To subscribe to Eternity Daily Bible Study click here

Eternity 75 - Grace To The Humble

James 4:6 GNB But the grace that God gives is even stronger. As the scripture says, "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

The humble person is the person that submits himself or herself to the truth and to God's law. The proud person does not submit to God's moral Universe but defies it in some way. The proud person may think he or she is "above" morals, or that they are God, or can play God, or they may resist the truth about Christ and their need for repentance and faith or like an outlaw bikie they may directly defy God's law. On the other hand humble people integrate themselves in to the Universe. They sense the way the world is made and choose to fit in. Proud people crash up against its boundaries all the time. Hence James writes - God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.

Humility is having a true sense of place, of knowing where one fits in things and taking that position with humble gladness and without any pretensions. It is the bee in the hive, the geese in formation, the child before the Father, the baron before the King. Daniel was humble before Nebuchadnezzar - bit Daniel was still a mighty prince in Babylon. Moses was the meekest man in all the earth (Numbers 12:3) and very humble - but he ruled 2 million Israelites for forty years. Thus humility is not self-abasement or being a worm (see Colossians 2:20-23). Rather it is a gracious sense of one's proper place and priority.

Sometimes in Christian service we can end up "out of place and out of grace". Its easy to let our vision in ministry give us an inflated sense of self-worth and an inordinate view of our importance in the scheme of things. Our ambitions and visions and spiritual understandings can subtly lead us astray. Only we are right, all the rest are wrong, we are on "the cutting edge" they are all "traditionalists" and so forth. Paul calls such ministers "puffed up" (1 Corinthians 4:6, 18,19). We can become proud, separated from others, and even angry with the bulk of other Christians. In such a situation we end up without grace - and even resisted by God whom we serve! If you keep "banging into brick walls and dead ends". Then look at your heart. Maybe, just maybe you are not being resisted by Satan - but by God, because you have become proud. If you think you are in an elite ministry, or have a very special understanding or a unique anointing - you are in great spiritual danger. Pick up the basin and towel, and take your place - as a servant! Stop being angry at the body of Christ and instead finds ways to meet its needs and serve it - and your ministry will find great grace and take off!

Now, its Ok to be passionate with the passions God has give you for your ministry. Evangelists should be passionate about the lost and bible teachers about doctrine and mercy ministry people about the poor and so forth. But this passion should not lead to a proud or critical spirit. We should not think we are somehow better than others because of our gifting, calling or knowledge. I am really excited about my internet bible college, I think its amazing and wonderful. But I don't think its "better than" bricks and mortar bible colleges or that I am a crusader with marvelous new "insights". That would be wrong, rather I seek to have it serve the church in Asia and to partner with many other excellent ministries. Unfortunately some Christians see themselves as being able to be critical of the Scriptures and certain difficult truths - such as the doctrine of Hell. Many are now inventing doctrines to suit themselves. Others see themselves as above "old-fashioned morality" and advocate free love amongst Christian youth. The consequences of this are disastrous. The humble Christian submits themselves to Christ, obeys the Scriptures, takes their place in ministry and in the body of Christ, serves His people - and receives great grace as a result.

Blessings (and grace),

John Edmiston


Visit the Asian Internet Bible Institute



Eternity Archives

Eternity Main Page