Tuesday, September 2, 2008

God opposes the proud

"Don't pray for humility because then God will send things in your life to make you humble." These are words I have heard pastors, teachers, and even myself say to believers many times. It is typically said with some kind of laughter or joking laid into it, but I tend to find the things I joke about and am sarcastic about are really the things I am most serious about. So people who have said this, somewhere in their hearts believe this to be true. 
This morning God dropped an eternal weight on me dealing with humility and how lightly we treat it. I have just begun reading in the book of Isaiah. And in the second chapter of the book God says this through His prophet,

"The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day."

He will also make similar statements two other times in the chapter. These verses led me to turn to James and 1 Peter where they say, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." As I thought about those words I became mortified at myself. I don't take pride and humility with enough seriousness. God opposes the proud. I am still young, but I have lived enough of life to know I don't want God in opposition of me. Instead, I want grace. And I came to realize that I want it so badly that I would take all the humiliating circumstances God brings my way to get it. How dare I ever tell someone not to pray for humility. How dare I tell someone not to pray for the grace of God in their life. I realized every time I have made that statement it has been out of pride. Because the humbling circumstances make me look bad. That is pride and when I read Scripture it says God is standing in opposition to that, which means he is standing in opposition to me.
But, if I pray for humility you know what I get? There may be humbling circumstances and difficulties to face, but in all of that I get grace. And Ephesians says that grace will reflect the infinite glory of God in my life. So this morning I prayed two things:
1) For forgiveness for ever telling people to stand in opposition of God. (The realization I had done this absolutely devastated me, but praise Christ for grace)
2) I prayed for humility. I don't know what it will look like or how it will come but I am positive as God begins to cultivate it in my life grace will abound more and more. And I can't think of anything more I long for.


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