“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
I believe with all my heart that one of the top things God is looking for is simply people who want to make themselves available to Him.
God is not looking for religious zealots, or self-righteous, legalistic Christians who spout off stuff like, “Shape up and tell people about Jesus! Do it, or else burn in hell!” No way. Those people find their identity in their religion, not in their relationship with Jesus. They are confused.
God is not looking for aggressive preachers and angry “I don’t sin” Christians—those who hold others’ 100% forgiveness in Christ, hostage. God is also not looking for more people who refuse to tell the truth about Jesus finishing everything at the Cross; those Christians who won’t tell the lost people of the world that our favorable judgment has been finalized through what Jesus did for us—it is finished! (See John 3:17, 19:30).
Because of Christ settling up our sin-debt with God, the only people who will be judged for anything they do (or don’t do) are those who refuse to believe in and accept—by faith—Christ’s forgiveness.
Yet, these types of grace-confused Christians have so much double-talk. They say polar-opposite things, such as, “Come to Jesus as you are and be completely forgiven!” But then the following week they refute such grace-filled teaching, and say, “Stop that or you will be judged worse than non-believers and fall right back into hell!” Which is it?…
Since they won’t tell you the truth, I will: “IT’S FINISHED!” That’s what Jesus said in His last breath on the Cross. What’s most sad is that the same grace these Christians refuse to give others, they too will be in desperate need of.
Yes, I understand that they don’t want Christians to go buck-wild with sin, neither does God—but neither do Christians at their spiritual core (see Romans 6:6). So this brand of conditional-grace Christianity is going about achieving such a goal incorrectly, which is un-truthfully and with fear. Both, graceless-God and fear tactics are broken systems. They don’t work. They’ve never worked. We’re not supposed to be petrified of God, but instead, we are supposed to love and respect Him, and we do this by living from our new hearts—post salvation (see Ezekiel 36:26, Hebrews 8:10).
Because of Jesus giving you a new one, your heart is no longer wicked. It is perfect just like Jesus, and it wants what exactly Jesus wants—even if the flesh doesn’t, or your unrenewed mind fights it.
The Bible says that “it is the goodness of God that leads people to repentance” (see Romans 2:4). So no, God is not looking for graceless fear-mongers who make God look bad.
This is who God is looking for: People who will humble themselves enough to say, “Okay God, I’m willing to allow you to live through me. I’ve tried every other way and nothing seems to work. I know you want me to change my incorrect attitudes and actions, I want to change them, please help me do this.” This is called humility, or, humbleness. Humbleness is Christianity 101, the entry level course, where it all begins. Afterwards, Christ can enter your heart, and give you a new spirit! (See Galatians 2:20).
Until you finally say, “Lord, I’m yours. Make my spirit into the image of Christ. Change everything in me that you want changed.” Until you do this, you can’t fully complete your God-given destiny.
The Bible says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). I don’t know about you, but all the years I lived which were not very humble, I sure felt like God actually was opposing me, and that’s because He was opposing my unholy actions and attitudes! So when my choices and mindsets went against my perfect spirit, a conflict was bound to happen!
But as I ignored Him each day, because He was in me in full, there was a longing in my heart, a disturbance for something so much more. God was saying, “Matthew, let’s get this going. I’ve got some awesome plans, but you are going to have to let me use you.”
Now don’t get me wrong when I say, “humble yourself,” I’m not telling you to become like a beat dog—absolutely not! As a matter of fact, the more humble you become by letting Jesus live through you, the more strength and confidence you develop! It’s very strange!
People can’t control you like they used to and fear doesn’t grip you as often! And in my opinion, even better, self-pity fades away! But what’s really happening in your life as you walk by the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23) is several oxymorons: You are learning how to live in powerful humility, attractive humbleness, and a confident meekness.
HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?! Through Christ! Christ in you, His Spirit, that’s who it is! (See Philippians 4:13).
So today, my friends, know this: No matter what is going on in your life, no matter how many problems you think you have or how messed up someone else has made you feel—please, HUMBLE YOURSELF BEFORE GOD. This is what He’s looking for! Humble, confident believers, who are willing to make themselves available for Him! If you haven’t humbled yourself before God just yet, you can right now. Just say, “Help me Jesus. Make me into who you want me to be!”…and then prepare yourself, because He will!
A prayer for you: God, I remember when I was first trying to allow you to live through me, how it went against my mind so ferociously! I remember feeling like I was being beat up with a bag full of rocks! So I know this is hard, but as I’ve continued, you’ve taught me that my true strength is found in doing things your way, EVEN when it hurts! I understand this now, and it actually feels good! Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. For those who want to humble themselves, STRENGTHEN THEM! Help them to understand your power is made perfect in our weaknesses. And when their actions and attitudes fail them, help them to understand that you NEVER give up on them, because you are IN them, forever. In Christ’s awesome name, I ask these things, amen.
This devotional is from my bestselling book, 60 Days for Jesus, Volume 1. Get your copy here!