kingdom, and Jesus said, “I went about doing good — you just go about doing good and helping people.” That’s why we give tapes and give books. Just think, there are not very many churches in the U. S. that have printed thousands of books and sent them all over the world, without expecting and looking to get anything from it. “Brother Willis, how have we been able to do it?” Just by the grace of God we’ve been able to do it.
Some time ago, we had stacks of books in the front of the church. I mean, you total all that stuff up retail and it would probably have been $25,000 or $30,000 worth. It went all over the world, all the way to you name it, every continent — Central America, South America, Canada, England, Europe, Far East, Australia, Africa, all various areas out there.
Listen, brothers and sisters, more and more we’re concerned about the gospel, the people, here in this city and this area, this United States, and this world, I’ll tell you what — when we call heaven up, it’s going to be dropping on us by the time we get off the telephone. Because God’s going to be giving it to us to do His work. And as He gives it to us to do His work, there’ll be a percentage of it that will just drop off on us. It’ll provide everything you and I have ever desired. That’s why Jesus said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” Are you beginning to get some understanding about it?
Seek ye first the kingdom of God. It takes the Word of God working this in us. Of course, until God can get it worked in me deep enough so I can explain it to you so maybe you can understand it intellectually, and then the Holy Ghost can quicken it to you, it’d be hard to do. He’ll have to quicken it. But, praise God, He will. He will.
1. Humility is acceptance of our place as dependents, who claim, or get or do, nothing except what grace provides. Humility is the acceptance of our place as dependents. How many of us could take ourselves to heaven? Are we partially or 100% dependent upon Jesus Christ to be saved? Are we 100% dependent upon Jesus to take us to heaven? All right, as dependent upon Him as we are, we’re to live that dependent upon Him. We have to depend upon Him for our life; the devil will kill us if we don’t. So you see, humility causes you to be dependent.
This is something God showed me years ago. I’ve learned to trust God so much, I’ve become so dependent upon God, I’ve become independent upon the natural ways for healing. Because I’m so dependent upon Who? God. I’ve become so dependent upon God for the finances we need until I’ve been independent of the credit system. Haven’t borrowed a penny in many years. I’ve become so dependent upon God and His angels to protect me, until I’ve become independent of the world’s protection system. Canceled all my insurance many years ago. “Well, how, Brother Willis?” You have to be dependent upon somebody, and it always makes you independent of something else. Now if you depend upon man to heal you, you’ll be independent of God to heal you.
So humility is doing what? It is the acceptance of our place as dependents. I can’t save myself, I can’t heal myself, I can’t prosper myself, I can’t take myself to heaven. I can’t give myself eternal life — it’s in the hands of God, and I believe Him, so I’m dependent upon Him. We need to start confessing, “Lord, I’m dependent upon YOU. Lord, You’re my strength, You’re my health, You’re my life, You’re my protection, You’re my prosperity, You’re my guidance.” But, see, old self says, “Yeah, but…” that’s where the battle is. Old self just says, “I can’t do that; if I do that nothing may happen.” That’s why nothing’s happening. WE try to make it happen, and our faith is not enlarged. We can do nothing except what grace provides.
2. Humility prepares the person for living truth. In other words, simply this, to live the life and not just talk it. See, when you’re humble, you’re submitting yourself before the Lord. You’re saying, “Lord, You’re going to have to give me the strength to overcome this thing.” This anger, this depression, this frustration, this confusion — those things, brothers and sisters, in your life and my life that we might have battled with for years. We’ve got to humble ourselves before the Lord and say, “Lord, You’re going to have to give me the power…” to do what? To live the truth, not just talk it.
You see, we learn the promises before we ever possess them. We learn the way God wants us to live, but He empowers us to live that way. That’s what God’s living in you and me for today. His purpose in you and me is to empower us to live the life of Christ on earth. That we might be a witness and a testimony to HIS glory and His power.
Brothers and sisters, He’s going to get His work done! If He doesn’t live it out in you and me, He’ll find somebody else. He’ll find some other man and some other woman who will say, “Lord, here am I.” He’ll find another Moses, another Joshua, another Gideon, another Peter and Paul, James and John. He’ll find a man or woman.
There’s always some man or some woman somewhere that’s going to say, “Oh God, here am I; use me. Here am I, Lord, use me.” We’ll be like Isaiah, “Here am I, Lord, send me, send me. Lord, I want to work in Your kingdom. Lord, show me how to work in Your kingdom better. Lord, show me how to serve You better. Lord show me how to be a better witness.” Are you crying to Him day and night for it? Or could it be that you’re doing most all your crying and praying for yourself? Wrapped up in self — me and mine. “Yeah, but I need so much.” Hey, the whole world needs. Start doing some giving, and helping someone else’s needs. You’ll be amazed what the Holy Spirit of God will begin to do in your life. Are you still with me?
3. Humility knows that to not trust Him is to dishonor Him. Not to trust God is to dishonor Him. Hey, if you don’t trust Him, you’ll either be repentant or prideful. If you’re not trusting God, and you can’t believe Him, you ought to be repentant. “Lord, forgive me; I just can’t believe You for that. I’m not there yet, Lord; I know You want me to be there, but I’m going there.” Or you’ll be prideful. When you can’t trust Him, you can’t believe Him, you can’t get it working for you, you get discouraged. Are you with me? And you give up. That’s pride.
Remember this. What have I said so many times? What is discouragement? Discouragement is saying, “I didn’t get what I wanted. Things didn’t work out the way I thought they should, so I’m discouraged.” Every time you see yourself discouraged and downhearted, do this for me. Go look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Why are you discouraged? Why are you downhearted?” I can tell you what your answer will always be: “I didn’t get what I wanted!” Who are you? Mr. God, Miss God? That’s pride.
“I’m just so discouraged. What about? “Well, I didn’t get that job;” “I didn’t get that raise;” or “I didn’t get this, I didn’t get that, I didn’t get treated right — that’s why I’m discouraged. I didn’t get what was justly my dues.” Hell is your just dues! And you’re alive! When you learn that, that’ll set you free more than anything. I used to feel myself sometimes being discouraged, you know. Let me just give you an example.
I’d come to a service, and I’d preach my heart out. And nothing would happen. All the knots-on-logs would just sit there. I’d pour my heart out, and I’d leave, going to the house. I just felt so down, because they didn’t receive me. I didn’t feel like I’d preached a good message. I walked to the house one night. After I had taken a bath, and was ready to go to bed, I was combing my hair, and the Lord said, “Just look in the mirror and tell yourself why you feel the way you do.” It all had to do with ME. I got tickled. I said, “You rascal, you…DIE!” Man, I saw what I was. When I walked out people should have run up to me, “Aw, Brother Willis, that was a good message; aw, you just blessed me so much tonight!” But if I didn’t get that I got discouraged.
I can remember back when I was pastoring in a Baptist church and we had our board over on one side that said how many people were there last Sunday, what the offering was, how many were here this Sunday, and what the offering was. I’d pray and study all week to get ready to preach. I’d come walking out that door, and look at that sign. If that sign showed the attendance was up and offering was up, boy, I hit that pulpit that day, and they were a great bunch. But if I walked out that door and that number was down, and that offering was down — I was down! I knew I hadn’t been doing a good job. If I’d been doing a good job there’d been more there than that. If I’d been preaching better there would be more than that.
The Lord said, “You’re doing all you can do, it ain’t worth much.” Listen, saints, you humble yourself before Him, He’ll put you in your place. And really it’s the best thing for you. I’ll tell you — out of that I began to humble myself, and out of death comes life.
My life changed and my ministry changed. The message, and the power of God began to move. I began to know it wasn’t me, it was Him. I began to realize if I preached the message and somebody got touched or stirred, it was the Holy Ghost that stirred, and not Elbert Willis. Because, see, when I was in the business world, I trained salesmen for years. I could train them and have them jumping chairs, but the next day I had to pump them up again. If I didn’t they didn’t jump any chairs, they didn’t make very many sales. That’s what I tried to do in the gospel.
I finally found out the Holy Ghost has to reach in there and grab your heart and turn it. He can inject you with juice and you can go a long, long time. But if you’re just going to get motivation from me, you’ll just be up, then down. But you realize the Holy Ghost lives inside of you, and boy, He just burns in there. Begin to humble yourself before Him.
You may need to look in the mirror, and when you do, call him or her really what they are — “You rascal, you, you want your way! You want things like YOU want it. If it’s not like you want it, you’re gonna let it be known. You rascal, you.” This doesn’t apply to those people and fellows in Nigeria, they’re different human beings over there! Same rascals, same devils. I’ve been over there, casting them out. Everywhere I’ve been, I’ve found those things. Glory to God! God’s gracious, isn’t He? Thank You, Jesus.
4. The blessings that people receive without humility are grace, and usually limited and short-lived. In other words, the blessings that we receive, when we’re not humble about it, are usually very few and they don’t last long. That’s just what you call pure grace. So many times, when the power of God and the things of God don’t last very long, it’s because we didn’t receive them humbly. There was a lot of pride there.
You see, pride’s like you trying to fill your bathtub up with the plug out. You’re trying to get filled up with the Word, and you get filled up with power, and all the time pride’s got the back door open. You’re bringing the Word in, and it’s just running out. You want to go on with the Lord, so we just have to realize these things.
You see, this is the reason why success is not more constant and continuous. This is the reason why more individuals and more ministers success is not long run, because of pride. They love the Lord, and they get honest before the Lord. A new Christian gets honest before the Lord and the Lord moves for them. But if they don’t get rid of that pride, two, three, four, or five years later they can’t be successful very long. Are you with me? That pride has to go for the Holy Ghost to stay, and move in your life. Now He won’t leave you, He just can’t empower you. Jesus said He’ll never leave you nor forsake you; He’ll be there, but it’s dormant. The lid can’t be opened for that power of God to move.
5. All right, humility and faith examples, a couple of them. Now just to give you a couple of examples of humility — this will amaze you.
A. Matthew 8:8-10. The centurion came to Jesus and said, “…I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority,…” This guy’s like a captain, but he didn’t come saying, “Man, I’m a captain over 300 men.” He came and said, “I’m not worthy for You to come to my house, because I’m a man UNDER authority.” Now let’s see what response this attitude drew from Jesus.
“For I am a man under authority…” At this humility and faith, Jesus marveled and said, “I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” This man just admitted, “Jesus, I’m a centurion. I’m over 300 men, but I can’t do what needs to be done.” See, he stated his position. He was a wise man. He said, “I’m a centurion.” He was probably an educated man, trained in the army to be an officer over a large group of men, but he said, “What I need I can’t do.” What do you call that? That’s humility. That’s humility. And what did Jesus say about him? He said, “I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” You see, that kind of man could believe. He said, “I believe You can do it.” He said, “I can’t handle it.” Are you willing to say, “Lord, I can’t live the life that’s required of me; but I believe You can help me and enable me to do it?” Now, that’s faith. You see, faith says, “I can’t, but HE CAN!”
All right, let’s look at another example here, that’s kind of astonishing.
B. Matthew 15:27-28. The mother came and was asking Jesus to come heal her child, or cast the devils out of her child; and Jesus said, “This is the children’s bread.” He said, “Now, this healing and this casting out devils and all this stuff, this is for My children.” And this woman said, “Truth, Lord; yet the dogs eat of the crumbs…” And Jesus answered, “O woman, great is thy faith.” Now she came and asked Jesus to do something for her, and He said, “No, I can’t do it for you.” He called her a dog. He said, “This is for the children, My children.” And she did what? Humbled herself and said, “That’s right; it’s for the children of Israel, but even the dogs can eat the crumbs.” And He said, “Woman, your faith is great.” And she got it!
You see, brothers and sisters, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. But for that faith to operate, we’re going to have to realize we’re going to have to humble ourselves before Him. Because Jesus Himself said, “Whatsoever,” “anything,” “what you will,” and “whatever it might be” — He said, “There it is.” So as we humble ourselves, the Lord will do what? Exalt us.
Begin to humble yourself with the confessions of your mouth. Begin to say, “Lord, I see what You promised me. Lord, I want You to forgive me for where I’ve missed You, where I’ve been wrong, where my sins and my failures have interfered with Your giving it to me. I ask You to forgive me. Father, in the name of Jesus, I ask You to strengthen me so I can be more diligent, be more faithful.”
If you’re not studying your Bible, if you’re not praying, if you’re not witnessing, if you’re not giving — what are you doing about it? Are you just letting it wash on down the river? Or are you going to say, “Lord, I want to be a better witness for You; I want to serve You in a greater way. Lord, I want to be used of You, in my neighborhood, or where I go to school, or where I work. But Lord, I don’t know how to do it. Father, in the name of Jesus I’m going to be diligent through Your power to study Your Word, meditate Your Word, confess Your Word; and I believe as that Word gets in me You’re going to strike that Word, make it alive, enable me to live and walk in all Your ways, enable me to serve You.”
And brothers and sisters, as we humble ourselves that channel becomes unrestricted, because Jesus was the meekest of all men. And the Bible says He humbled Himself even to the point of what? Death. And God did what? Highly exalted Him.
Faith in God! Trust in God, and His promises, enables us to humble ourselves to the point of death to our own dreams and plans and desires. And He’ll do what? He’ll lift us up, He’ll exalt us.
We need to have revelation knowledge to understand about humility. This is why the Lord impressed me to teach on it.
There’s a book by Andrew Murray on Humility. Get it and read it. I read the book years and years ago and marked up about a third of it. Several years later I marked up about two thirds of it. Now it is red-lined. Seek and you shall what? Find. Seek and ye shall find.
Let’s check our motives. Why do you want to be healed? I’ve had a lot of people say, “Brother Willis, I just want God to heal me, so I can better support my family.” I said, “It’s no good.” “I want God to heal me, so I can be a better husband, a better wife.” A lot of women say, “So I can take care of my children.” I say, “No, He isn’t going to heal you for any of those reasons.” I say, “He’ll heal you for one reason: because His Word says so, and the result of it is you can work better, take care of your family better.” So healing is not so you can do something, but that His Word might be glorified.
What are we praying for? Things we’re asking God for, what do we want them for? Let me encourage you again — take a week and don’t pray for yourself. You’ll find it’s one of the hardest things you’ve ever done, because you’re important! And you have so many needs, if you don’t pray for them every day, many, many times, you aren’t going to get them! That right there is not faith; because faith believes it receives when it prayed! So if you believe you received when you prayed, why are you still bombarding the gates of heaven? You believe you receive it and start bombarding heaven for somebody else.
This week just say, “Lord, I’m going to pray for somebody else all week long.” That doesn’t mean that you stop praying for yourself. That was the problem with the holiness move. They got so great and so strong in intercession until they never learned anything about faith. All they dealt with was intercession, prayer and worshiping the Lord. We didn’t get involved, in other words, in the intercessory prayer and the worship of the Lord as much, except through the praise in the congregation; we got more in faith getting it. God says, “Use them both!” He says, “When you get more involved in praying for others, your faith can work better. Because you’re just not always bombarding Me for who?” How many people’s names, or how many needs of other people have you taken before God? “Well, Brother Willis, I don’t know anybody that has any problems!” What? Do you have blinders on, or something? Are you so wrapped up in yourself you can’t see anybody else?
Hey, pray for ME. “Well, Brother Willis, you need prayer?” Well, yeah; for that whatsoever and anything I need to know a lot more. I’m praying for many of you.
Well, I’m going on with the Lord, how about you?