August 7, 2023

Humility with the Holy Spirit

Written by Boyd Bailey

You can exercise the gifts of the Spirit without walking in the humility of the Spirit.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 7, 2023

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. John 14:16-17, ESV

The disciples struggled with being humble leaders. At times their humility was real and attractive as when Peter declared, “Depart from me; I am a sinful man” (Luke 5:8-10) or when the disciples bowed down in the boat to worship Jesus after He had calmed the seas (Matthew 14:33). But many other times these followers who were the closest to Jesus were insecure, manipulative and ultimately seeking to be chief among them all, in contrast to Paul who humbly confessed later he was the “chief of sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). What a difference humility makes in the mindset of a leader…a selfish desire to be chief among all or a selfless admission of being chief of sinners. The disciples would soon learn that Jesus’ departure would unleash the Holy Spirit to indwell them and empower them with humble hearts. Humility originates in the Holy Spirit’s fullness. 

How could it be that as the disciples walked with Jesus and watched the humble manner in which he loved, healed, and forgave people…that pride was still very real in their words and actions? Or, how could they consistently listen to the Lord’s teaching of Himself being meek and lowly of heart and learn of Him (Matthew 11:29) or how Jesus did not come to be served but to serve (Matthew 20:28), yet still argue who would sit on His left and right in His coming Kingdom? The disciples were not capable of experiencing a consistent humble heart since they did not have the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit to grow and mature this grace in their lives. Only after Jesus ascended to heaven and through prayer in the upper room and at Pentecost did the Holy Spirit descend on the disciples in manifest power! Post ascension, the disciples experienced the fullness of the Spirit and, with humble hearts, prayed believing, preached courageously, served generously, and healed miraculously. Humility flows effortlessly from a Holy Spirit-harnessed heart. There is no room for pride and ego where the Spirit takes residence in a surrendered life.

“He [the Holy Spirit] will glorify me [Jesus], for he [the Holy Spirit] will take what is mine [Jesus’] and declare it to you” (John 16:14).

Andrew Murray calls out professional Christians who lack the Holy Spirit’s fruit of humility,

We may find professors and ministers, evangelists and workers, missionaries and teachers, in whom the gifts of the Spirit are many and manifest, and who are the channels of blessing to multitudes, but of whom, when the testing time comes, or closer intercourse gives fuller knowledge, it is only too painfully manifest that the grace of humility, as an abiding characteristic, is scarce to be seen. All tend to confirm the lesson that humility is one of the chief and the highest graces; one of the most difficult of attainment; one to which our first and chiefest efforts ought to be directed; one that only comes in power when the fullness of the Spirit makes us partakers of the indwelling Christ, and He lives within us.

Humble leaders submit to Christ.

You can exercise the gifts of the Spirit without walking in the humility of the Spirit. This is the beginning of the end for proud leaders who can still see results from fleshly motives and actions but whose heart drifts into self-deception.  Gifted teachers, speakers, and servants of the Lord need intentional accountability with God and others to abide in Christ, to submit to God, and to willfully be under the authorities on earth. Isolation leads to unhealthy habits and the mindset of being bulletproof to bad decisions, but in an authentic community, there is vulnerability and loving accountability for our blind spots. Humility comes from being known and loved and daily surrender to the Spirit’s filling. Under the Spirit’s influence, we live in love, grace and humility.

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:15-21).


Heavenly Father, by faith, fill me with your Holy Spirit and humble my heart to learn of your meekness and lowliness through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, Amen.


Consider these questions as you assess the fullness of the Spirit in your life and your walk of humility: How vibrant is my prayer life? How accessible are others to my heart? How honest am I with myself and others about my strengths and weaknesses? How can I increase accountability as I experience success? How engaged am I in an authentic community? How engaged am I with a Spiritual Director or mentor? How can I grow in my love for God and others?

Related Reading

 John 16:7, 20:22; Ephesians 1:17; Galatians 3:5; 1 John 4:13

Worship Resource

I Am They ft. Cheyenne Mitchell: In Jesus Name (Chapel Sessions, Acoustic)


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