||Pride versus Humility|
Self-Centered Independence versus Total Surrender—Pride versus Humility
“ . . . Yea, all of you be subject (submissive) one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. … Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time (1 Peter 5:5-6).”
“Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise (John 5:19).”
Following the example of Jesus, being totally submissive to God’s will, to His agenda for our lives, is the essence, the highest realm of humility. To resist His will actively or passively comes from a root of pride and unbelief—a distrust of God. The bible must be our standard of truth. We are His sons and daughters. He is our Father. We trust His opinion, not ours. We will have listening ears for His voice and His guidance in everything we do. This kind of humility is the foundation of truth, wisdom and faith. As we grow in true humility, we are increasingly being conformed into the image of Christ. And true humility is the key to prosperity in every area of our lives! In Matthew 6:33 the Lord promises us that as we seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness that “. . . all these things shall be added unto you.”
If we set our priorities right, we will find the time to seek Him. After having done all needed to fully meet the needs of our marriage partner and children, we must say “no” to every other voice competing for our time, but God’s. We put aside hobbies, the internet, facebook, newspapers, and magazines. Those who truly desire to find God in a new dimension will find the time.
Do we set seeking God and developing an intimate relationship with Him a priority over other competing priorities? Is Jesus not only the first on our list of priorities but does His influence, His wisdom rule over all of our other priorities, including our work? There is no adequate replacement to pursuing God with all of our heart (Matthew 6:33).
We can be mild-mannered, not boastful, and be a polite, gentle person, all correct characteristics of a humble person, and yet have great pride! I was that way for years. So let’s not hide from ourselves any longer. Let’s define our humility through the character of Jesus. Let’s embrace true humility, which includes the above, but which is defined by our total surrender to God, giving God the rightful place in our lives.
God gave Steve Foss “one word,” a definition of sin that changed his life forever. Is it possible it might change our lives also? What was that word? . . . “The essence (the fundamental nature) of sin is the rejection of God’s rightful authority over every area of one’s life (P. 81, ‘Satan’s Dirty Little Secrets!’ by Steve Foss).” This is also the essence of pride. It may or may not include arrogance and boasting. One may give the appearance of humility to others, but “bible humility” is radical submission to God and even to others (while still maintaining leadership in our sphere of authority). Only a truly humble person can consistently acknowledge his/her mistakes to his marriage partner and children—and even ask their forgiveness!
A strong leader can give the appearance of pride and control, and yet be a humble person. Failure to fully embrace our God-given authority in our sphere of influence, whether family, church or workplace is false humility. Let’s rise up and become the dynamic leaders God desires and yet walk with a humble attitude.
Only a humble person is willing to be mentored on a deep level. Being mentored/having a spiritual father/mother is not limited to a one on one relationship with one or two key people. This includes being willing to learn from many, many others in the body of Christ through their books, CDs, DVDs, and their conferences and other meetings. “Needing to be in control” is a sign of insecurity and deep-seated pride. Wow! That might be you! It might be me! We must passionately seek to be mentored/corrected by God and others!
It is an immense error to refuse to learn from others because they have imperfections in their live. Otherwise we will have to avoid the teachings of Solomon, David, and other great men of God, who had serious faults in their lives.
Yes, the foundation, the root cause of sin, is “pride,” which is self-centered independence, our desire to be in control—to make our own decisions and to live our own life. This will cause problems in all of our relationships, very much including our marriages.
In Proverbs 3:5-6, the bible says, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. . . In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” This is true humility, looking to God for our guidance, our direction in life. And a willingness to hear from God through others, not just directly.
Such submission to God is the key to an intimate relationship with God, our marriage partner, our children, and our friends. It leads to a life of prosperity, joy, and fulfillment in every area. I choose total obedience. How about you?
An important key to such obedience is spending “time” with God, studying and meditating on His Word, daily praying & singing in tongues. In this way we come to know God, to live in His Presence, and in union with Him. Being totally obedient to Him and His word comes from the inside out. Such radical obedience and holiness of life is no longer a legalistic striving but a “normal” way of life, a privilege and a joy. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens (empowers) me (Philippians 4:13).” This empowerment is the grace of God to do what we can’t do in the natural.
Disobedience, rooted in pride, is what led to Adam and Eve’s fall—their distrust of God, and their prideful rejection of God’s authority over their lives. Satan promised them that a declaration of independence from God would bring about an awesome change in which man would no longer be dependent on God, but be self-sufficient and in charge of his own destiny! This lie excited Adam and Eve, leading to deceptive thoughts that promised new possibilities to the meaning of life.
As soon as Adam made this choice to eat the forbidden fruit, his world began to fall apart. Mankind and all of creation began to slowly disintegrate. … Are we withholding from God’s control some or even many areas of our own lives? God calls this an idol of our heart, which is something that partially or totally rules us. For some, alcohol or drugs is an idol; for others it is TV, lust for power, sex, or money; for still others it is their work or even their hobbies. This is rebellion against God’s Lordship in our lives.
On the other hand humility is our willingness to allow God, through the Holy Spirit, to direct us in every area of our lives. We must allow Jesus to be Lord, the ruler of our thoughts, words, our giving and also our spending. We need to totally “give” to God our children, marriage, TV, our time, where we live, work, go to church and even our eating and exercise habits. The paradox is that in such submission, we become truly free from enslaving habits and attitudes. We are now free to become the persons we have been created to be and to fulfill our God-given destinies! Let’s search our hearts and see where we stand in these areas. Have we surrendered all to God? He is still working on me. How about you?
Humility includes being open to truth, being teachable and having a willingness to change. Hunger for God gives one the courage to come out of one’s comfort zones, to press through fear barriers into new realms of truth, and to pay any price for more of God. Teachability includes encouraging feedback by asking both God and people the right questions, and making it clear that we want the truth even if it hurts. It includes listening to the right CDs, DVDs, reading the right books, including meditating day and night on the BOOK, His Holy Bible (Joshua 1:8, Psalms 1:1-2, Proverbs 4:20-24), and traveling to the right meetings.
God is anointing many in the body of Christ to be fathers and mothers—to mentor His sons and daughters that they may be increasingly conformed to the image of Christ. St. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 4:15, “For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.”
In humility we need to recognize that all of us need to be mentored, preferably by an anointed spiritual father/mother. In turn God is preparing all of us to become mentors to others.
God expects unconditional surrender, which means total obedience. As mentioned earlier this includes spending much time in the word and prayer. This develops an intimate relationship with God. If you are baptized in the Holy Spirit, pray and sing in tongues many times a day.
A foundation of the surrendered life includes being obedient in tithes and generous offerings. Are we doing these things? If not, let’s begin doing them now. Don’t put off these changes. … Procrastination is a sin rooted in pride. Through our surrender and submission, Jesus becomes the Lord of our lives. This is true humility! Our relationship with God becomes one of inter-dependence. We “stand tall” in Him, recognizing that we are truly part of the “Royal Family.” We are sons and daughters of God! God is in us. We are in Him. We are even seated with Him in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 2:6). Wow! Isn’t that awesome?! And at the same time we recognize, we are “nothing” without Him. This is true humility and the very opposite of pride.
The result will be peace, joy, and success in our lives, for the Kingdom of God is . . . “Righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 4:17.)” and in Matthew 6:33 the Lord promises us that as we seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness that “. . . all these things shall be added unto you.”
John R. Chappell
PO Box 172
Bartow, FL 33831