Pride and Humility
Brothers and sisters.
Before I begin I would like to make aware of something that I have personal experienced and maybe you have also.
The saying is true - familiarity breeds contempt.
Whether it’s at home, at work or with friends.
We can so easily begin to grow complacent, ungrateful and despise our situations.
Being in the same environment week in week out, speaking to the same people, listening to the same style of music and listening to the same word of God.
It may feel like we are just going through the motions.
It may just feel like that we have to listen to another unmoving speech to something we already know.
But, we must remember, we must have in our minds that when Jesus said where 2 of you gather in my name I am present.
Our Lord is here with us.
The speaker is up here because God has allowed him to be up here.
There may be something that the Lord wants to teach us and cannot as we don’t expect it, or we don’t believe it or because we don’t pray for it.
We must expect and believe that God will do something amongst us.
Whether it is a new revelation of truth previously unknown.
A conviction of sin we were not aware of or a sense of His presence.
Familiarity does not limit God, we do.
As Jesus said in Matt 9: 29 - According to your faith let it be to you.
Today I would like to talk about two attributes. Both are present with us today and both are fighting for supremacy.
The first attribute I want to talk about repels God.
It is an attribute that God hates and as it is the most emphatically condemned sin in the scriptures.
This attribute is close to our hearts.
This attribute destroys our relationships with other people and with God.
It destroys the unity in churches and families.
It ruins our faith, prevents the gospel from going out and hardens our hearts.
It prevents us from learning and stops us from becoming more Christ like.
This attribute is the essence and root of all sin.
Does not lead to true repentance.
This attribute seeks only what it desires and is interested in.
From the poorest of the poor, to the richest of the rich who seem, this attribute can be easily seen.
It is something we cannot overpower or beat it on our own effort.
The second attribute I want to talk about, attracts God.
It is an attribute that is far from my heart and also from yours.
Without this attribute God cannot be seen in us.
It is clearly visible where there is church unity and healthy families.
It increases faith, makes us more effective witnesses for Christ and opens our hearts to his truth.
The world does not know this attribute and thinks of it as foolishness.
True holiness cannot be achieved without this attribute because it is the essence of holiness.
This attribute can be clearly seen in those who trust Gods character, focuses on Christ and his atoning work.
People with this attribute are seen to be never seeking their own agenda, recognition or glory.
They are gentle and patient and are always giving thanks to God.
This attribute enables a true servant attitude.
This attribute wants to be nothing and seeks nothing.
Does anyone want to be courageous and take a guess at what these attributes are?
Lets us begin our examination of these two attributes, starting with pride.
I will be going through a large number of scriptures in order to gain a bigger picture of pride and also of humility.
A few scriptures will not do them justice, so please be ready to write them down as corporately we wont have time to go through each one.
I have already given you a glimpse of how terrible pride is and can be, if allowed to fester.
Now we are going to dive deeper into the pool of pride and find out its essence.
As already mentioned pride is the one sin that is strongly and emphatically condemned in scripture and yet it baffles me as to why it isn’t taught and preached about more often.
But it doesn’t stop at the lack of preaching or teaching, as it is a topic that is rarely mentioned if at all in conversations,
Or given any considerable space in our thinking.
When was the last time you talked about pride in your life?
When was the last time you even thought about how prideful you are and where in your life there is evidence of it?
The honest answer would be either never, not enough or only when you are condemning it in others.
We should never be thinking do I have it, we should always be asking, where is it?
We may also be repenting and confessing our pride and yet still be unaffected by it, still not be convicted by it.
Only until recently have I been thinking and reading about it.
Only until recently have I been convicted to learn more about it in order to work towards removing it from my life.
But I have always been an expert on pride because I am a prideful person and have been for my entire life.
The more I learn about pride the more I see it in areas of life I didn’t even realise it existed.
It creeps into every aspect of life, it’s in our families, it’s there amongst our friends and colleagues, it is right here with us in Church and it is also with the poorest of the poor.
It has no limits and no one is immune.
We need to know about pride, to recognise it in ourselves and in our brothers and sisters, in order to work together to remove it.
You may question, why, why do I or we need to learn about pride?
Why do I need to learn about something that makes me feel uncomfortable when all I want is to hear a feel good message?
Jeremiah 50:31 See I am against you, O arrogant one.
Proverbs 6:16-17 There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable (or are an abomination NKJV) to him; haughty eyes is top of the list.
Proverbs 8:13 To fear the lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance.
Proverbs 16;18 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
James 4:6 God opposes the proud.
1 John 2; 16 NKJV The pride of life is not of the Father but is of the world.
God is against the proud. He opposes the proud. They are an abomination.
He hates pride. Pride is not from the Father. Pride goes before destruction.
Here are some of the emphatic language our God uses to express his heartfelt hatred and condemnation of pride.
Being children of light, acknowledging God as our Father we too should feel the same HATRED.
We too should want to eradicate it and destroy it.
We cannot sit by and ignore it in our lives, we cannot continue going through life ignorantly unaware, because God opposes the proud.
Not making the effort to removing it from our lives and not hating pride, only reveals our ignorant and prideful hearts.
It only reveals how accustomed we are to it.
And it only reveals how comfortable we are in it.
God has warned us and has demonstrated what the wise man has prophetically announced.
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
There are many examples in scripture where people have fallen from their heights because of pride.
We only have to look at Daniel 5; 18-30 and read how Nebuchadnezzar was greatly blessed by God with greatness, glory and splendour.
He had power, authority and a high position.
But in verse 20 something happens. He was removed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory.
Why?? His heart became arrogant and hardened with pride!!
Again in 2nd Chronicles 26; 16 Uzziah, king of Judah became powerful and guess what, his pride led to his down fall.
And again in 1st Samuel 18:7-10 King Saul couldn’t stand David getting higher recognition and glory for the victory over the Philistines, became angry and jealous.
Guess what, the next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully upon Saul, which led to his downfall.
The saying is true, pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
Whether it is in a business, in a family, in a church, in a country, pride always comes before a fall.
Our God is a merciful God.
Out of his Great Love for us He has given us many warnings of the perils of pride and of its destiny.
Why does God hate pride so much?
Why is it so offensive to Him? Why does He have to deal with it so severely?
In order to find that out lets turn together to Isaiah 14;12-15.
Isa 14;12-15 How you have fallen from Heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High’. But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.
Whether this is referring to Satan’s actual fall from Heaven or to the story of Nebuchadnezzar, who when he wanted to be more then a man, was justly turn into a brute, is debatable.
But what causes the fall either of Satan or Nebuchadnezzar is clear.
What we are looking at here is the essence of pride.
The verse begins with the consequence of pride, the inevitable and unpreventable fall.
The very root of pride is in the heart, that’s its home and there is the problem…
“I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly;
I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High’.
I will do what I please, I will follow my dreams and my interests, I will seek recognition and glory. I will, I will.
Here is the essence of pride, self.
It is the elevation and over-inflated view of self to the position and status of God.
It is love of self and it is a form of self-worship and idolatry.
God hates pride because pride opposes God.
Pride despises God, hates God and goes against God.
Pride is unconcerned with the glory of God and concerned with self-glorification.
It does not allow God to be God because it will not subject itself to God.
It instead wants to be God and it will not allow itself to be reigned over.
It tries to dispose God off his rightful throne of Kingship and lordship in Heaven and over our lives.
It dishonours God and destroys man.
It ruins the relationship man has with God and with which man has with man.
Five times is the phrase “I will” mentioned as self is elevated and put before God.
Pride is everything to do with self, whether you think too highly or too lowly of yourself.
It is self that wants the glory, the exaltation, control, recognition, position and power.
It is unnatural to Gods created beings, as we have nothing to be proud of.
Everything we have, has only been received.
There is no truth in it.
It is deceptive and full of lies.
Thomas Watson is quoted to have said “pride seeks to ungod God.”
John Stott and Andrew Murray both agree that pride is at the core of every sin, it is more than the 1st of the 7 deadly sins; it is itself the essence of all sin.
If we did not break the first commandment we wouldn’t break the other 9 because it all originates with were the heart is.
This is the evil of all evils.
This is why God warns us, to protect us from its deceptive and destructive powers.
We need to be aware of it and we need to confront it, even though it may make us feel uncomfortable or convict us to have to do something about it.
All the wars, bloodshed, selfishness, broken families, suffering, broken churches, all its ambitions and jealousy, all its broken hearts, all its daily unhappiness, have their origins in this cursed pride, either our own or that of others.
What a horrible and terrible thing pride is.
It deserves its destruction.
Do you hate it yet? Are you disgusted by it?
Lets bring pride closer to home and ask the question, where is it pride in our lives?
It manifests itself in so many areas and in so many ways.
As you listen to the following, pray that God will speak to you and reveal to you where pride is in your life and for his help to remove it.
I will be the 1st one to admit I am guilty of all of the following.
Please write the titles and scriptures down as I won’t be turning to them.
Pride can manifest itself in the lack of gratitude. (2 Chronicles 32:25 and Matt 20: 1-16).
Proud people usually think they deserve what is good and see no reason to be thankful for what they receive.
They tend to be critical, complaining and discontent, when they don’t get what they want.
They can be cynical and pessimistic and always talking about what could be better.
They love to receive and there is very little thought of giving.
Proud people are not in the practice of being thankful to God or to others.
Pride can be seen where people talk too much and talk too much about themselves. (Prov 10:19 and 27:2).
Proud people who talk too much, often do so because they think what they have to say is more important than what anyone else has to say.
Those who talk too much about themselves want the conversation to centre on them.
Always talking about their accomplishments, successes, activities, bragging and boasting.
Very rarely do they seek to hear others speak and when they are listening, their attention is focused on the next thing they want to say.
Pride can be seen in people who are consumed by the care what others think of them. (Gal 1:10).
Some proud people are too concerned about the opinions and affirmation of others.
Much of their decisions in life, is based on what others think.
They are in continual pursuit of gaining the approval and esteem of others.
They are only concerned with their glory and reputation and not with the glory of God.
Much of what they say is motivated by what people want to hear and not what they need to hear.
The Gospel may not be mentioned by them because they are afraid of what others may think of them if they brought it up.
Pride can be seen in un-teachable people. (Prov 19:20, John 9:13-34, 1 Tim 1:7 and Matt 13:14).
Pride prevents new truths being learnt because proud individuals think they know it all.
Pride also hates correction and rebuke as in their eyes they are superior.
They lean on their own understanding and are blinded to their pride, Gods truth and to simple reality.
The Pharisees are perfect examples of the blinding effect of pride.
They heard Jesus speaking, they saw his miracles, they saw His perfect example and they still rebuked Him and killed Him.
Knowledge can and does puff up.
Pride is evident in a lack of service. (Gal 5:13, Ephe 2:10).
Proud people may not serve because they are not thinking of others or there is no praise, glory or recognition.
They do not see people’s true needs because they are too busy thinking about their own needs.
They do not have a servant attitude but rather a master attitude.
Pride can be evident where there is little faith. (matt 14:22-31).
Proud people tend to lean on their own understanding, seek to control situations and worry unnecessarily.
They tend to place too much confidence in human effort in order to achieve what they think needs to be achieved.
They find it difficult to acknowledge their total dependence before God and seek to be self-sufficient.
Pride can be seen in being devastated or angered by criticism. (prov 13:1, 12:1 and 15:10).
Proud people usually struggle with criticism, put downs or correction.
Such people cannot bear that they may be wrong, imperfect and have weaknesses.
They are offended easily and insulted quickly because they don’t like to be made to feel any less then their superior view of themselves.
They usually respond in a defensive and self-preservative manner.
Pride can be seen in peoples lives were Christ is not their life.
When Paul said in Phil 1:21 “for to me, to live is Christ, to die is gain” he was saying that Christ was his life and not just a part of his life.
He lived for Christ, He spoke about him, he witnessed for him, he died for him, he worked for him, he was humiliated for him, he suffered for him, he was beaten for him, put into jail for him and sang for him.
Everything was for Christ.
He put to death the life he lived in order to gain life.
Pride prevents that death of self and seeks to preserve what self wants.
Pride can be seen in self-righteousness. (Luke 7:36-50 and Galations 6:3).
Proud people can not see their sin and their brokenness, or cannot sincerely acknowledge it because they think too highly of themselves.
There is no genuine mourning and sorrow over sin because they find it difficult to see themselves as sinners.
They compare themselves with others and usually think that they are better than others.
Pride has a blinding and deceptive effect over sin.
Pride can be seen in self-pity and low self esteem. ( 1st Corinthians 12; 14-25).
Pride is not only seen in a high view of self but can also be seen in low view of self.
This is still pride because they are still focused on themselves.
They are not concerned with the glory of God and being thankful for what good gifts and talents the Lord has given them.
They want to be good not for God but for themselves.
To sum it all up, a proud person believes that life is all about them, their happiness, their accomplishments, and their worth.
The end goal of pride is self-glorification.
It robs God of glory only He deserves to receive.
It is working hourly, daily, weekly and right now in us and in the world.
It is pride that makes redemption needful, it is from our pride that we need above everything to be redeemed.
Humanity suffers as a result of it and tries all it can to overcome it, but they do not know how.
They do not know because they do not know where it gets its supremacy from.
Please turn to Ephesians 2: 1-10. “As for you….
The revelation of pride is not sufficient for it to be removed from our lives.
We were dead in transgressions.
We were spiritually dead.
There was no life in us.
We were vertical corpses.
We couldn’t even respond to the Gospel and we loved darkness instead of light, John 3;19.
We have a love problem not a will problem.
We are bad not because we do bad things, we are bad because we are bad.
You don’t wake up in the morning and say you are going to sin out of duty!
You do it because it feels good.
This is why the Gospel is foolishness and insulting to those who are spiritually dead because the Gospel does 2 things.
It afflicts the comfortable and comforts the afflicted.
The less aware people are of sin the less significant and less glorious His death becomes.
We were under the power of the ruler of the air, trapped in Satanic power unable to free ourselves.
It is in us and outside of us and it is satanic in origin.
Humanity is fighting a battle they cannot win because it requires divine intervention.
We need a divine rescue to free us from this power.
Salvation has been done in a way where no man can boast of ever saving himself
Because we are not fighting a physical battle that can be won with human strength.
This is were our merciful and compassionate Jesus comes in.
Not only does the cross demonstrate how much God hates pride, but more so how much He loves us.
This is why His death is so glorious, so beautiful and so victorious.
Not only does He forget and forgive our pride and selfishness but frees us from the power it has over us.
Romans 5:6 You see at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. That’s you and me people.
Romans 6:11 Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Romans 6;17 we were slaves of sin and now set free.
God has freed us from the prison of pride.
We are no longer held captive, we are no longer under the power of Satan,
this is what the world needs to hear,
this is the remedy they are trying hard to find.
This is the message that we have!
Without His death, there is no point even talking about true humility because there is none of that in the sinful nature.
We see this so clearly in the examples of the disciples.
While they were still captive in their sin, there were expressions of humility.
It is seen in the washing of each others feet and proclaiming Christ as Lord.
But there were also expressions of pride.
It was seen in the argument over who was the greatest and in the request to sit at his side in his Kingdom.
We are shown so evidently that despite learning from Jesus, despite following Jesus, despite spending time with Jesus and despite following His example, they still didn’t get it.
It shows us that there may be earnest and active religion, while humility is still sadly lacking.
It was His sacrifice that liberated them from selfishness and pride.
Only after His death do we see real transformation as they laid down their lives for Him.
Only after His death do we see the fruit of the their new hearts and the new covenant, the Lord promised in Jeremiah 31; 33
Jer 31:33 I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.
And 2nd Corinthians 5:17...
2nd Cor 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.
Because of the Cross we can now come to that blessed characteristic called humility.
As with pride, few of us have actually considered what being humble actually means and few of us have considered what it takes to grow in true humility.
How often do we think about it?
How often do we talk about it and how often do we pray for it?
When was the last time you asked yourself or others if there was evidence of humility in your lives?
Humility is so rare because it is so unnatural to our society and to the sinful man.
Only a Christian who has the spirit of God can learn genuine humility.
Humility in the Christian world is a quality I do not see being sought after.
I do not hear it being taught and I do not hear it being encouraged.
We can all act humble, say certain phrases and seen to be doing certain things.
We can all act humbly, speak humbly and bask in the glory and recognition men give.
This is totally different from being humble.
This is false humility, an imitation of it and it is another manifestation of pride.
True humility does not originate from humanity but from God.
I am not an authoritative figure on humility as I am with pride.
I am only a proud man trying to pursue true divine humility.
I am a man who wants to participate in that divine nature and only by the grace of God.
God invites you to do the same.
Why, why pursue humility?
Why should I give up my desire for position, achievement and glory, for this humility?
Why should I give up striving for what I want and strive for what God wants?
Isaiah 57: 15 I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit.
Isaiah 66; 2 This is the one to whom I will look, to the humble and contrite in spirit, who trembles at my word. NRSV version. < /P>
Psalm 10: 17 O lord, you will hear the desire of the meek, you will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear.
James 4:6 God gives grace to the humble.
Luke 14; 11 He who humbles himself will be exalted
Matthew 18; 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
God lives and dwells with the humble.
His gaze is upon them.
He hears them.
He strengthens them.
He gives them grace!
He exalts them and makes them great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Humility draws the gaze of our sovereign God.
We have nothing to offer God because He does not need anything from us and yet His sight is caught by the humble.
This is beyond our understanding, beyond comprehension, beyond marvellous.
There is something we can do to capture the attention of this mighty and majestic God and invite His active involvement in our lives.
We can attract His kindness, strength and underserved grace.
This should motivate us to pursue humility.
Our rooting out of pride must go beyond knowing how awful and disgusting it is.
Our pursuit should be driven by this amazing promise that God gazes at the humble.
Pride drives Him away and its humility that attracts Him.
When God turned His face away from Jesus on the cross,
He was turning away from all the selfishness and pride we so dearly hold on to.
As God demonstrated throughout history the consequence of pride,
He also demonstrated the promises and blessings made to the humble.
We only have to remember Moses in Number 12:3 who was said to be more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.
Who God spoke to face to face and who saw the form of Lord.
John the Baptist in Luke 3:16 acknowledged that he was unworthy to untie the sandals of Jesus Christ had the privilege of baptising him and being called greater than anyone born among women by Jesus in Matt 11:11
And to the greatest ever example of humility we come to Jesus, who’s whole life was an act of humility and who now sits at the right hand of God.
Our great God and our loving King did not consider His position or His being something to be grasped but became one of us.
Not to be served upon but to serve and die on the cross.
God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow.
All because of His humility.
Jesus redefines all human idles of greatness and rank, as humility.
It is the attitude of a servant that we should be striving for in order to be great in Gods eyes.
It is the humble who God exalts and glorifies.
It is the humble who are inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven.
The first words of Jesus proclamation of the Kingdom of Heaven reveal that it is to the humble and lowly that the heavenly blessings are for.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth, blessed are you humble and lowly.
Our care must be to humble ourselves and it is Gods care to exalt us.
But why? Why is God attracted to the humble?
Please turn to Philippians 2:6-11; Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross.
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place, and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in Heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Here is the essence of humility, an emptying of self.
Jesus being in very nature God and God himself, the all powerful, all present, all knowing and all glorious.
Did not consider His position and status something to hold on to, but placed it aside in an act of self-denial became nothing.
He had no regard for Himself and asked for nothing in return.
This is our King and our Lord.
There are many inspirational films about people who have had nothing and who were nobody’s become successful or famous.
But I have not seen a film that shows somebody who is rich, famous and successful, give it all up and become poor.
Rags to riches, is glorious in the eyes of the world, but riches to rags is glorious in the eyes of Gods.
God is attracted to the humble because unlike pride, humility is not in competition or opposition with God and with who God is.
Humility acknowledges and takes its correct position as dependent.
It acknowledges that every good thing we have has only been received.
It has no need to be in competition with man because being a servant seeks mans interests above His own.
It has no need to elevate itself or seek recognition or glory because it has no sense of self.
It does not become puffed up and elevated, but empties itself in order to be filled by the indwelling spirit of God.
Humility seeks nothing of itself and does not live for itself.
Humility allows God to be God.
There is nothing good in us except to present ourselves as empty vessels which God must fill,
in which God can dwell and manifest His power and goodness.
Humility was and is Christ chief characteristic, the root and essence of all his character as our Redeemer.
His display of Humility on earth is the humility He displays in heaven.
This shows us how the almighty God was able to work His work of redemption in Jesus.
Jesus was nothing that God might be all, as it says at the end of the passage, to the glory of God the Father.
It is a Heavenly attribute and there is everything lovely about Humility.
This is why God is attracted to the humble because the humble allow God to be all he can be in them.
Pride must die in you or nothing in Heaven can live in you.
Humility is the only soil, in which the graces root and the lack of humility is the sufficient explanation of every defect and failure.
Is it any wonder why we sometimes struggle in our Christian journeys?
The growth of humility is for our spiritual well being, for our strength and joy.
We will lose nothing by humbling ourselves, but gain everything.
There is nothing more glorious, more divine and heavenly, than taking the form of a servant and helper.
It is for our and mans happiness now and through eternity.
You want to prepare for heaven, grow in humility.
Christians who profess and pursue holiness, it is humility that should be the chief characteristic.
Where there is a lack of humility there will also be a lack of Holiness.
As followers of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, meekness and humility is how we should be known.
Without it there can be no true abiding in Gods presence or experience of His favour and the power of His spirit.
As pride originates in the heart, true humility must begin in the heart.
If humility is Christ chief characteristic and Christ being the root of the tree, its nature must be seen in every branch and in every fruit.
We must have the same desire as John in John 3:30 Jesus must become greater I less.
This must be our personal daily mandate because if Christ is not growing in you it is pride that is in the way.
What does this humility look like?
I will use a quote from Andrew Murrays book humility and absolute surrender, as he says it better than I could
He states “True humility comes when in the light of God, we have seen ourselves to be nothing, have consented to part with and cast away self, to let God be all.
The soul that has done this, and can say, “so have I lost myself finding thee”, no longer compares itself with others. It has given up forever every thought of self in God’s presence; it meets its fellow-men as one who is nothing, and seeks nothing for self; who is a servant of God, and for his sake a servant of all. A faithful servant may be wiser than the master and yet retain the true spirit and posture of the servant. The humble man looks upon every, the feeblest and unworthiest, child of God and honours him and prefers him in honour as the son of a King”.
Humility is honestly assessing ourselves in light of Gods holiness and our sinfulness.
So what can we do to cultivate humility and defeat this pride?
Though we are free from the power of sin and have been given new hearts and the Spirit of God.
We are still institutionalised and habitual sinners.
And the devil does not go to sleep and the sinful nature is not yet fully removed.
We must be living in continuous victory by the spirit because complete sanctification has not happen.
It is happening and which can be seen in growing maturing Christians who have the mandate to decrease, so Christ may increase.
I can give you some recommendations for you to apply but they are not requirements.
I encourage everyone to have a set of disciplines that you can practice daily in order to grow in humility.
There must be purposeful application of truth in order for us to grow.
Knowledge of pride and humility is not enough.
A famous Christian writer called John Owen writes “fill your affections with the cross of Christ, that there may be no room for sin”.
When I look at the cross, when I meditate on how my Saviour died for me I cannot but feel crushed to the ground in humility.
When I look up and see him bleeding and dieing for me.
All sense of self-righteous, all sense of my high esteem disintegrates when I see who I really am.
A sinner saved by grace, nothing less nothing more.
There can be no place for pride when I stand next to Jesus on that cross.
How can anyone be arrogant when he stands beside the cross?
Praying, worship and studying the bible.
We can so easily head into our day missing these out and heading into self-sufficiency mode.
Beginning our day with these disciples declares our dependence and need for God.
These disciplines are rooted and centred on God the giver and sustainer of life.
As Christians we need to be doing these disciplines to grow in humility.
Theologians have identified certain attributes as incommunicable attributes of God.
These are the attributes of God for which no human reflection or human illustration can be found.
They are attributes that God doesn’t share with us.
God is infinite, is one of them.
Another is omnipresent, God is everywhere equally present.
He is Self-sufficient and self-existent.
Apart from God we cannot exist.
Apart from us He can exist.
We are dependant, God is not.
The more we know of Gods attributes the smaller we are going to feel.
We need to see ourselves in light of Gods holiness.
This can be done by studying sin.
We may be comfortable in our sin and we can so easily become comfortable in our sin.
Hebrew 3:13 states that sin is deceitful, it is subtle and difficult to discern.
It has a hardening and an immunising effect on our souls.
Grace can no longer seem amazing.
Studying the doctrine of sin will help us become aware of it and convict us to do something about it.
Sometimes we cannot see where pride is in our lives but others can.
Asking close Christian friends to do the loving thing and tell you whenever they see pride will help us all work together to root it out of our lives.
This act of asking is in itself humbling and can be seen in the humble.
We need one another, we need to be growing together in maturity.
We are not fulfilling the potential of Christian relationships if this is not occurring.
Pride is our greatest enemy and humility our greatest friend.
God opposes the proud and exalts the humble.
We can choose to be humble or we can choose to be humbled.
Let’s pray for humility, let us practice it and let us hunger for it.
Jesus has called us to a life of humility.
A life were we have been invited to participate in the divine nature and return to our natural place as dependent people.
A people, who display all of Gods graces and give Him the glory.
A people who’s life of service exists to draw attention to our crucified risen Lord.
A people that have the mandate to decrease so Christ can increase.
None of this is possible were pride exists.
Let us make the effort to defeat pride and cultivate humility.
Otherwise nothing of Heaven will be able to live in you.
leave God to be all He can be, to His glory for ever and ever.