Zephaniah 3:11-12 “I will remove from this city
those who rejoice in their pride.
Never again will you be haughty
on my holy hill.
But I will leave within you
the meek and humble,
who trust in the name of the Lord.”
I don’t think I’ve ever done a study of it or used it as the theme for selecting daily Bible readings, but the Bible is absolutely loaded with passages like this one that talk about the dangers of pride. Actually, pride was Lucifer’s sin, because he wanted God’s glory for himself. (Isaiah 14:12-14) It was what he used to snare Eve, telling her that disobedience to God would make her become like God, (Genesis 3:5) and it has been the downfall of countless people ever since. The reason it is so deadly is that it tells us we don’t need God, and so elevates us in our minds to the place that rightly belongs only to God. To borrow a baseball term, that’s an automatic out. As this passage says, God will remove such people from His people. Proper humility before God isn’t saying, “I can’t do anything,” it’s saying, “I can’t do anything without God.” Someone who is fully committed to God can easily come across as brash to others, because they have full assurance that though they can’t do anything on their own, God can do anything at all through them. We tend to get so confused on that issue. Often what passes for humility is simply a lack of faith that God can and will use us. In a sense, that’s simply another face of pride, because it’s saying that our weaknesses and inadequacies are too much for God to overcome! God wants us to walk in assurance, just not self-assurance!
This is a difficult issue, and one that has tripped me up numerous times. Conceit has always been a problem for me, and it was a major breakthrough when I had a revelation to the core of my being that God’s smart and I’m not. At the same time, I must not draw back from anything God is directing simply because it is beyond my abilities. If I never do anything beyond my abilities, how is God going to be glorified? God has gifted me with a very wide range of abilities, and I often feel I’m a poor steward of them. That too can be a form of pride, thinking that what God has given me is for my use alone. I’ve got to keep every ability, every resource, fully submitted to God for His use. I know I will be blessed in the process, but that is not to be my goal. Rather, my focus is to be on Him, for His purposes to be done in and through me for His glory.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for how far You’ve brought me in this area, and for the awareness that I have further to go. Thank You that I don’t need to be anxious about it, because I know that You are indeed more powerful than any of my weaknesses, or all of them put together. Help me be totally humble before You, and at the same time totally assured of Your grace and power in and through me, so that nothing will hinder my availability to You. Thank You. Praise God!