“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” James 4:10
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,” 1 Peter 5:6
“Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Cor. 12:9-10
“Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18
“Strengthen him,” I prayed one day to the Lord about someone in ministry with whom I had crossed paths in the past. Not sure why he came to mind. But he did. Maybe the Lord placed him on my heart. Certainly I felt compelled to pray this little prayer. This prayer that turned out to bear a message. “And humble him.”
That’s right. That’s what I prayed. “Strengthen him, and humble him.”
Doesn’t that seem totally backwards to pray? To even think? Foolish even? To pray God would strengthen and humble someone? Well, it is backwards, isn’t it? Backwards in the eyes of this world. According to the world’s ways. After all, our world teaches us to be strong in our own strength. Then who gets the glory? Who gets the praise? We do! Why be humble? We should be proud, shouldn’t we? Well, that is indeed what the world teaches. WE should be a success. WE should be strong. WE should accomplish things on our own. WE should have a great appearance. WE should do things well. WE should climb up the corporate ladder. WE should. WE should. WE should.
What does God teach us? What does His Word tell us? TO BE HUMBLE. Pride is SIN against God. And we SHOULD be strong. But not in our flesh. IN GOD’S STRENGTH. What happens when we humble ourselves? God lifts us up! God makes us strong! God perfects His love and strength in us. HIS LOVE. HIS STRENGTH. For HIS GLORY.
Do you see? The prayer I prayed that day in fact had a vital message for us all though I had planned to say nothing more than the little prayer that came to my heart.
We must HUMBLE OURSELVES before God and others. We must admit our weakness of ourselves. We must seek the Lord’s love, mercy, forgiveness, grace, and strength, and all that He has for us. And we must GIVE GOD THE GLORY!
Who in the end is strong? The one who humbles himself or herself before God. Because it is then our hearts are open to the strength of God almighty. When we pridefully raise ourselves up, we are headed for destruction and a fall. When we humble ourselves and acknowledge we are weak and nothing without Jesus, it is then the Lord shows Himself strong. Stronger than we could ever be. Stronger than anyone or anything in the universe.
Let’s cast away our pride, friend. Let’s humble ourselves before God almighty. And let’s let the world know the strength they see in us belongs to Jesus. To God be ALL the glory, AMEN!
p.s. When I looked back at this little devotional, the Lord showed me something I hadn’t seen in writing it. “Strengthen him, and humble him,” I had prayed. Not only do we need to humble ourselves in order to receive God’s strength, and not only is this a wonderful opportunity to give God ALL THE GLORY for the strength He gives us. But when He gives us His strength, we need to be humble about the strength we now have! Humility and strength go together when placed in the hands of the Lord, don’t they?
Be strong, friend. And be humble! Strong in Him! Humble before Him! Giving Him ALL the glory!