Listening to the news reports, listening to radio talk show participants, listening to parents and children interact, listening to parents and children at the sports stadium … just listening to what is going on around you reveals, in a nanosecond, that there is an absence of humility in our modern society.
Humility has, from the beginning, been difficult to find among mortal men. Adam and Eve turned their back on humility and sinned when they ate the forbidden fruit in their attempt to “be like God”. Genesis 3:5.
But Scripture reveals that we have no basis to be proud or arrogant.
O LORD, what is man that you regard him, or the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.
According to Scripture, we are temporal, finite; sinners who have absolutely no standing with God. While we may look good to other sinners here on earth, we have no basis to stand puffed up before God.
God is at work in His creation and in my life on a moment by moment basis. He is omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (all over, everywhere), and He has extended His grace to us through Jesus Christ, His Son, and our Savior.
What is the response to this powerful, present Creator God? It certainly should not be strutting our stuff before Him, as if we could accomplish anything without Him!
Rather, it should be the response that Abram had when God told him that He was making a covenant with him. Genesis 17:3 says:
Then Abram fell on his face.
It has been said that Western society is blessed to be steeped in the teaching of Scripture and the person and work of Christ. However, this blessing of familiarity can readily motivate contempt in us for the things of God. Even if we do not consciously disregard the Lord, when we fail to marvel at the Father’s grace, simply because we hear of it every week, we must be careful not to fall into a subtle and powerful form of contempt.
Canon 6 of the Council of Orange says:
“…if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, “What have you that you did not receive?” (1 Cor. 4:7), and, “But by the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Cor. 15:10).
We must beware of Satan’s subtle urging that we take credit for our salvation, that we believe that we are not dependent upon God for our very existence, that we forget exactly what we are – sinners, deserving of punishment from a Just God. Satan does not want us to remember that, even though sinners, we have been rescued from that punishment by the grace and mercy of God which is extended to us through belief in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Someone who is drowning and is virtually unconscious of his plight should not become arrogant when a stranger jumps into the water and rescues him from death. Rather, there should be a recognition that he was unable to do anything to save himself and that the rescuer is due great honor for the valor extended on his behalf.
This is a picture of us, Beloved. We were drowning in sin and stuck in the mire of evil deeds, thoughts and desires. Jesus through God’s providence rescued us – we had nothing to do with it because it is all God’s grace. There is no basis for us to become proud, holier than thou, arrogant or puffed up in ourselves.
Take time to meditate on the greatness of our God and His love for us.
This is the antidote for us to defeat Satan’s maneuver against us. In humble submission to Christ, thank Him for His love and grace.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
The Good Shepherd wants you to come to Him as a lamb, one of the most humble of creatures. Rest in Him as He holds you in His arms.
Father, I pray that You would forgive me when I have slid into a pattern of placing myself before You. The reality that the God of the Universe knows me, loves me, and sent His Son to die for me calls for nothing other than humble obedience, reverence, love and awe.