Pride’s Antidote
by Drawing Near to God
02.12.24
02.12.24

“The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.”
Proverbs 16:5

Yikes! God detests those who are proud. It’s hard to imagine our Lord as someone who ‘hates,’ but scripture is clear; He does. He hates tongues that lie and gossip, hearts that devise wicked schemes, and thoughts that lead to evil action. But pride…pride is believed to be one of the greatest sins of them all. Pride convinces us to take matters into our own hands, to side with the world and become empowered by its temptations. Pride is that inner voice that whispers, “I know best, my way is better.” Pride is an enemy of God because it convinces us that we can live without Him. Pride is a trap!

God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
James 4:6

This week at Teaching & Worship we continue our study of James chapter 4:6-12. James begins by emphasizing God’s sufficiency and patience; that His grace is abundant, never ending, and readily available. But then James points out that this gift of grace is two-fold. Yes, God always has more grace to give; but, in order for us to receive it, we must do our part. We, too, have a responsibility in upholding our relationship with God. So, what is this responsibility? According to James, we must be humble, and we must obey.

Here we stand at a crossroad. For us to move forward, to take this humble walk with God, we must proceed without an ounce of hesitation that we belong to Him. We must resist the enemy, draw closer to God, and exchange our plan for His. James insists that we clean up not just our exterior, “wash your hands,” but also our interior, “purify your hearts” (4:8).

If we truly want to experience all that God has for us, we must allow Him to lead us down into the lowest place of self-centeredness and greed so that we can be lifted back up renewed, refreshed, and purified. Humbling ourselves before God prepares us for the journey and releases us from any selfish desires. There is no room for pride. After all, His approval is the only one that matters.

This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, a holy day of prayer and fasting. It’s a season of repentance, reflection, and preparation; preparation for the resurrection of Christ. Many Christians use this time to ‘give up’ something, to fast in order to draw closer to Him, a time to set aside the self. It’s common to give up something we love like chocolate or coffee; but are we only giving that up for ourselves? What if we give up something for Him? What if we give up…pride?

“Blessed are the humble, for they shall inherit the earth.”
Matthew 5:5

The antidote to pride is humility and its humility that ushers in God’s abundant grace. Friends, His plan for us is far greater than ours. Together, we can take action against the enemy so that we can experience a deeper relationship with Him. After all, it’s our responsibility.

 

God Bless

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