Before I get into the article, please allow me to mention that if you desire the full teaching which contains more insights, please watch the video version, as the article is just a summarized version of the recording. For those of you who prefer reading, just keep scrolling down.
The Relationship Between Humility and Elevation:
Do you want God to elevate you? Then choosing the backseat is the way to go. That may sound counter-cultural but that is the way of elevation in the Kingdom of God.
For Jesus said: “But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’ then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” – Luke 14:10-11
It takes a man/woman who is secure in his/her relationship with God to not only trust that God knows the timing of their elevation, but to also trust that God will not waste their season of fruitfulness.
Beloved, God has determined a timing for all things, including your elevation..
Furthermore, when God is the One exalting you, there is no man on earth or devil in the air that can stop it. Even better, it comes with much greater honor and grace.
You must only trust that if you walk with Him daily, He will cause your fruit to show in due season. In other words, He will cause whosoever He pleases to identify what you carry in their own season of need or opportunity.
That also implies that they be sensitive and obedient to the Lord to recognize the time of their visitation. Likewise, it takes the farmer to discern the maturity of the fruit to profit from it. But if he does not, some bystander will come and eat it.
Consider the trees. They never worry about not bringing forth fruit, instead it is expected of them to bear fruit. Trees are not even foretold their season of fruitfulness, instead that information is only known to the farmer. Trees simply abide, feed off the ground, the sun, and the water, and in their appointed season God causes their fruit to show. If you think about it: the farmer is under greater obligation to know the appointed season, because trees do not eat of their own fruit.
This explains why the Psalmist said of the righteous: “His delight is in the law of the Lord; in His law does he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season, and his leaf also shall not wither, and whatsoever he does shall prosper.” - Psalm 1:2-3
Beloved, God has appointed a season for you, and there is a specific kind of fruit that He is cultivating in you. Trust in God and not in your own understanding. Corporately as the body of Christ, we are entering into a season of great fruitfulness and harvest. But each of us individual trees must trust that the time and manner of our revealing will be unique.
We must remember that God is the Farmer, and He knows the season(s) appointed for our fruit to mature and to be needed. The fruit that God wants to mature in you in order to use you powerfully may not necessarily be the one you are striving to produce because it is trendy. Remembering this will help us stay away from the snare of vain comparisons that cause striving in the flesh. Every fruit has its own potency and benefits, and no fruit is envious of another.
Every time I was publicly exalted by the Lord, I went into the situation not desiring to be seen and literally choosing the backseat. Not because I am shy, but because I simply came to receive from the Lord without announcing myself. Each time, the Lord Himself announced me to one of the hosts and they called me forward.
Recently, I visited a church in Minneapolis. I took my family with, and though there were many open seats near the front row, I chose to sit on the very last row on the far back. At the end of the message, the pastor went up to close the service in prayer. While standing on the pulpit she asked me to come do it in her stead. I thought maybe she knew who I was. So, I went up and prayed, in French.
At the end of the service, the pastor came and said this to me: “While I was up there trying to close the meeting, the Lord pointed you to me and said ‘This is My servant. Have him come on the pulpit to close this service in prayer.’” She continued: “So, I obeyed. Who are you? And what do you do for a living?” Clearly, she did not know me at all. Long story short, I was asked to come back the following Sunday to preach the Word of the Lord to the congregation. The Lord moved powerfully that Sunday, and there are many things that were birthed from that encounter.
I shared this personal testimony not to brag, but to give a practical application of this spiritual principle before closing in prayer. But before I do, I want you to know that there are many biblical examples of this as well.
David was not home when the prophet Samuel came to his father’s house looking to anoint the future king of Israel. David’s father desired one of his sons to be the next king and he did not consider David. Except, there is only one son who was content with keeping the sheep and spending time with the Lord at the back of the farm. As you guessed that was David, and he is the one that God chose instead of the ones that were paraded in front of the prophet Samuel through human agency.
Moses too, was called by God while wandering at the back of the desert. After failing to deliver his fellow Hebrews in his own strength, he left the prominence of the palace in Egypt and took a backseat in the desert. After working out humility in his Moses’ heart, God came and called him back to that very task.
What about Jesus? Though He was King, He came not to be served but to serve. As a result, the Father elevated Him above all thrones, above all principalities, above all dominions, and above all of creation. Hallelujah!
Activation: Do you want God to elevate you?
Pray with me, out loud if you can:
“Father, I repent for trying to make things happen on my own. You have numbered my days and You hold my times and seasons in your hands. I choose, like a tree, to abide in You by feeding on Your word and Your Holy Spirit. I trust in Your faithfulness, knowing that certainly, You will cause my fruit to be seen in my appointed season. I also pray that You will cause those who are supposed to benefit from my fruit to recognize their time of visitation, and if not, that the hungry bystander will eat of my fruit to satisfaction, for You will not let my fruit go to waste. I no longer worry about when and how You will exalt me. I only trust in the certainty that You will exalt me in due time, so long as I abide in You. I let go of control, I let go of the need to be seen, and instead I receive Your grace. Thank you, Jesus, Amen!”
Beloved, go and bear fruit, knowing that cultivation takes time and only the Farmer truly knows the tree’s season of fruitfulness. You only be obedient to feed off Him (the Great Farmer) day and night.
Dr. Ulrich Tofack