Our violent pursuit of God must be wedded to a gentle and humble spirit. Humility is the foundation of all prayer. Humility says, “Lord, I am empty without Your fullness; I am broken without Your wholeness; I am helpless without Your strength; I am clueless without your wisdom. Apart from You I am nothing. I need You! I need You so desperately that I am pouring myself out to You here in the secret place.”
Prayerlessness is the first sign of prideful independence. We begin to trim back on our secret time with God when we’re feeling great about ourselves, energetic and optimistic about our future, and confident about the path we’re taking. It’s the first sign that we’re getting full of ourselves.
This morning, even before I knew I would be writing this chapter today, I was enjoying the words of Agur, who wrote, “Surely I am more stupid than any man, and do not have the understanding of a man. I neither learned wisdom nor have knowledge of the Holy One” (Proverbs 30:2-3). The wisdom of Agur was in having a proper self-assessment of his own stupidity. Would to God that we all owned that same awareness! It would drive us back to our knees, back to the source of all wisdom, back to “the only wise God.” If He alone is wise, where does that place us?
Once you see His greatness and your bankruptcy, there comes great joy in humbling yourself before the Lord. With what delight the elders cast their crowns at the foot of the throne! They take what represents the aggregate compilation of all their achievements and throw it all down at the feet of Him from whom it all proceeded in the first place. He gave it to us that we might give it all back to Him. None of this was our idea, it all started with Him and it all ends with Him. He is everything, and as we are joined to Him the poverty of our personal identity is lost in the fullness of His eternal greatness.
David wrote, “O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory” (Psalm 108:1). We know He is referring in this verse to his secret place because his term “my heart is steadfast” was always used of his personal commitment to being alone with his God. He abandoned his heart to God, so he said, “with my glory.” What was David’s glory? It was the sum total of his attainments. David had the glory of a king—wealth, honor, prestige, dignity, splendor, and power. He also had the glory of being a psalmist and a prophet. He took the total of all God had given him and made him, and presented it to God in song and praise. The greater his prestige, the greater the joy he had in surrendering that to the majesty of God. What a privilege to lay all our life attainments at His feet in profound awareness of His all-surpassing greatness! The greater I am, the more joy I have in taking that greatness and bowing it before Him. “And the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it” (Revelation 21:24).
He dignifies us that we might have something to lay before Him in humility and devotion. God dignifies us—with sonship, glory, acceptance, royalty, purpose, significance, wealth, honor, salvation, wisdom, revelation, understanding, status, character, holiness, victories—so that we might enjoy the highest privilege of casting it all at His feet. What a holy privilege is ours, to come into the throneroom of His presence and empty ourselves of all dignity by prostrating ourselves before Him, worshiping Him with our entire being.
The servant of God who owns his nothingness finds no greater joy than searching out ever-increasing ways to humble himself in the presence of the Almighty One. “‘And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight’” (2 Samuel 6:22). Throw yourself at His feet today; He is worthy of the highest praise!