Luke 18:13 (NIV) - “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’”
Here we see an example of this man’s outer posturing matching the inner brokenness he is dealing with. The tax collector has come to repent and seek God’s forgiveness. Humbling oneself before God gets noticed.
1 Kings 21:27-29 (NIV) - “When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly. Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: ‘Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son.’”
When Ahab hears that disaster will fall upon him and his household, his response is immediate. For a man who is described as being set apart in the degree of evil he perpetuated, that there was no one like him in that regards, his response is unexpected. Ahab humbles himself both inwardly and outwardly and God acknowledges his response.
Physical posturing can help us express humility. Being sobered in our emotions/thoughts, fasting, bowing our heads, praying on our knees or praying prostrate with our face to the ground can be ways that help us come humbly before God. Pray today for God’s mercy, help, and transformation in our lives that we would walk humbly before Him. In areas of our lives where there is conviction to turn, let’s turn.
You can also rewatch the children’s animated version of the parable of the Pharisee and tax collector. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ufe6zouTq8g