We are studying a subject in our Sunday school class that isn’t very popular, but it is close to God’s heart. Until we surrender and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to us where we need to change and respond to it, we will forever be limiting God in our lives.
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 ability, he has a prideful spirit.
A prideful person promotes himself. He tries to make himself look good. He 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 you when you depend upon His guidance and trust His timing. You don’t have to promote or prove yourself. 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? Are you entirely dependent on Him? Do you trust Him and allow the Holy Spirit to teach and guide you? The humility that you have before God determines the amount of grace you receive.
Pride is also demeaning or debasing yourself. This is false humility. Those that feel the need to demean themselves find their value in the opinion of others instead of God. Remember that humility means you totally trust God and are utterly reliant upon Him. Demeaning yourself and feeling unworthy reveals you don’t trust God.
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. Consider the fact that Jesus told Peter he could have no part of Him if he didn't allow Him to wash his feet. Jesus wished to give a gift to Peter by washing his feet, but Peter's resistance came from pride. Until Jesus explained the result of his refusal (that Peter could have no part of Him), Peter rejected the gift of grace that Jesus offered him. 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.
Looking at where you focus your mind will reveal if you have pride or true humility. When your thoughts are on yourself—whether you promote yourself or think less of yourself, you are thinking 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 your circumstances, you approach God with a humble spirit. You trust God and have His peace (Isaiah 26:3).
Therefore submit to God. 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 dwell on 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—when you say no to Him washing your feet—you limit His grace in your life. When you give God your worries and tell Him that you trust Him, He blesses you with a peaceful heart (Philippians 4:6-7).
When you choose to be less so He can be more, you receive more grace.
© 2021 Lynn Lacher