“But He gives us more grace. Therefore He says, God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble…Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up.” James 4:6,10 NKJV
God doesn’t go around passing out free grace gift cards to everyone. He offers free grace gift cards to everyone, but we have to accept it from Him. The proud do not want grace. Because grace requires them to be humble. Grace requires them to put self down and stop chasing around the gods of pride. The more gods of pride we collect the harder our hearts become and we want more, more, more. Hardening of the heart is a natural consequence of pride. Gods of pride are made of rock and stone and wood, so naturally the more we collect the more we become like them. On the other hand the more time we spend seeking God, the more we become like the Him and He is the God of humility.
Think about it….what do you seek after needing more of, wanting more of? Shoes? What kind of god is that? As we bow down to the latest style and color of leather, or pleather, or fabric. We put it on and think we look pretty great…on the outside. But those new shoes we so desired crusted up our heart with just a little bit more pride. It doesn’t have to be shoes, it can be a job promotion, a bigger house, a faster car, a beautiful girlfriend, front row seats at the show, the biggest tv screen or the latest iphone on the day it comes out. It can be an attitude of superiority, a pride of our knowledge, our education, our GPA or IQ. Or pride in the numbers in our bank account. Or maybe we bring the best food to potluck, or have the biggest muscles at the gym, or the fastest time running a marathon. All we do should be done for the glory of God, not for our own personal glory. (1Corinthians 10:31)
God has to resist the prideful heart. It is a natural consequence of choosing death over life. In the terms of infinity, death can not co-exist with life. We live a finite life. Our knowledge is finite. Our pride chooses finite gods. The only way we can join with infinity is to choose an infinite God… and the infinite God is humble. He was not too big or too great, to send His son to die for our sins. It is because of His bigness and greatness that He is able to offer us free grace gift cards.
And so it is with us, with every irritation in life, every put down by someone, every time we are cut off in traffic or passed up for a promotion because the boss’s cousins daughter got it instead,…when we serve the God of humility we have the grace to live bigger, greater lives of humility and forgiveness just like He does. We don’t become God, we become like him in the sense that we allow the power received from His free grace gift card to be lived out in our lives. Which is interesting because that is exactly the tidbit of truth the snake twisted as he threw it out to Eve, “you will become like God himself.” But the lie was that if you chose to do your own thing, seeking after your own pleasure, you would become like God himself and that is simply not true because self seeking increases our pride and pride is death because the God of infinity ‘resists a prideful heart’.
“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud, but shows favor to the humble.’ Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” James 4:6-10 NIV