Humility is all-important in the life of a Christian. But some have a somewhat unbalanced emphasis on this quality, almost to the exclusion of boldness, zeal, and power in the Holy Spirit.
Being humble is the way in which we receive God's grace (James 4:6). The Holy Spirit has very little to teach the one who lacks true humility (Psalm 25:9). And a mark of true humility is a teachable spirit.
Pride is having a high opinion of oneself, manifested by an arrogant and haughty spirit; or in more subtle ways, such as having "pride in one's humility." True humility comes from having an accurate view of oneself, that is, that we see ourselves as God sees us. And by the grace of God our soulish nature will be subdued, and our personality will manifest itself in meekness and lowliness. When we humble ourselves before God, dead to self, we can receive the power of the Holy Spirit, which is to say that the Spirit of Christ will manifest Himself through us.
And it is important that we understand that, while our hearts are "deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked," we are also "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Jeremiah 17:9; Psalm 139:14). In this vein, among some of God's humble people, there is a lack of boldness, zeal, and power to do the work of the Lord effectively.
We should not confuse pride with boldness and zeal for the Lord. Jesus said that none was greater than John the Baptizer. Yet in boldness John said to the Sadducees, "O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee the wrath to come?" (Matthew 3:7).
After the apostles Peter and John were arrested, as recorded in Acts, it is said of Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, and others that, "...When they saw the boldness of Peter and John...they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus" (Acts 4:13). And later, of other believers Luke recorded, "And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness" (Acts 4:31).
There was no greater apostle than Paul. And yet he requested of the Christians in Ephesus, "...[Pray] for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel...that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak" (Ephesians 6:19-20).
Our Lord Jesus is perfect, and all that He said and did during His earthly ministry was according to the Father's perfect will. He is the Example by which we should live. Jesus was the humblest Man who has ever walked on the face of the earth. And yet He could boldly say things like, "Go tell that fox..." and, "Thou hypocrite" and, "Ye hypocrites" and, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!" and, "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers" and, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer [put up with] you?"
We need mighty men of God today, fervent in spirit and zealous for the Lord to advance the kingdom of God. Paul wrote to the church in Rome, "Be...fervent in spirit; serving the Lord" (Romans 12:10-11). And to the repentant Corinthian church he exhorted, "Ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you...what vehement desire, yea, what zeal...!" (2 Corinthians 7:11). And to the Galatian Christians, "But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you" (Galatians 4:18). And of the humblest Man it is written: "And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them [the merchandisers] all out of the temple...and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables...And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up" (John 2:15, 17).
We need men of God who are filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Speaking of God's humble servant, John the Baptizer, the angel said, "He shall go before him [Jesus] in the spirit and power of Elias" (Luke 1:17). Part of the commissioning of the eleven apostles included these words: "But tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high" (Luke 24:49). And later we read, "With great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 4:33).
Paul wrote, "My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power." "For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power" (1 Corinthians 2:4, 4:20).
Again, a mark of true humility is a teachable spirit. When presented with scriptural truth a humble man does not try to sidestep the issue or try to defend his position. When presented with scriptural truth (which may or may not be in accordance with tradition) the truly humble man says 'Yes Lord' or, at least, 'Lord, help thou mine unbelief.'