“But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:6-7
I met a girl in Starbucks once, and it was clear that she was having a rough day. Since I was on my way to church, I asked her if there was anything she needed prayer for. She thought for a second and said, “No, I’m ok.” Most of us don’t think about pride in that sense, but I’ve been a part of many conversations where, like this girl, people absolved themselves of the grace of God, reserving it only in case of disaster. When I’m not being intentionally conscious of it, I fall into the same attitude often. Pride is like a little bit of yeast that works its way through the whole batch, convincing me in one area of my life and then another that I’m perfectly capable of handling things on my own, and I don’t need God.
Proverbs tells us to trust in God with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding, but in all our ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct us. (Proverbs 3:5-6) God wants to be honored in every aspect of our life. He wants us to recognize even if we are strong and skillful and our own understanding says we can trust in our abilities, that we can’t even take a breath outside of His sovereignty.
His resistance to pride springs from a deep love that refuses to be excluded from the inner workings of His own creation, and He is willing to fight for His rightful place. He does this by reserving grace for the humble, those willing to acknowledge their weakness and dependence on Him, and allows those who refuse humility to expend themselves, ending in burn-out. Today, we open wide our prideful mindset to His presence, acknowledging just how dependent we are on Him.
Which areas of life rely on your own abilities and rarely acknowledge God’s presence?
How can you begin to honor and acknowledge God in those areas?
Lord, even now, I feel resistance to your grace. I don’t want to need it, and like being seen as strong and capable, without weakness, free from criticism. Forgive my foolishness. I submit to you, laying down the trust I have in myself and acknowledge your desire to have your presence known in every aspect of my life. Give me little reminders through the day of how reliant I am on you and as I experience trial, let your grace be my guide and shield. Amen