God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
—1 Peter 5:5b-7, (NKJV)
True humility is being totally dependent on God. A person who chooses to humble himself under the mighty hand of God realizes that he can do nothing in his own strength. When a person trusts in his ability above God's knowledge, he has a prideful spirit. A person who promotes himself believes that he is the author of his success. God’s power doesn’t flow through someone who does things his own way. Exalting yourself never invites God’s grace. God exalts when you depend upon His guidance and trust His timing. You don’t have to promote or prove yourself. Remember that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
“But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble’” (James 4:5, NKJV). God gives more grace to the humble. Do you need more grace in your life? How are you before God? Are you entirely dependent on Him? Do you trust Him? The humility that you have before God determines the amount of grace you receive.
Humility is not debasing or demeaning yourself or having low self-esteem. Remember that humility means you totally trust God and are utterly reliant upon Him. He directs your life. You seek Him in all things. Demeaning yourself and feeling unworthy can actually be pride. Hang with me here. Look at Peter in John 13 telling Jesus he wasn't worthy enough for Jesus to wash his feet, and Jesus told Peter if he didn't allow Him to wash his feet, Peter could have no part of Him. Not allowing Jesus to wash his feet was not humility in Peter. Think about the fact that the Lord told Peter he could have no part of Him if he didn't allow Him to wash his feet. Jesus wished to grace Peter by washing his feet, but Peter's resistance came from pride. Until Jesus explained the result of his refusal, Peter rejected the grace that Jesus offered him. Remember that God gives grace to those who are humble and resists those who are proud. Pride is not just arrogance. In its simplest form, it is nothing but self-centeredness. If you focus on yourself believing you are less than others or focus on yourself thinking you are better than others—either way—it is just pride.
Looking at where you focus your mind will reveal if you have pride or humility. When your thoughts are on yourself—whether you promote yourself or think less of yourself, you are consumed with thoughts of “you.” It doesn't matter if you are focused on what makes you great or what makes you weak. You are thinking about yourself! God desires your thoughts to be on Him. When your mind focuses on God—instead of what you want or your ideas or your failures or your feelings or situation, you approach God with a humble spirit.
“Therefore submit to God,” James wrote, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:7-8, NKJV). The only way you can draw near to God is with a humble spirit. You don’t have to prove yourself to God. Resist the temptation to think about yourself. Just cast your cares upon Him because He cares for you. When you cast your cares upon the Lord, that tells God you need Him, and that is humility. God didn’t make you able to handle things without Him. When you hold your life back from God, you limit His grace in your life. When you give God your worries, you tell God that you trust Him, and He blesses you with a peaceful heart. Not only does He take your fears, but you also humble yourself and receive more grace.
When you understand your relationship with God, you won’t need to promote yourself or suffer from feelings of insecurity. You will humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. His grace will be yours. You will experience His favor—not based on anything you have done or haven't done.
You receive more of God's grace when you choose to be less so He can be more.
©2020 Lynn Lacher