walk in the word
God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
Did you know that there are some things that you can do knowingly or unknowingly that actually repel God’s presence in your life? There are times when He will not show up, when we turn Him off and push Him away. If you want to make choices that actively attracts God’s presence in your life, then you’ve got to understand where the real war is.
It’s inside. James 4:1 asks, “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?” James isn’t talking about church members here; he’s talking about the war within yourself—in the very fabric of who you are.
The real problem is pride. “I want it; I deserve it; I will have it; and I don’t care what it costs or who it hurts.” And it has devastating consequences. What significant human problem does not begin with pride?
Take this “Do-I-have-a-pride-problem?” quiz: YES or NO
1. Have you been thinking of someone else who desperately needs to read this? “Martha sure needs to read this. She is so prideful!” Yes or No
2. Do you think you are better than some people? A different nationality, a different social class, a different marital status? Yes or No
3. Do you think you are incapable of certain sins? Are there some sins that you feel pretty sure in your heart you will never commit? Yes or No
4. Are you harder on other people than you are on yourself? Yes or No
5. Do you think about yourself a lot? How you appear? What people think of you? How you are fitting in? Yes or No
6. Do you resent taking this quiz or refuse to participate? Yes or No
If you answered yes to six of the questions, you have a pride problem.
If you answered yes to two through five of the questions, you have a pride problem.
If you answered yes to one or none of the questions, you have a very big pride problem.
Do we have a pride problem? Yes, we really do. The sad truth is that pride is always the problem when we struggle with intimacy with God. Pride is God-repellent.
That said and accepted, I’m ready to move on to the good news.
God shows up when we are humble.
James 4:6 “But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” What does that mean “God resists the proud?” Resists is a military term depicting a full army ready for battle. Like a boxer just in the ring. Like a knight just on his horse. Like a soldier just out of his trench with his eyes ablaze and his bayonet ready. God is opposed to the proud. Our pride brings certain defeat. It’s a very scary picture.
But notice the word, “but.” This is one of the greatest contrasts in the all of Scripture. I am so thankful for it. “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Isn’t that good news? In the midst of this big problem, God wants to help us. He is tirelessly on our side. He never falters in respect to our needs. He always has more grace to give. His resources are never at an end. His patience is never exhausted. His initiative never stops. His generosity knows no limit. He gives more grace.
Our Almighty God is willing to do everything possible to help you get free from the debilitating consequences of your pride if you come to Him with an attitude of dependence. The question is are you willing to let Him do the things that He needs to do to make that change in your life?
Humility is not putting ourselves down. Humility is recognizing the sufficiency of Christ. It is recognizing that we are nothing without Him.
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