St. Hesychios the Priest, On Watchfulness and Holiness, V. 99
Just as it is impossible to fight battles without weapons, or to swim the great sea with clothes on, or to live without breathing, so without humility and the constant prayer to Christ it is impossible to master the art of inward spiritual warfare or to set about it and pursue it skillfully.
Of all the Christian virtues, humility may quite possibly be the most important. Many of the ancient writers and early Church leaders spoke of Jesus’ humility often. Jesus had a way of relating to people, to situations, to life. His humility is unmatched and something many of the Saints have sought after.
Humility and gentleness were considered weapons of spiritual warfare in the early Church. There seems to be no better way to turn away temptations and demons than with a gentle spirit and a humble heart. During his interrogation, Jesus???with great humility???did not say a word. He was beaten and lashed and he yet he kept silent. Christ took his stripes and his condemnation, not because he was weak but because we didn’t know what we were doing, as he reveals in Luke 23.34. What spoke louder than the pain and the evil done against him was his humility.
As our quote above may reveal, we will never win the war for our souls if we do not have humility. It was the arrogance of the Jewish authorities that turned Jesus in; it was the pride of Rome that hung him on the cross. And so it is our own lack of humility that keeps us from breaking through sin’s glass ceiling over us. We may be called sons and daughters of God, but we may never own it or experience it in our hearts without humility.
Listen to the words from Hesychios again, slig
so without humility and the constant prayer to Christ it is impossible to…set about [spiritual warfare] and pursue it skillfully.
In my own translation: If we refuse to take on the humility of Christ and a life of prayer to Him, then we will fail to even attempt a successful way of life that wards off the spirits that seek to destroy the gift of God within us. Our lives become the spoils of war for the devil’s taking when we are not prepared to live as Christ lived. Your attentiveness to your attitude, your way of relating to people, and your discipline to God will determine very quickly where you stand in your spiritual walk.
This may be a little deep tonight, but my point is this: Begin to live with humility in your Christian walk so that you may be ready and able to repel the forces that desire your failure. The Christian life begins and ends with humility.
May God grant you and I the spirit of humility that was in Christ; may we live and walk in gentleness, so as to ward off demons and to win back our souls for today and forever through God’s grace.