“You rebuke the arrogant, who are cursed and who stray from Your commands.” -Psalm 119:21
The proverb “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” is appropriate with this verse (Proverbs 16:18). The arrogant are indeed cursed, as they are separated from God eternally. Unless a soul is humbled and learns to walk in humility, their eyes will never be opened to see the need for God’s saving grace. Pride is the besetting sin to all others- it is in our sinful nature to the core. Our pride leads us away from the Lord’s commands, as we determine to do what is right in our own eyes. God must discipline the pride which bubbles up in His children too. He would not be loving if He didn’t faithfully address an area of refuse in our hearts. Yet for the unrepentant man who continually feeds on his hubris, God will outright reject him forever.
God is holy, requiring His children to walk in holiness. He will not be mocked. A true believer may wander off the Lord’s Way but God will graciously redirect his footsteps soon enough. Those whose hearts belong to God will not stay away from Him for long but learn to persevere, mortifying the deeds of the flesh. God uses our weaknesses and temptations to sanctify us for our eternal good and His Glory. Our faithful Father will lead His children by His Spirit.
I just finished a Bible study in the Gospel of John with a group of women all over my city. One of the questions in our lesson asked, “How have you seen the Lord’s love and knowledge of you in the way He tailors His correction especially to fit you and your circumstances?”
For me it continues to be a lesson of accepting God’s grace and forgiveness. I’m no longer “just a sinner”, but covered in Jesus’ righteousness. God wants to show me the freedom I have in His forgiveness over my sins, yet I stay wrapped up in all the ways I fail Him. Isn’t that silly? He has made believers as new creations but I cling to dust and ashes. I resist receiving what is already mine.
The past few months have been painful to learn this lesson. I feel like it should be the easiest one to have down pat. Grace is grace and believers live in a “sea of grace” (BSF Notes, Lesson 28, p.4). Yet growing in spiritual maturity is sometimes remembering that we forget the easiest lessons. And I need to remember every day.
Quick to acknowledge that I’m a depraved sinner, I often miss the very real truth that because of Jesus I am forgiven; redeemed. How many times we miss this life giving principle. When we can’t even accept our own failures as forgiven, how in the world do we forgive someone who has wronged us? Or ask for forgiveness from someone else?
We are hidden in Christ, cleansed from all shame. And the best part is that we have done nothing to deserve such mercy- it is all by the grace of God. That is the most humbling and gracious news.
The Lord is actively at work in us, in the world, through all the brokenness. He is redeeming all things for His Glory, and He first starts with His Beloved- you and me. If we want deep faith than acknowledging our deep sin that cannot be cleansed apart from Christ is the first step. Then we move forward and receive the gracious forgiveness extended to us, bought for you and me on the Cross.
Live in freedom.
Walk in freedom.
Satan thrives on paralyzing Christians with our failures, but we have an Intercessor who prays for us- Jesus Himself (John 17; Luke 22:31-32). Even though we might stumble and fall, God is faithful to love us perfectly and patiently. All praise belongs to God, because anything we have already comes from Him, even faith. You and I can receive His grace and not live as one condemned.