~ This blog post is an adapted excerpt from a sermon by Brad Ettore. You can hear the whole sermon, The Role of Humility in Our Lives (part 8), from Agathos Church – a non-denominational Christian Church in Columbus, Ohio by clicking here.
Humility, in the eyes of God, is immensely valuable! For this reason, as believers, we should be pursuing humility. Not just aquatinted with it – but pursuing it!
“The Lord resists the proud” (James 4:6, 1Pe 5:5). Need we say anything else about it? God RESISTS (stands against, actively opposes) the proud! God actually takes a pro-active position to resist anyone who steps into pride. Anyone – that includes you and me! That alone should motivate us to have nothing to do with pride ever again!
Perhaps we are aware of our pride historically, but we are not aware of God’s “resistance” towards us historically. We may know pride is bad and want to move away from pride, yet we may have trouble relating to being “opposed” by God. We may think “I know I have operated in pride before, but I can’t say I have really ever been opposed . . .” If you are feeling like that, simply ask yourself “do I believe the Word of God?” Secondly, consider “how can you possibly know what you do not know?” In other words, how can you know if you have been resisted? You may think “I have received grace from God.” But, how much more grace would you have received up until this point had you always walked in humility? How many times have I been opposed because of pride? I don’t even know. But here is what I do know – the Word of the Lord is clear – “God opposes the proud.” So if you have been proud, you have been opposed. God said He does it – so that is what He does. God keeps His Word. “The Word of the Lord proves true!” (Ps. 18:30)
Every single time we step into pride, we just lost an opportunity for grace.
We don’t even know how much grace we have missed out on – because what we missed out on never came! Next time you are given a prime opportunity to practice humility, ask yourself “do you want your Father resisting you or do you want His grace?” Sometimes we get in the heat of a moment and we manage to keep our mouth shut – but that does not necessarily mean we are acting in humility. Sometimes we keep our mouth shut but are still completely full of pride on the inside. God is dealing with the hidden man of the heart. He cares about the inward man. When we say “no” to pride, compassion comes to us for others! And another beautiful thing comes to us as well – God’s grace!!!
We would see the goodness of God in our lives more frequently – on a daily basis – if we would make the decision to say “no” to pride and “yes” to humility!
We may question whether some good things are truly the “grace of God” or not, but according to James 1:17 “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” Everything given that is good and every perfect gift – they come from God. Good things come by the grace of God! Humility, therefore, gives us access to those good things!
Let us cultivate opportunities for God’s grace in our lives by cultivating humility in our hearts!