God Opposes the Proud
- Monday, May 22, 2006
The Lord has recently, and it seems repeatedly, called this passage (Proverbs 3:34) to my mind and I confess, with considerable discomfort. There is within me a deplorable tendency to think more highly of myself than I ought. This is often a particular point of struggle for those who work in vocational ministry. For me, my struggle comes from thinking that I know more than others or that I am blessed with superior insight or understanding. To be sure, I do believe and the Bible teaches that the Lord most certainly can and does give abundant wisdom and understanding. My struggle is in remembering this important fact. It is the Lord and the Lord alone who gives wisdom and understanding.
Each and every week I attempt to explore some relevant social or cultural issue and hopefully provide a thoughtful "christian" perspective that aids you, the reader, in analyzing a given subject or issue in order to both understand and respond more effectively to those issues that challenge God's truth. Historically, this process has been relatively easy. I search the cultural landscape seeking that which the Lord would draw my attention to and then "listen" as He opens my understanding and clarifies the issue in need of address. I then spend a couple of days in further research, building the case through extra-biblical arguments and evidences for the Christian worldview and finally I write these thoughts down. I am generally and pleasantly surprised by the result and take this as affirmation that the Lord has helped me to see and say something unique, something that apart from His grace I simply could not know much less share.
Lately this process has grown more challenging and I believe the Lord is teaching me something very important - I am full of pride! I think far too highly of myself and my own abilities. I think that I am more important (or at least I should be) than I am. I foolishly think that the Lord needs me - that I am somehow essential to His plan. Even writing this gives me a sense of shame and embarrassment, not because I am afraid of what you will think of me but what the Lord must think of me.
For those of you who know me you know that I carry a deep and passionate burden for the Church and its growing irrelevancy in today's culture and I believe with all of my heart that the 21st century Church in America is in desperate need of revival and renewal. However, this passion can and often has been a cover for my own pride and arrogance. I have pressed, in more militant terms than I would like, friends and co-workers and justified this attitude in the name of passionate service to the Lord. I repent of this and ask forgiveness.
You may wonder, "Why is he telling me this?" The answer is really quite simple; I do not want to hinder in any way what the Lord wants to do in and through me. I am a wretched sinner, who is daily in desperate need of God's grace and mercy. I need to be freed from the last vestiges of willful independence and settled securely in child-like dependence on Jesus Christ and public confession is a part of letting the Lord do what He will in me. To you I want to be transparent in my own struggles because I believe that I am by no means alone in this struggle.
One of the more the destructive effects of the Enlightenment upon us contemporary Christians results from the modernistic emphasis on human reason and by association the belief that we can know truth absolutely and with certainty. That is not to suggest that absolute truth does not exist, certainly not. It merely means that human reason and understanding are limited. In other words, "we see through a glass darkly." As Francis Schaeffer put it, "God's revelation of Himself is indeed sufficient but not exhaustive." There are simply things that the Lord has not revealed to us and thus we cannot know nor can the human mind fully fathom the depths of God. There is much mystery through which our minds are simply unable to penetrate. To think otherwise is supremely prideful and arrogant.
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