Understanding the importance of humility.
Inside every human heart, there is a strong desire for self-exaltation. The subtle, yet urging voice of the enemy resonates within the deepest places of our being, in a tone that lures and deceives. Even though the voice has been speaking to us since we were born, we often don’t give it much thought; we just do what it says. Sometimes, we think that the voice is our own because we’ve grown so used to hearing it. The noise of the world we live in has a way of covering it up, and it often tends to make us forget about its existence for a while. Yet, the ancient voice still speaks. The same voice spoke to Eve in the Garden of Eden with tempting whisperings until she gave in. It is the voice of Lucifer, in whose heart pride originated. His jealousy drove him into wanting to take the place of God and he was forever banished from heaven as a result. Ever since then, he has been sowing seeds of pride in the hearts of humans. At the root of pride hides the desire to exalt oneself above God. Pride is extremely dangerous and it can creep inside the heart without us even being aware of it. Pride is sly. It knows how to make its way into the soil of the heart and once it does, it plants its strong roots deeply and firmly. Pride acts like a veil that keeps us from seeing God’s glory because all we want to see is our own. The reality is that pride is a lie in itself because it causes us to see ourselves as someone we’re not. Proverbs 16:18 (ESV) says that, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” You see, pride leads to our downfall because it causes us to live a lie which sooner or later will be exposed. Pride puffs us up by making us think of ourselves as better than others, when in all reality- we’re not. In Philippians 2:3, Paul wrote, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” The reality is that few of us can look at others this way, whether we realize it or not. Only the heart that has truly repented of pride can. In verses 5-8 of the same chapter, Paul says, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Christ Himself paints for us the most beautiful and real picture of humility through His incarnation and death. He had every reason to choose not to leave heaven but He chose to become human, like us. Imagine the Son of God leaving the glory of heaven and accepting to live a life on this earth…and to die an agonizing death on the cross, carrying the whole weight of sin upon His shoulders. If we truly grasp the meaning of these verses, we will find ourselves desiring to be humble because He was humble and His humility changed our lives forever. James tells us that, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6b). Another word for the verb “to oppose” is “to do battle with.” I don’t know about you, but I would never want to be at war with God. The proud doesn’t have peace because he/she is constantly struggling to defeat God. What miserable of a life that is! The heart of the prideful is also weary because it is constantly working at trying to impress others. It’s like hiding underneath a mask because you’re afraid of what people might say when they see the real you. Yet, God knows the real you and He wants to change your heart, but you must realize that pride has your heart and allow Him to become the center of your existence. Let us not fail to see the powerful promise of receiving grace if we are found to be humble rather than proud. Humility leads us to experiencing the presence and love of God in a genuine way. Pride is a wall that separates us from God by making us blind to His presence. Pride says, “I don’t need God, I’ve got it!” but humility says, “I need God desperately, I can do nothing apart from Him!” How true it is that we need God! Another powerful promise is found in Isaiah 29:19a, which says, “The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the LORD.” Joy is among the purest and rarest gifts from God and the humble receives fresh supplies of it. How amazing! Let’s face it, we can’t allow God to create a remarkable character within us if we are consumed with ourselves instead of with Him. Pride acts as decay within our soul and it robs us of intimacy with God. How can we overcome pride? By confessing it to God and allowing Him to give us a humble heart. Only God can help us overcome pride! Please pray this prayer with me: Father, I bring my heart before You, fully aware that I have sinned against You by being prideful. My eyes are blinded by pride and my ears can no longer hear Your life-giving voice because I’ve been focused on myself and I’ve been tuned in to the voice of the enemy. Yet, in Your love and mercy, You chose to bring a ray of light so strong that even the blind can see, so let Your light penetrate my heart. Lord, I ask You to forgive me and to set me free from pride. Give me Your heart that I may know and worship You! Let my heart no longer be a temple of idolatry but one filled with Your presence. In the name of Jesus Christ, the One who is worthy of all praise, but who chose to humble Himself for me. Amen.