“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”
(1 Peter 5:6 NIV)
The legendary preacher of yesteryear F. B. Meyer was often noted for the following statement, “I used to think that
God’s gifts were on shelves one above another and the taller we
grow, the easier we can reach them. Now, I find, that God’s gifts are on shelves one beneath another and the lower we stoop, the more we get”.
Often we ask God for things but we are unwilling to humble ourselves to receive what he gives. Pride often stands in the way and blocks the door of success for far too many people.
There are many who are unemployed, but rather than take a job below the level to which they are accustomed, many choose to remain unemployed.
There are many who find themselves in tight spots, and avoid seeking help from members of their own families out of pride. There are some who have encountered financial crises and choose to face a loss of dignity in the community, commit suicide, out of stubborn pride.
A preponderance of bible teaching makes it very clear that those who have not humbled themselves before God cannot expect to have their prayers heard. If we come to our personal altar in prayer but are not straight with God, our prayers don’t make it out of the room; certainly not before God’s throne.
Look at just a few scriptures: Job 27:8-9 refers to our hypocrisy. It notes that if we say one thing and do another, that God will not hear us when we pray to him in times of trouble.
Job 35:12-13 indicates that when we are lifted up in pride and full of ourselves, that God will not hear us or even regard what we say with any degree of seriousness. Those who are living lives outside of God’s will find that not only will their prayers not find their way to God, but that God will get as far away from them as he can.
Proverbs 15:29 reemphasizes this truth by making it plain that God hears those who are living according to his will but stays far away from the unrighteous. Those who support treachery and death in its various forms will also find it difficult to get a prayer through as well.
Isaiah 1:15 says, “And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.”
Based on these truths John 9:31 says, “Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.”
The Christian way is a humble way. It is a way of life that places the will of God before our own desires, and places obedience to God first in our lives. In humble obedience we struggle to live for God everyday.
The greatness of our God is humbling. The awesomeness of his power reduces even the strongest of men to a mere instrument of his will. Every now and then we get a little too high and God has to bring us back down. Let us pray for humility.
Pastor Campbell can reached at firstname.lastname@example.org