“The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.” Isaiah 2:11 ESV
The angel in the picture reminds me of me. The sweet countenance of an angel, saved by grace, living a Christian life, while tooting my own horn. I have often said, “I am proud to be an American.” I have also said, “I am proud to be a Christian.” This morning, during my devotions, I was convicted of the word ‘proud’ to the point that I was almost sad. I didn’t understand at first and the more I prayed about it the more the Holy Spirit showed me the meaning.
I have a hunger to know more about God so that I can live like Jesus; I also have a hunger for my family to accept Jesus and follow Him for eternity. And, God forgive me, I feel that I have sometimes come across as proud that I am saved. That it was something that I did to be saved.
The Oxford definition of pride is, “a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements.” I like the way SeekFind.net defines it, “Pride is a peculiar kind of insanity caused by a lack of humility.”
Both definitions take the ginormous sacrifice of Jesus out of the equation. “I am proud to be a Christian.” Today’s revelation told me that I was asking others to look at my life, how I live, what I say and do over what they need. Oh! The insanity of this! And the danger of making others think that they actually have something to do to follow Jesus. We hear “repeat this prayer with me,” raise your hands and speak in tongues,” wear this and don’t wear that, do this and do that! What it takes is believing that Jesus did all the work. What it takes is opening our hearts to the Holy Spirit and the desire to allow Him to change us. It is not what we do or say, but what He does when we get ‘self pride’ out of the way.
“Holy Spirit, release me from any sense of pride in my salvation, and restore the humility that I am still a sinner. I am saved, not by my own works but only by Your grace. When others ask me why I live as I do, stop me from using the word ‘I’ and replace it with Jesus. “
The Trinity worked together to provide a door to restoration. The veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom as Christ hung on the cross. I had nothing to do with that. This act was a direct intervention created by God the Father, fulfilled by God the Son, and lived in my life through God the Holy Spirit.
Yes, I am humbled by the fact that God cares enough for me to make a difference in my life. And I pray that I will keep this at the forefront of my life as I allow God to work through me in the lives of others.