3 times our Heavenly Father says that he opposes the proud but gives Grace to the humble. So it must be very important. This is the “one thing” that we can do; HUMBLE OURSELVES before God. But even for that we need God’s Grace, because no man will humble himself of his own. We are by nature proud, stubborn and rebellious; this came with our flesh-nature, the one we inherited from Adam our forefather in the flesh. Growing up in this world we “learn” pride as a way of life; nobody even really has to tell us, we naturally follow down that path. And even worse, the world tells us to be proud; with slogans like; “you can do it”, or “whatever you set your mind on…” or “be your own man!” Through all that we are supposed to learn to depend on ourselves and not on anybody else. We become “rebellious “and are hardened toward God and we get further and further away from him; whether it’s on the inside or on the outside. We become selfish, looking out for ME first and maybe others later. This is the way of the world and the natural way of the flesh and remember who the prince of the world is- the devil, the originator of the sin of pride. The people of the world are his victims, his prisoners and they follow in his footsteps. There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death Proverbs 14:12 We are dealing with forces that are way stronger than any of us, and sooner or later we get overcome, trapped and eventually enslaved in our own devices. The very things that we thought would make us happy, free and fulfilled, instead have become a trap and a downfall for us. They leave us empty and blind as to our true condition and we continue in this hopeless condition believing that somehow we will get out of it. But some by the Grace of God do hit rock bottom; God brings us low and wakes us up to our true condition, enslaved, powerless and lost without God. We realize our problem and how God is the only way out and we desire his salvation and to be reconciled to him just as the prodigal son did when he came to his senses.
The Lord preserves the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me Psalms 116:6
An ant and an elephant crossed paths; the ant said to the elephant; get out of my way or there will be trouble!
Although this is a silly example, when comparing us and God, this will give you a glimpse of that we really have absolutely no reason to be proud whatsoever, yet we are and think nothing of being proud. Or this one;
A drowning man said to the people trying to rescue him; I don’t want that blue life preserver, throw me a green one that matches my outfit…. These two examples border on ridiculous, so why are we “so proud” of ourselves?
The god of this age has blinded the thoughts of the unbelieving…. 2 Corinthians 4:4
In which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience, Eph 2:2
Woe to those wise in their own eyes, and discerning in their own sight! Isaiah 5:21
Rejoice, O young man, in your youth. And make your heart glad in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart and in the sight of your eyes; but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment. Ecclesiastis11:9
Pride is a grace killer! Anyone who is proud, naturally does not see their need for God’s amazing Grace. Ask yourselves; who is it that made me? Who made the Heavens and the Earth? Therefore; Who knows better? Who needs who? I never lived a life before, this is the first time. I did not make myself, nor did I create the world we live in. Let’s think about it; what do I really control? Or how much “control” do I really have? We are so full of ourselves – and for no real reason….
From the Greek word being used in the New Testament; 5011 tapeinós (an adjective) – properly, low; (figuratively) inner lowliness describing the person who depends on the Lord rather than self. ("lowly, humble") means being God-reliant rather than self-reliant.
Humble is in the New Testament 8 times;
Matthew 11:29 Jesus said; Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, because I am meek and lowly in heart, "and you will find rest to your souls."
Luke 1:52 He (God) put down powerful ones from thrones, and exalted lowly ones.
Romans 12:16 minding the same thing toward one another, not minding high things, but yielding to the lowly. Do not become wise within yourselves;
2 Corinthians 7:6 But the One comforting the lowly comforted us by the coming of Titus.
2 Corinthians 10:1 And I myself, Paul, call on you through the meekness and gentleness of Christ (I, who indeed to look upon, am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you);
James 1:9 But let the lowly brother rejoice in his lifting up;
James 4:6 But He gives greater grace. Because of this it says, "God sets Himself against proud ones, but He gives grace to humble ones."
1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, younger ones be subject to older ones; and all being subject to one another. Put on humility, because God sets Himself "against proud ones, but He gives grace to humble ones."
Not the fake, pretend kind of humble we see all around us, but a real heartfelt kind of humble. It has a lot to do with knowing who you really are of yourself, knowing your true condition. A good example in the New Testament is the Pharisee and the tax collector;
Luke 18:9-14 And He also spoke this parable to some of those relying on themselves, that they are righteous, and despising the rest: Two men went up into the temple to pray, the one a Pharisee, and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee was standing, praying these things to himself: God, I thank You that I am not as the rest of men, rapacious, unrighteous, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice on the Sabbath; I tithe all things, as many as I get. And standing at a distance, the tax collector would not even lift up his eyes to Heaven, but smote on his breast, saying, God, be merciful to me, the sinner! I say to you, this one went down to his house having been justified, rather than that one. For everyone exalting himself will be humbled. And the one humbling himself will be exalted.
One lifted himself up and the other humbled himself before God. Therefore consider who God is; the creator of heaven and earth and everything on it. How the Creator has everything under control from the beginning to the end. How great and amazing God is, all powerful, all knowing, all seeing, all loving all perfect and how “nothing I am” in comparison to God. I am nothing, know nothing, and am but a worm in God’s sight. Humble is accepting the truth about me, the reality that I cannot lead, help or change myself. I have no power in and of myself, I control just about nothing; in short, there is nothing good in me that is in my flesh.
So you can see there is a simple way to exclude yourself from the Grace of God – by being proud and by justifying yourself. Pride will keep a man from God and from salvation and it will be his destruction in the end. Pride is the very reason why man loves religion, because religion lets him keep his pride, and he does not have to humble himself. You can see that in the above example of the Pharisee. He was a proud religious man – but far from God, far from Grace. If you are proud, there is no Grace for you, you are excluding yourself. You must first be humbled and humble yourself by God’s Grace. Yes, and God in his Grace does humble us, bring us low, but he does not force anyone to humble himself, to admit his true condition and situation. Ever heard of “too proud to beg” or “too proud to ask for help”? Proud – God is against you, you are on the opposite side of God. Humble – God is on your side, you are eligible for God’s Grace, God by his Grace will lift you up, he brings us back to himself, adopts you as his child, gives you his Spirit, empowers you to be what he made you to be.
A humble person doesn’t have his own agenda; a proud person is just so full of himself and of what he is doing. A humble person is willing to listen, do what is best and follow the one who knows best. Now humble doesn’t equal weak-minded or wishy-washy, it doesn’t even mean nice. Therefore it is important for us to consider what humble is from the Scriptures. We have two great examples of humble; Moses in the Old Testament and Jesus Christ in the New Testament.
And the man Moses was very meek, more than any man who was on the face of the earth. Deuteronomy 12:3
Having become great, Moses by faith refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, having chosen rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than for a time to have enjoyment of sin; having counted the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. Hebrews 11:24-26
And about Jesus Christ; who subsisting in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave, having become in the likeness of men and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, having become obedient until death, even the death of a cross. Philippians 2:6-8
Humble; putting myself to the ground, admitting and accepting my real condition before God. Grace, God bending down from on high to us who are down low and bringing us to life and raising us up to himself.
A good example of humble is in Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
An initial humble could be, I need help, I need Jesus, I cannot help myself. There is no help in me.
Jesus said in John 15:5, I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.