But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” – James 4:6
Grace can increase in your life. It is possible to have grace upon grace.
Grace is not just how you got saved but how you live out the spiritual life. Grace is that moving current of God on the inside of you that makes you love Him, desire Him, and look for His word.
Only the grace of God can work this type of character on the inside of us. Philippians 2:13 says, “For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure”
James 4:6 says, “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble’”. The grace of God freely flows into the humble. As we live low, the current of God comes in and takes us into patience, love, kindness, and goodness, but pride resists the current of God’s grace. We are to live with the humility of Jesus.
WE MUST HATE PRIDE
Proverbs 8:13 says, “The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.” Recognizing when someone is engaged in grossly evil actions is easy, and we may feel a strong aversion to it. However, when it comes to acknowledging the pride within our hearts, we often dismiss it as simply a part of our identity.
The Bible tells us to hate pride because it’s poison. It’s that thing that turns your back to God and resists the current of God’s wonderful grace.
In Ezekiel 28, there is imagery of Lucifer before the world. He walked on the stones of fire in the presence of God, yet his heart rebelled against the Lord. Even in the presence of the Lord walking on the stones of fire, his heart froze with pride.
Adam and Eve resided in paradise, a sinless world, and walked with Him. However, even amidst the exquisite garden of God, pride found its way in. This underscores the idea that God can bestow His Spirit in remarkable ways, and yet, the human heart remains susceptible to freezing with pride.
The number one obstruction to God’s purposes in the Earth is pride.
Isaiah 2:12 says, “For the Lord of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up—and it shall be brought low.”
Isaiah 2:9 says, “So man is humbled, and each one is brought low—do not forgive them!”
Isaiah 2:17 says, “And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.”
There is an appointed day of judgment and the main thing that God has His arrow pointed at is pride. It provokes God and makes man God’s enemy. The prophets are crying out to show us that the source and root of every ill is pride. There is nothing so opposed to God such as selfishness, self-sufficiency, self-effort, self-centeredness, self-exaltation, and self-consciousness.
HUMILITY IS THE GOAL
Vance Havner once wrote “If Jesus didn’t come to save us from self-infatuation then I don’t know what He came to do.”
Andrew Murray once wrote, “One of the reasons why God sent Jesus to the Earth was to bring humility back here.”
Matthew 21:5 says, “Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ” Of all the attributes that could have been labeled of Jesus, the emphasis is on His meekness. He is lowly and humble and none of us are above Him.
Acting out of pride is to take a position above your King. It is to approach your King wearing the armor of His enemy.
Matthew 11:28-29 says, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavily laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”. This verse shows us the only self-description that Jesus ever gives of Himself.
Jesus is clearing the air and telling us what He wants us to know about HIm. This is Jesus’ self-revelation.
Romans 8:28-29 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
God’s goal is to predestine us to be conformed to the image of His Son. If the image of His Son is His whole goal, Jesus–the Son whose image we’re supposed to be–tells us what His image is: humility. If God has one plan for you and one end goal for you, it is to make you a humble and lowly person.
FREE FROM SELF
In Matthew 20, Jesus takes our understanding of life and flips it upside down. He tells us that if anyone wants to be the greatest, they have to be the slave. A slave does not have any rights or power. But to Jesus, that’s everything. When you have lost yourself in finding Him and deny yourself, this is the fragrance of the Cross and the nature of the goodness of God in your life.
The seeds of humility where no one can see you give up your own will for the promotion of another, these little seeds are the garden of godliness. They are what makes God happy.
James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” This reveals how humility comes about; it is by recognizing the presence of the Lord. When you realize the glory of God, the only response is to fall down on your face and recognize that His wisdom is better than your wisdom, His plan is better than your plan and his power is better than your power. You have to give up yourself to Him who is greater than you. That’s humility.
Andrew Murray said that humility is the displacement of self and enthronement of God.
Humility is not a virtue among virtues. It is the root of all virtues. If you want to be filled with the Spirit, stay low. Humility is what impresses God. Without humility, a man only has the appearance of virtues.
Without humility, our ministries become quests for honor and our own legacy. Humility is not seen in our ministries, behind the pulpit, by laying hands on people when they fall down or when you pray for someone and they get healed. Humility is seen in how you treat other people.
Humbling yourself is the only right attitude before God. It puts God where He belongs and it puts us where we belong. Jesus teaches us what humility is through His life.
John 5:30 says, “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”
John 7:16 says, “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.”
John 8:28 says, “Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.”
John 8:50 says, “And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth.”
Jesus is the only person to live who has the right to seek His glory and He still won’t. He is the King of meekness.
It’s only as we relinquish ourselves to God that God can actually be all to us and through us. When you play a game of chess, certain pieces hold more power than others, but when the game is done, the board is cleared. Some of us may think that we are more powerful than others, but when God shows up, the board is cleared and everyone is in the same bag.
Humility clears the way and removes all the obstruction so the light of God and His character can come through you.
C.S. Lewis said that proud people are always looking down on others, but if you are always looking down then you cannot see Him who is above.
The greatest thing that you can do today is to forget yourself and adore Jesus. His presence frees you from the need to have relevance and significance in the eyes of other people. What God sees is all that matters.
How can you make room for humility in your life? Look at your relationships, friendships, and even ministry, and look at where you have exalted yourself and held on to your own will.
What are you doing to deny yourself so that Jesus can take precedence?