I believe that both humility and obedience intent is single minded and purposeful in that these two virtues were intended to get us all to the same place, and that is, in Christ, in the Father, our safe place from sin, self, and the world. We recognize from scripture that we are already in Christ however, and in most of our lives, this daily knowing or experience of our unique union and relationship with Christ goes without much awareness or attentiveness on our part and certainly is due to our spiritual ignorance, and the main cause for a feeble walk. Therefore God has to take measures to provide us with the knowledge and understanding of the position He has sacrificially given to us so we can by faith know Jesus as our source for walking upright and holy before the Father, that is, in Christ. To do so humility and obedience play an most important role in each of our lives and certainly are the primary stepping stones, along a spiritual path, that we must go down if we are to realize some level of spiritual maturity.
As we read in scripture, or in the latest popular Christian book, or hear from our local Pastors that we need to obey God, and walk humbly before Him, and this is true, however what is usually missing from these petitions from many pulpits is the how-to. Certainly all of us have attempted to obey God, and to humble ourselves endeavoring to discipline ourselves for Jesus sake yet without too much success. Neither do some possess an internal passion to obey, or to seek God, and after a certain level of frustration with ourselves many fallback into a position of grace; not communicated, but contractual, because we have not discovered Gods communicated grace in Christ yet. This position helps us with our guilt feelings for a time, however the faith in us compels us on, that is, if there is any smattering of life in us. Why do you think that there are some many “grace” mega churches these days that teach those with itching ears things they want to hear that they might feel good about themselves, it is because these Christians are tired of their personal failures, tired of making no real progress, absent of any true kingdom life, they are spiritually bankrupt, guilt ridden, and frustrated, therefore, to quiet this inner voice that is attempting to stir them on into Christ, and into living a holy life, they have fallen back into a position of “grace”.
There may be a right opinion of God without either love or one right temper toward Him. Satan is a proof of this. Wesley.
However, we see Jesus, whose obedience to His Father had much passion, love, capability, and commitment, i.e. it was personal and relational, and had more to do with not wanting to displease His Father than incurring His wrath, i.e. a Father and Son relationship. A child who is afraid of its dad, fearing his discipline, has not experienced his dads love. Love certainly has much more freedom, and is characteristically motivated out of not wanting to displease the one you love, something along the lines of seeking your dads approbation. Yet the key to these things in not in us, our old nature, or self-life, it is in Christ, for He loves His Father and has a heart and mind to obey Him, and He has personally humbled Himself and preferred the Father in His life . Therefore, we are all in need of God’s help us to see, understand, and know that He has raised us up, and made us to sit with His Son in whom we now can partake of His life. However what these itching ear Christians have not understood is that in all these failures God has made allowance, that is, in Christ redemptive work therefore though we fail it is intended for our good, not that God had anything to do with our failures or sin but He patiently waits until we can hear Jesus words, through the Spirit, say, blessed is he that is poor in spirit for his is the kingdom of God. Charles H Spurgeon. The Beatitudes,
Christ is never precious till we are poor in spirit, we must see our own wants before we can perceive his wealth; pride blinds the eyes, and sincere humility must open them, or the beauties of Jesus will be forever hidden from us. The strait gate is not wide enough to allow that man to enter who is great in his own esteem; it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a man conceited of his own spiritual riches to enter into the kingdom of heaven