Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5
The eternal, universal principle remains: “To get to the top, we must reach for the bottom”. “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Matt. 23:12). The lower down I go, the higher up God will lift me. The lesser I have in myself, the more I receive from God. It is when I am weak in my flesh that I become strong in the spirit.
D.L. Moody once said, “As a young man, I used to think that God’s best gift is placed on the highest shelf and what I needed to do is simply to reach up. But not so now. I have learned that God’s best gift is on the lowest shelf. To get it, I have to stoop down.” The greatest example of this is given to us by Jesus Himself. From Philippians 2:5-8, we see the seven successive, downward steps Jesus took. How Jesus stooped down from a place of equality with God, to the lowest place of dying a criminal’s death on the cross.
(1) Jesus emptied Himself. He laid aside all His divine glory, splendor and majesty.
(2)He took the form of a bondservant. He could have come down to the level of an angel and still be a servant of God but he humbled himself further.
(3) He came in the likeness of man. Jesus made Himself of the same level as the human race. Even then, He could have come to earth in the same perfection Adam had before the Fall. Again He didn’t.
(4) He was found in the appearance of a man. That means Jesus was just like the men of His time. He mingled with the Jews, walked with them and ate with them. He became one of them.
(5) He humbled Himself. Jesus was not born in a noble family. He was not a military commander or a ruler.
(6) He endured the ultimate fate of all men—death!
(7) He died the worst possible death for a man—crucifixion on the cross. Jesus didn’t have the luxury of dying on a sick bed or the comfort of his own home. He died a criminal’s death and suffered the ultimate agony of shame.
That was the total self-humbling of Jesus and Philippians 2:9-11 gives us the results: …God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord….
Jesus is our example. If we humble ourselves like Him, we too can live life successfully and victoriously!