Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Grace to the Humble

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

When I played football in high school, I was a lineman, both offensively and defensively. My job as a defensive lineman was to put the quarterback down. It would have been an easy task were it not for one thing … I always had opposition. That’s right, there was someone who stood on the other side of the ball thwarting my every move. It’s tough, isn’t it, when you have a competitor blocking your at every turn.

Have you ever thought about God being your competitor, the one who opposes you? I know this may sound a little wonky, but hear me out. The Bible says that God opposes the proud. Could it be that the pushback we feel sometimes is none other than God; that He is the force making it difficult for you?  

Allow me a little “confession time” this morning. I have to check my heart regularly to make sure pride isn’t there. I’m not always good at it because I find myself, at times, in direct conflict with God. It happens mostly when He doesn’t do what I tell Him to do, even after I explain to Him how exceptionally good my plans are. And, yes, there are times when we are at odds because He won’t give me what I want, especially when it doesn’t matter to me how much it may cost someone else. And, don’t get me started on how unfairly I’m being treated. I could burn your ears off with stories about what others have done to me or said about me. I know for a fact that my grievances are more grievous than your grievances because, well, they’re mine. That’s not too prideful, is it?

There is an antidote for this. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble[emphasis mine]. He gives His grace — His help, His strength, His provision, His presence, His peace — to those who humble themselves before Him. 

We have some options here. We can keep walking in pride until God does something to make us humble. That was Nebuchadnezzar’s confession in Daniel 4.37b, “And those who walk in pride He [God] is able to put down.” Or, we can follow James’ instruction and “humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” [4.7].

Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. 1 Peter 5.5

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