“STAY LOW” By Pastor YAU
Text: Psalm 34:1-10 June 25, 2006
1) Time to stay low: The National Weather Service advises that if you are ever caught out in the open during a severe lightning storm, you should keel down, bend forward and put your hands on your knees. Then, if lightning strikes nearby, your body will be less likely to serve as a conductor. Your maximum safety depends on keeping a low physical profile.
2) The same principle applies: The Bible has so much to say about keeping a low profile of life in our daily walk with God. Stay low is especially important when life carries us into success or smooth sail otherwise the whirlwinds of pride and self assertion may carry us to downfall and disgrace. When the world hurrahs the strong and the successful, God prefers to see His people stay low in humility when receiving showers of blessing from Him.
IT IS HARD TO STAY LOW:
1) It is against human nature: Pride is a very big part of human nature when it comes to handling success. Many people will assert his ability in having something done as “I made it!” Your heart will applause when you have done something extraordinary saying “You’ve made it!” Man was born with that nature of pride and it will show when time is right.
2) It is against the culture: The world always hurrahs the strong and the successful. It is hard not to be identified and applauded when you have done something extraordinary. While we live in this kind of culture, it is tempting to feel that we deserve the glory and honor that comes with achievement. The world doesn’t honor the humble. You have to stand tall to be recognized.
3) It is a subtle temptation: While we all know it is a sin to have pride and we will try to control that when we are at the verge of falling, the temptation of feeling proud on what we have done is always there on the inside of us. In time, that proud feeling will spill in our words and attitude without our knowing and people can see and feel. It takes a total surrender to God to harness that temptation.
4) It is about the next guy: Competition and comparison may have some virtue in themselves but they can be the driving force for many to stand tall or taller than the next guy. While it is not wrong to do better or best, many people desire to stand tall or taller just to beat the other guy. Some parents couldn’t do it themselves to beat others they will push their children to the brim just to beat the child next door. It is hard not to stand taller than the other guy.
STAY LOW IS GOOD: Besides in time of lightning storms, stay low is good for all people. I am not talking about the spirit of defeat or failure, but I am talking about being humble in time of success.
1) Stay low is biblical: The Bible has so much teaching on being humble when you are successful. It also has so much teaching on the fallouts of pride. God was not please to see King David made counts of his mighty army to show off his military strength as it was his men who won the battles. (2 Samuel 24:10) God was also unhappy when King Hezekiah showed off his riches to his enemies. (2 Kings 20:12-18) When God gave David victories over his enemies and riches to Hezekiah over neighboring kings, He didn’t mean it for them to show off or to feed their pride.
2) Stay low is moral: Almost in all cultures ancient or present, being modest or humble in the face of success is always a virtue. Some may applause success but more will applause humility in success. Striving to stand taller than others with pride is always a sign of being sallow, immature and contemptuous. People with high moral qualities don’t blow horns to arouse attention.
3) Stay low is cordial: Few would like to make friends with people of great pride. That is why many successful and proud people are lonely and isolated. Most people will like to get close to those who are both successful and humble. They feel easy to get close to them and may learn something from their success. Those who try to get close to successful and proud people do so to get something from them. But those who are successful and humble draw many true friends because of their attitude. Few will remember your success but many will remember your humble attitude.
4) Stay low is healthy: There are many factors contribute to a success and personal endeavor is only one of the many. We certainly should do our best to the measure God has given us, but we don’t have to be on the top of all others much less on the world. Being modest or imperfect may not be that bad. It may be good for your health and human relationship—you will have more friends than if you are the sole champion.
STEPS TO STAY LOW: No one may list all the possible steps to stay low, let us examine the text for today and try to draw some insights from the words of a great king, King David. (Psalm 34:1-10)
1) Praise God for your success: “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.” (34:1) If people praise you for things you have done right, direct them to praise God. Only God deserves all the glory and honor.
2) Be humble before the Lord: “My soul will boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and rejoice.” (34:2) If you want to brag about your success, brag about God who is the one behind the scene to make things possible for you so you may achieve.
3) Give all the glory to God’s name: “Glorify the Lord with me, let us exalt His name together.” (34:3) Put the name of the Lord on every success you have achieved. Let people think of and talk about His name, not your name, on all the good things you have done.
4) Acknowledge your fear: (34:4) All of us have fear of failing. All of us have needs we cannot meet. Tell people it is God who delivered you from fear, failure and inadequacy.
5) God saves you from troubles. “This poor man called and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.” (34:6) No man lives his life without troubles. Witness to the world that it is God who hears your prayers and saves you from your troubles.
6) God protects you from harm: “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him.” (34:7) There are many traps and pitfalls in the world, everyone needs protection to go through life and more protection to achieve anything. Give credit to God for His protection to keep you from harms way.
7) It’s all God’s goodness: “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” (34:8) Share your personal experience in God with people. Tell people how good the Lord has been to you. It is His goodness that brings His blessing upon you to carry you through.
8) No one is invincible: “Even the lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good things.” (34:10) Even if you are as strong as lions among all the beasts, you still will grow weak and hungry at times. There will be times when you feel weak and can’t meet your own needs. Unless the Lord provides all the good things you need each day, you won’t go much farther.
1) God opposes the proud: In quoting Psalm 138:6 and Proverbs 3:34, Apostle James said, “That is why the Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’” Be humble, stay low is the sure way to receive grace and blessing from the Lord.
2) Consider others better: Even though you may have achieved something better than others, but there are things others may do better than you. So, Paul advised us “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself.” (Phil. 2:3) If you hold contempt on others, they may hold the same on you.
3) Learn from His example: Jesus had set the sample of being the lowest among all men in coming to this world to save us from our sins. Paul says, “Who (Jesus) being in the very nature of God, did not consider equality with God but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death.” (Phil. 2:6-8) It is because of his being humble and died on the cross that we are saved from our sins.