Ever stood in a circle of new acquaintances at a business or social gathering. The introduction of names are closely followed with, “So, what do you do for a living?” Everyone listens intently, silently compares with their role and all determine their pecking order or standing within the group.
We have all done it, haven’t we?
“He’s a labourer’s apprentice. I’m a ‘whatever’ and… drats, trumped by a Doctor!”
How about when Christians from different churches gather together. After names are introduced, we ask, “which denomination?” to check if we will have common ground. This is closely followed by, “so, how many people go there?” and the pecking order is established.
Do you want to know the name of the most powerful spirit opposing most Christians?
“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.”
If we are divided in our hearts from other churches, if we instinctively look down at other Christians or are self-promoting in attitude, we are walking in Pride!
Ever noticed the middle letter in the word, “Pride”? It’s all about “I”.
And God will not excuse it just because “I” go to church regularly, “I” give of my time and money, or “I” sing praises beautifully. God resisted the prideful Lucifer in Heaven… how much more, “I”!
As followers of Jesus, should we not learn from Him:
Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me.
Yet, much of what we do is the exact opposite to the very nature of Jesus. So often our choice of cars, house, clothes and roles in life have self-exultation driving us in the background.
Jesus also said:
I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge.
Listen to His words carefully because every time we seek to exult ourselves we will run into a wall – God Himself! We come face to face with the Judge.
Consider our world of self-promotion. While highly esteemed among men, God has a different viewpoint:
He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.
And hear further from God’s Heart:
“If my people would only listen to me, if Israel would only follow my ways, how quickly I would subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes!”
Just as it was for the Israelites, “the people of God”, and also for Christians who are adopted as sons and daughters of the God Most High, we need God to be unleashed upon our foes. Foes who are not human, but the terrible powers of darkness that have invaded our land and the adversary who stalks the streets and seeks so whom he desires to devour.
Christian hope is not found in just confronting the Enemy of God, but in allowing God to confront us. Victory over our foes is directly connected to our full surrender to God.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
If truly we “learn from Jesus” and are “gentle and humble in heart“, we will automatically give God the permission to rescue us from the ‘enemies’ of our community, city and nation.
That is an exciting prospect… Victory over our enemies… now that is something to be proud of… or is it?
Oh, I surrender!