In every trial, there is a testing. Amy Carmichael, one of my favorite authors said, “Every test is a trust.” She meant, every trial a Christian may face is a testing of their trust in God. One of the lessons I have found to be the hardest is the one of giving up! Yes, I know this will take some clarifying, so hear me out.
We constantly hear how great we are. "We can do anything if we put our minds to it," says the world. It’s pretty difficult to not be affected. We are living in a world that screams self-sufficiency. It doesn’t help that our sinful inner-man loves the idea of pride. Pride is the root of most, if not all sins. It was the first one committed by the first two people on the earth. Adam and Eve wanted a knowledge that would have them equal with God. (Read Gen 3)
The world, coupled with our own sinfulness, make pride seem like something worth striving for. That is total deception. The Lord opened our eyes to our need of Christ and showed us how helpless we were without Him when we first became believers. Still, even as a believer in Christ, the tendency of pride will continue until we meet Jesus. One would think once we have understood the principle of humility the first time, we would be done with that lesson. Nope! Not with an inherent sinfulness and an enemy who deceives us with clever half-truths.
Don't Listen to the World
As Christians, we must constantly give up all hope in ourselves to live a life that is pleasing to Christ. There is nothing good in ourselves, contrary to the world’s opinion. It is not until we have lost confidence in our own efforts that we can look up and see that we have a God who is All we need. We are weak and needy, and He is strong and rich in mercy. While God is rich can you be poor? No, all that He has is yours because HE is yours. God loves the humble child. Jesus said in Matthew 5:3, "blessed be the poor in Spirit for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven."
Now don’t hear me wrongly. We should not be lazy Christians. God did not create us to be idle. He gave Adam, the first man, a job, to tend to the Garden of Eden. Christ, the second Adam, came on a mission in obedience to the Father. He willingly came and dwelt with sinful humanity and lived perfectly to die a sinner’s death for us. God has not given His people permission to just lay back at let the world happen. We have been given a great commission and a command to love God and love people. However, if we do this in our own strength, it is sin. If we don’t obey Him then we are also sinning.
What To Do?
The answer is to give up on self while clinging and fully depending on Christ’s grace and His ability to work in you the will and the ability to do what He has asked of you. It is then that you will see the grace of God at work in your life. It is a humble striving. We are not trying to get stronger or better; we are striving to get lower and more humble.
I love a quote from Spurgeon, “Labor oh my soul, to know your nothingness by contemplating God’s greatness.” See the order? Humility and then we see the Glory of God.
God Humbles in Love
God will not leave you. However, for the sake of your sanctification and His glory, He will humble you. It is much more painful to be humiliated than to willingly obey in humility. He will humble you in love, and if you are His, you will be glad in the end. Still, going ahead in lifting empty hand before Him is less painful and very freeing.
It is a Gift
It is freeing to know we don’t have to be great. It is freeing to know we can come with nothing before God. ‘Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to the Cross I cling’ as the hymn writer said. When I look at myself, and when you look at yourself, you and I both know we are, pitiful. We are tired and depleted of strength, we are thirsting and longing for relief and all along Christ stands with open arms as we fight to carry our own heavy baggage. He tells us to give Him our burdens, but we are too prideful to admit we aren’t strong enough to handle them ourselves.
Let us seek to know God’s greatness in light of our nothingness and praise the One who loved us so much that He would die for us!
In what ways have you struggled with pride? Give helpful insights you might have gathered in the comment section for us to read.
Subscribe to be kept up to date.