Wednesday, 24 July 2019

God Resists the Proud

Scripture: Micah 6 v 8: "He hath showed thee, O Man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God."

James 4 v 6 - 7: "But He giveth more grace. Wherefore He saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.  Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you." 

As Christians who no longer walk in the ways of the world, but still have to live in it, we need to know how our behaviour should change so that we don't stray across the line God has drawn between us and them.

Pride is a big no-no.  Pride was at the root of Lucifer's defeat, which got him permanently banished from Heaven.  So if we want to be acceptable to the Lord, all pride must go and we must walk humbly with our God.

What does God mean when He says He resists the proud.  To resist means to stand against. When Jesus sees pride rising in us, our prayers, life, finances, relationships and future is jeopardized because He will resist the cries of our heart. 

If you are under pressure on all sides, check to see if pride is your problem.  If so, repent and humble yourself so that His grace can be poured out upon you.  Humility and meekness are not weaknesses, this is when your strengths are under His control.

The Lord requires you to do justly.  Things escalate dramatically when you take matters into your own hands.  Sometimes with fatal or seriously negative consequences.  

When we defer to Jesus, He adds His strength to our weakness as Paul wrote of in 2 Corinthians 12 v 9 - 10: "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."

He wants us to love mercy instead of condemnation.  We need to love as He loves us, and look beyond the flesh that covers the souls, and discern the hearts of those He died for.  We must overcome prejudice, colour, racism, religion and error to reach the lost.  We must follow Jesus into the places He wants us to go to lift up the backsliders.  We must be merciful and look at every situation through His eyes.

He hung on that Cross in agony, nailed there by our sins.  He asked His Father to forgive us as we don't know what we are doing.  He asked for God's mercy.  He took the pain, punishment and death so we could live.  

Why don't we know what we are doing?  The problem with pride is that those who have can never believe that they are doing anything wrong.  They project their failings onto the nearest scapegoat.  They demand perfection in everyone around them, without being anywhere near perfection themselves.

The only solution is to humble yourself before the Lord and put all your strengths, skills, powers and talents under His full control, so that He gets all the glory whenever wonders are performed.  Jesus must always be exalted and praised as is right and proper.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, we seek to open our hearts to the unlovely, unfortunate lost human beings that abound around us.  Let us love them with Your love, and put away the pride that rejects them.  Let us be like Dave Wilkerson who gave up everything to save the gangs of New York.  Let us be like Jesus who gave His life for the lost.  Into our weakness please add His strength. In Jesus' name. Amen.