I remember when I thought praying was boring. I did try to pray regularly, every morning and then again every evening before bed, but my prayers were short and boring. The years went by and as I got older I realized there were some things I needed that I couldn’t do for myself. My prayers became longer and more intense. Eventually prayer was no longer an obligation I needed to perform because that’s what good Christians did, but prayer became a place I came to expect conversations, a time of sharing, a time to experience the joy of spending time with God, rather than just a time of a few requests on my part.
I remember when I wished I could plainly hear the voice of God booming from the sky. It would have made life so much easier to know exactly what I should do. But, God already has basic instructions for our lives written down in the Bible. I’ll use a simple cliché example: “Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13:34). A plain and simple command, but how often do we really put that plain and simple command into practice? But, that one simple, basic instruction can lead us in all our decisions.
Let’s go back to what separated created beings from God in the beginning. First of all Satan wanted to be like God. He wasn’t happy with his position in life, if he could just take one step up he could become like God, or so he thought. In reality he could never become like God, because God is the Creator, while the rest of us are created beings. When Satan tempted Eve, it wasn’t just about eating the fruit that God had forbidden her to eat. It was about desiring to be like God. Eating the apple represented rebellion against humility and acceptance of pride.
When pride replaces humility in our relationship with God it is hard to hear what He has to say. The pride that lives in our heart refuses to open the door when humility comes knocking. When Eve opened the door of her heart to pride and let it into her heart her eyes glazed over just like ours do with a taste of pride. She didn’t’ realize how “high” pride could make her feel and yet how low it could bring her down. The joy of being in the continuous presence of God was broken, her ability to hear the voice of God blocked by the voice of pride blaring the joys of independent living, the greatness of her own intelligence, the beauty of making her own choices. It is easier to pursue the joy pride brings rather than the joy of humility. The joy of humility comes after the pain of ignoring pride, the pain of pride comes after the joy of pride. So we remain in a cycle of addiction to pride, in order to remove the pain pride caused us we seek more prideful living to cover it up.
God created you so that your purest joy would spring from total dependence on Him. I challenge you to turn down the noise of pride in your life and choose the humility and nothingness that leaves God free to be everything in your life. Pray for God to remove all pride from your heart, pray that the humility of Jesus will pervade all the dark recesses of your heart and that your actions will reveal the love and humility of the life of Jesus living in you. Jesus came to show us the beauty of the joy of the presence of God. He told us, “Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.” (Matthew 11:29)