Obedience and Humility
Mike & Annie
1 Peter 5:5
1 John 2:16
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
As Eve stood before Adam convincing him to question the need to obey God, we see the fulfilment of this verse playing out in all its duplicity and ultimate sorrow for humanity. Thinking that they knew better than God opened the flood gates for every generation since to put its own pride on display as humankind flaunts its disobedience to God.
So many times in scripture we see examples of people thinking that God needs their intervention to help what He has promised come to pass, because they think He is taking too long. Or they come up with what appears to be a better plan of action. Yet, as Jesus knelt in Gethsemane in agony and turmoil, He gave us the perfect antidote to our pride and self importance “not my will, but Yours be done”. Total lack of pride while being in absolute obedience to God.
The sad part is that pride is so deceptive. By forgetting to look at how God views our lives and the path He knows we must walk, we only look at what is happening from our perspective, often trying to find a route that is not strewn with rocks and unforeseen obstacles. Whereas God’s word encourages us to be humble, meek and not see ourselves as being worthy of more favour than anyone else. We are amazingly valuable and special to God, uniquely so, but in no greater measure than our fellow human beings. Being full of pride and haughtiness puts us in opposition to God and that is not a good place to find ourselves. Being humble, submitting to God’s will brings us totally undeserved kindness and mercy from Him.
Placing our worth or value in anything other than the Grace of God leads us down paths of constantly striving to be better, to have better and to trust those temporary things that bring such fleeting satisfaction. Jesus asks us to consider whether it is worth having the whole world just to lose our own soul. Our prideful nature will always seek to deceive us into believing our worth is in what the world sees as power and wealth. Jesus leads us into the truth of seeing that we are valued, loved and worth so much to our Abba Father, regardless of what we own, how we look or what our status in society is. Living in the pride of life is exhausting, debilitating and, more often than not, ends in humiliation and misery. Living within the love and under the wings of our Father God, although the road we must walk sometimes appears to be rocky and full of potholes, is always underpinned by the joy that only He can give us.
Do you remember what Jesus told us about the two men going to pray, one a Pharisee and one a tax collector? All the Pharisee was willing to thank God for was his own righteousness, his own self importance, that he wasn’t like “this other man” Yet it was the tax collector who cried out to God for mercy, who saw his sin and corruption who went to his home “justified” because he humbled himself.
To live in humility and meekness is not a sign of weakness or lack of moral fibre. It is the complete opposite. When we lay aside our pride, our self aggrandisement and allow ourselves to live in submission to God, we are living in the most powerful and safe place we could ever imagine. We are within the circle of Life and Love that is God, within the ramparts of His protection, His Grace and His Justice.
Prayer: Father God, thank You that You have a plan and purpose for our lives that does not rely on the adulation of the world or the wealth of possessions. Thank You that our worth is in You and You alone. Amen