James 1:4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
In a commentary I read along with this scripture it said a curious thing, which I don't really know if I totally agree with, but here goes. It said"God's grace will be extended to those who are humble before Him. God opposes means He resists and sends judgment, for the proud have chosen the praise and the methods of the world and are acting as God's enemies." God's enemies? I can see this in the scripture in Matthew where Jesus said in chapter 12 and verse 30 30 He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters. To which I wonder, what am I scattering? Jesus teaches again and again to serve with the leadership of the Holy Spirit that lives within us. The very reason for the Holy Spirit being given to us is to equip us to live this life of righteousness given to us by God through Jesus. We would have to openly, or secretly, oppose the leadership of the Holy Spirit and to not live a humble life to go against this very teaching. So I understand more and more the definite fine line of what God's word is saying. But do I follow it? Psalm 75:4 says I say to the boastful, ‘Do not boast,’ and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horn.
I guess it would come down to why I do what I do, and do I lift up Jesus in all things? Self pride and self promotion will cause us to do a lot of what's. But the way will cause that effort to lead us to prideful thinking. When reading about the excellence of love, our basic life stimulus, Paul wrote to the church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 13:1f I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. Of course, a person who is eaten up with pride will also be able to resolve this scripture by saying "Oh, everything I do, I do because I love Jesus!!" But, it is not about so much our "love" for Jesus, but our attitude in serving Him.
Where does the "oh I will show you" attitude come from? Sometimes it comes from living in a very pridefui household that promotes family pride and that pride comes across as very "noble" but in context it is a covering for the real problem. You are intimidated by life. Family pride is further built on a foundation of what we have acquired or accomplished. We see this in every area of our society and it is also promoted so much it almost....almost seems right. But, it isn't. It is just pride creeping into our hearts and it rules in a strong way in our interaction with God and with other "humble" Christians. I remember going to my kids athletic events and cheering so much for them that i realized I was cheering for my family name. Sad, but true. True humility is nowhere near that attitude and that is why Jesus taught so strongly on the subject. For Jesus to say "you are either for me or against me" is more earth shattering than we will ever admit. And Satan rides this ripple that became a wave in our life and he will ride it as far as he can. So we need to kill it at its source. Our Heart!! Here is how we can be lured into following this weak way of living. This story shares a good lesson. Did you hear about the clever salesman who closed hundreds of sales with this line: "Let me show you something several of your neighbors said you couldn't afford." This saleman used the pride of people to sell them something they didn't want so their pride would kick in to show them they could afford it. But it was all a big lure.
We can even boast in our wisdom and make our knowledge of the Word of God a point of pride. Really? Yes, and the prophet Jeremiah spoke to this in Jeremiah 9:Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.” If we are going to boast we should boast that we "know" the Lord. And in knowing the Lord, we know His ways. This depth of living is a step in the right direction. A step toward God.
Our country has made this way of life a deep problem in our society. Advertising has taken this terrible sin of pride and made billions of dollars from it. The weird thing about it is we won't even admit it to the point of changing, so the problem is deep. In 1 John 2:16 John writes For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. Churches are worried more about the latest trend than the lifestyle God shows each of us through His Word. We have become so good at it, we can even justify it through scripture. We are in the endurance stage of the James verse above and in that endurance issue James shares that endurance must go it's course, for a perfect result. If we try to do this on our own with our own impressions we will fail miserably and fall straight back into the old lifestyle of pride. It is like a strong magnet that pulls much stronger than we can resist. But, what happens when you hold two magnets wrong way around, they push apart- they repel!! When we repent and turn away from the ways of this world and turn toward God we repel the way satan wants us to live and we adhere to God and His ways. Another name for this is repenting! 2 Corinthians 10:12 Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measures themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding. We quit going the way of the world and have a heart change and when we turn away we immediately repel satan and are drawn toward God (as we should be). James 4:7 says 7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Jesus was tempted by satan in the wilderness and satan took the opportunity when Jesus had not eaten for 40 days to tempt Him, and even quoted scripture to Jesus, the Word. But satan sqewed the verses to make his argument and Jesus set him straight and resisted. When you turn back to God satan won't let you go so easily and he will try to get you turn back to him so his magnet will pull on you again. But as the scritpure says above that we need to submit to God and resist the devil. That is the formula given by James and it works. Resist living a prideful life that elevates you and humbly walk with God and He will lift you up. James 4:10 says 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. I would recommend reading the book of James from beginning to end and study the word James is sharing. In it's entirety it will minister the full message of living a humble life to your spirit and changes will take place. But it may change your way of living. If so, then praise the Lord!! Isn't that the goal? Then we will not say I Did It! We will say "God has done a great work.....and mean it!! Romans 11:18 Do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear.
The Pilgrimage Continues...