“ All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” – 1 Peter 5:5-6
In the Pray First – a Personal Prayer Guide, there is a section entitled Warfare Prayers – Pride Prayer. That is the subject of this devotional.
It is wise to periodically evaluate both strengths and weaknesses as a Jesus follower. It makes sense to sit down and reflect on what it takes to effectively live the Christian life. You can’t spend much time analyzing the Christian life before you come across the idea of humility. Humility is at the core of Christianity and paradoxical to society’s norms. We Christians basically admit we aren’t all that, that we tend to mess up all the time and we are in constant need of forgiveness.
The Bible agrees with us and thus has a lot to say about pride and humility: “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18) “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2) “Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.” (Proverbs 18:12)
Commenting on the revival in Northampton, Massachusetts, in 1737, Jonathan Edwards said: “The first and worst cause of errors that abound in our day and age is spiritual pride. This is the main door by which the devil comes into the hearts of those who are zealous for the advancement of Christ. It is the chief inlet of smoke from the bottomless pit to darken the mind and mislead the judgment. Pride is the main handle by which he has hold of Christian persons and the chief source of all the mischief that he introduces to clog and hinder a work of God. Spiritual pride is the main spring or at least the main support of all other errors. Until this disease is cured, medicines are applied in vain to heal all other diseases.”
Humility is more than a concept, it is a tool for every Christian. It increases our desire to study God’s word and opens our hearts to His Spirit. It leads to intimacy with God, who knows the proud from afar, but dwells “with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit,” (Isaiah 57:15).
Developing the identity, attitude, and conduct of a humble servant does not happen over night. In fact, it takes a lifetime. It ‘s like peeling an onion: you cut away one layer only to find another beneath it. But it can happen. As we forsake pride and seek to humble ourselves by daily deliberate choices in dependence on the Holy Spirit, humility takes root and grows.
2 Corinthians 12:9 tells us “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
- There is a difference between God humbling you and you humbling yourself. What are some ways you can place yourself in a humble position with God, at home, at work, or with friends?
- Read Jeremiah 49:16 and Daniel 5:20. Read Proverbs 16:18, and 16:5. How do these verses warn us about pride?
- The reality is that everyone struggles with pride. What does surrendering to God look like? What are some ways a person could embrace humility and turn away from pride?
- Take some time to communicate with God and ask Him for help to grow humility in your life. If there is an attitude that needs changed, give that to Him and ask for Him to work in your life.