Bible Reading– James 4
I remember writing a test when I was in the University that got my whole class scared that the lecturer was playing some prank on us. It was a really dreaded and very important course. The build up preparation had been so intense and scary. People had read everything they could comprehend and crammed everything they could not understand.
Eventually, on the day of the test, the lecturer tells us that it’s going to be an open book test. The initial screams of excitement and jubilation were quickly replaced by palpable deep fear. For it to be an open book test, he’s probably going to ask us to answer some very impossible questions.
Well, he reels out the question and it is actually the simplest thing ever! Can this be true? Is there a trick to it? As I remember that moment, I wish I enjoyed the test with more confidence and belief. Here I was spending the whole time of the most simplified test I’ve ever written in my life wondering where the trick was.
Well, there was no trick.
Have you ever had something that feels too good to be true? Can it really be this simple?! You’re thinking there has to be something really complex to it.
In our passage today, James spells out all the havoc that pride can wreck in our lives, in our relationships, in our relationship with God, and even in what the future holds for us.
On the one hand, I’m terrified at how intense a thing pride really is and the consequences of slipping into a life of pride! James goes as far as saying that God Himself opposes the proud person! I can deal with quite a few people opposing me, but quite honestly, I can’t deal with God opposing me!
But on the other hand, I’m amazed at the simplicity that James suggests in conquering pride.
We think about dealing with pride by all these big mechanical decisions- walk in a certain way, talk in a certain way, introduce every sentence with ‘by God’s grace’, downplay every one of your achievements, etc.
But no, James would tell you thats not where it starts from.
‘Therefore submit to God…’ James 4:7 NKJV
If we’re not consciously embracing the responsibility of submitting to God, then we are already slipping into pride. The fruit might look different from person to person, but the root is the same.
Submitting to God should be like a very simple open book test for a Christian, but how often do we fail it? How often are we high hearted and steep in our own plans, thoughts and agendas?
At the base of all our worship every time should be submitting to God. At the base of reading God’s word should be submitting to him. At the base of our generosity and devotion should be submitting to God. How hard can that be for a Christian!
Are you failing this simple open book test of submitting to God?
Are there areas of your life that you have to make a conscious decision to let go and submit? The devil loves it more than anything to see you hold back! To not be submitted to God is to be walking in pride.
Today, I make a renewed commitment to conquer my huge pride potential by my simple and consistent submission to God.
Dont ever forget this: Don’t work hard trying to not be proud. Simply submit to God!