Saturday, March 29, 2008

James and Pride

Submit yourselves, then to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4.7-10

When James pictures for us the pride that God hates he does so by countering nearly everything that Pride stands for. Pride is submitted to self. It demands that things be done its own way. Pride wants to operate in autonomy, wiht allegiances only to those things that are plainly beneficial and self serving. Pride wants do anything but submit. The proud person must submit if he/she wants to have a serious walk with God.

Pride plays right in to the devils hands. It is easily stirred up into the flames of pride and causes the enemy to 'hang around.' When Satan sees pride it encourages him to linger near you just a little longer in hopes that the will of god will be thwarted and frustrated in your life by the pride that exists in you. It also prohibits your ability to draw near to God, since you have that devilish arrogance and rebellion hanging on your neck.

It leaves you with hand filthy with guilt and rebellion that can't be washed off without scourning off the pride too. And so the proud heart is incapable of genuijne faith. It can only partially believe and wrestles with doubt and double mindedness. It really demands a change of mind toward yourself and your pride in order to be accepted by God. The greek word for repentance (metanoia) means the change of mind toward something. Often we imagine repentance involving tears and sorrow but this is only the outward expression of the inner change. When someone is truly sorry it is because he has changed his view of a particular thing. The pride that once brought a delight is now scorned for what it really is- illinformed self reliance and haughty condescension toward others. Imagine how foolish it is!

And so the Apostle challenges us to Humble ourselves. humility is the beginning point of our healing from sin and self. It deflects the presence of the Lord and removes the stains of our guilt when we recognize that we cannot undo our predicament. God will ultimately humble all men- but those who humble themselves can live out their lives under the blessing of God in this life- instead of in his face.

1 comment:

rgeorge61 said...

The closer I get to God the more I realize that anything good that comes from me is from him. To think we can do anything without God is foolish. Someone told me how wise I was and I immediately said I am the biggest idiot I know. I think its a great testimony that God can use someone as limited as myself. I don't mind encouragement but I know that pride can overwhelm myself if I feed it. I would rather humble myself before God than to have him do it for me. Do I think little of myself? No, but I know that the flesh is strong and has an unsatiable appetite. The less I feed it the less it reacts but the bottom line is I need to come near to God so he will come near to me. I can do nothing in my own strength. This is not an excuse but a reality. I am selfish through and through and only by sticking by what Gods word says can I live a life pleasing to God. Yes I am being transformed but this flesh desires the things of this world that are contrary to God. Once I think I'm making things happen is when I fail. I must submit my life to God.