Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Well, here we go again with humility. Since the Holy Spirit has inspired James to cover this topic twice in just the very first part of this chapter, we can only conclude the topic must be important to God. If readers remember, the whole conversation about grace to overcome conflicts began with a discussion of humility versus pride, back in Verse 6.
So far we have covered: submission to God, resisting the devil, drawing near to God, being clean and pure, and now the fact that to appropriate God’s grace we need to become humble.
Pride has always been our problem hasn’t it? After all, the pride of life was one of the thing which led to Adam and Eve’s fall in the Garden of Eden. John discussed this in one of his letters.
1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
Isn’t humbling ourselves before God in repentance and humble faith in The Lord Jesus Christ the first step towards our salvation? In fact, isn’t that really the basis of our entire salvation? The same is true for our daily walk with The Lord as well.
It’s when we exalt ourselves that we have issues. God wants us to see Him as He really is: glorious and holy; He then wants us to see ourselves as we are: lowly and sinful. Here are some Old Testament thoughts on this matter from men considered to be great men.
Isaiah 6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
This, however, is not a grim story. God simply desires that we not exalt and uplift ourselves. He wants humility from us, then He will lift us up and exalt us. That is His job, not ours. Jesus had a couple of things to say on this:
Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 20:25-28 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
That last passage is another place where we see Jesus Himself setting the example. Because, where is Jesus now? At the right hand of the Father, or course! What about us? Let’s close with this thought.
Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: