What does it look like for us to live humbly before God?
4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
Wow, I don’t know about you, but when I read this passage, I’m a little taken aback. It starts off with some pretty strong words, describing friendship with the world causing us to become enemies of God. I’m glad we aren’t reading this verse without the following verses, and without knowing the saving grace we have through Jesus. I find verse six comforting, since it reminds us that God gives us more grace. It is so wonderful to know that God is gracious; he does not leave us in our sin and provides the spirit to dwell in us.
So how do we live our lives not being an enemy of God? If God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble, and then verse nine calls us to humble ourselves before the Lord, then this seems like a good place to begin. Verse 7-9 gives us some ways to live humbly before the Lord in submission to and drawing closer to him.
What does it look like for us to humble ourselves before God? I think, for me, the biggest thing is living life with the cross in perspective. Knowing that I can’t do anything to save myself, and that God is the only one who has saved me through Jesus’ death on the cross, means that I am at the mercy of my saviour; it is only through the grace of God that I am saved. This is what I need to remind myself every hour of every day.
When thinking through how to live humbly before the Lord, I came across a blog on 12 Ways to Humble Yourself that I found helpful. If you are interested in hearing some ways to live humbly before our gracious God, it is worth having a look at. You can find it at: https://billygraham.org/story/twelve-ways-to-humble-yourself/
Head: What do you think it means to live humbly before the Lord? Are there other passages you can think of that help you to see what it looks like to live humbly before the Lord?
Heart: What would it mean to submit yourself to God? What needs to change in your heart to allow you to live humbly before God?
Hands: What can you do to remind yourself that you are saved through the grace of our good God and not by anything we can do ourselves?
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I am so thankful for your grace. Thank you that you have saved me through the death of your precious son on the cross. Please help me to continually live with the cross at the centre of my life. Help me submit to you humbly every hour of every day. In Jesus name, Amen.
A song to listen to: Bring Us Back
Emily Andrews – Creek Road Presbyterian Church- South Bank