God has been revealing more and more of my pride, and of my tendency to walk with a critical attitude. I see the problem, and I agree with Jesus that my heart needs to change. But I know that only He can do it. I must be willing to obey, and do my part in whatever He asks me to do. But trying to eliminate pride in my own power hasn’t worked. He has me in a season of preparation and learning.
Yesterday in my Sunday School class (adults) I stated that humility is easy to see. You can tell pretty quickly if you are working with, talking to, serving someone who has a humble heart. You can tell if a church congregation is humble, generally on your first visit to their church. But identifying pride in our own lives can be a very difficult thing. Acknowledging our own pride is uncomfortable, humbling, and even painful. Yet I know that my relationship with God is hindered by my pride and I want it gone.
We are studying in Isaiah. We just started this study. Our pastor was telling us that Isaiah was warning the people of Judah about their pride and the consequences that would result because of their pride. God was sick to death of their traditions and festivals and feasts when their hearts were far from Him. He hated their pretense. He turned His face away from their prayers and refused to listen to them.
Pride is a failure to accept and perceive the reality of our utter dependence on God.
Humility makes Christians realize that they have been saved to good works and that good works all proceed from God. It is only pride that makes a Christian think that he or she does not need the Holy Spirit. It is only pride that makes a Spirit Filled Christian think that he or she has received the Holy Spirit because he or she was worthy. Humility is the realization that we receive the Holy Spirit because we are needy, not worthy.
I heard a blip of a sermon when flipping through some radio stations last week. In the 30 seconds that I heard, the preacher was talking about how his prayers are utterly lacking and the thought that our Savior Jesus Christ prayed and needed prayer just blew him away. How much more so do we need prayer? How much more so do we need to humble ourselves before God knowing rightly who He is and who we are before Him?
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. (2 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV)
Pride is a slippery slope and it is very subtle as it encroaches on our hearts. Pray that God will reveal any pride in your heart. Pray that we will not become like those in 2 Tim. 3 who have become lovers of self, having the appearance of godliness but denying its power. It is time to be honest with ourselves. It is time to agree with God and let Him work out His truth in our hearts and in our lives.
Lord, purify for yourself a people who humble themselves and have a right understanding that without you we can’t take our next breath. All that we have is simply grace and mercy from You. All that we are is because of You who created us and sustains us. We deserve nothing but hell. It is only Your great grace – salvation through the blood of Your Son Jesus Christ that we are saved. Thank You Lord for loving us. Help me to stand in awe of that unmerited grace. Amen.
I need God. I’m a mess. He is still working in me and reshaping my heart to be more like Jesus. And I am eternally grateful.
Beloved, humble yourselves. Seek God’s truth in your life. Submit to His work in you. Be encouraged. Press on.
Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:5-11 ESV)