Humble Yourselves

In 2 Chronicles 33:12, we find these verses regarding King Manasseh: “In his distress he sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea.” Now, just so you understand how incredible God is and how powerful humility is, go back to the beginning of the chapter and read how wicked this king was. He was very evil and did not follow in his father’s footsteps. He even sacrificed his own children in the fire! And now that he has been captured and is in the hands of the Assyrians, he is humbled and seeks the favor of the Lord. My first thought was “Who are you to seek God’s favor?” and “Why in the world would God even hear your prayer?” I don’t think those are unrealistic questions. Perhaps you are thinking the same thing. In our humanness, we cannot even comprehend how God could forgive someone for turning against him and for being so wicked. And we certainly feel it is a little presumptuous to ask God for favor after you finally reap the consequences of your actions. But lucky for us we are not God! There is something about this act of humbling ourselves that touches God’s heart and causes him to answer prayers. To humble yourself means to lay aside your pride. It means to have a right view of yourself. It doesn’t mean to tell God how worthless you are and abase yourself. It means to finally see yourself through God’s eyes, the way he sees you. Do you think you would have pride in all your accomplishments if you saw them through the Creator’s eyes? Could you really pat yourself on the back and brag about yourself if you saw your sinful heart through the holy eyes of God? When you pray, ask God to open your eyes to see yourself the way he sees you. Humble yourself before him and ask him to forgive you for your pride and for trusting in your own wisdom instead of looking to him for guidance. Let him create a clean heart within you. He can and will forgive you for your sins, no matter how bad they are, if you come to him humbly and repent. Only when you humble yourself will God be moved and listen to your plea.

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