Summary: Humility is our weapon against the enemy.
IT’S NOT ABOUT ME
Th: Our Time, Our Turn, Our All
Pr: HUMILITY IS OUR WEAPON AGAINST THE ENEMY.
CV: We will passionately pursue full devotion to Jesus Christ.
PA: How is the change to be observed?
• Seek God above all else.
• Enjoy the love of God.
• Trust like a child.
RMBC 19 April 09 AM
Through mid-June, Lord willing, we will be thinking through our prayer action plan, talking about how we can PRACT – pray and act.
I know that “pract” sounds kind of stupid, but I can’t seem to get it out of my mind.
But it does fit.
When it comes to the Prayer Action Plan, we must pray it and we must act on it.
Let’s read it out loud together.
RENOUNCEMENT: We renounce pride, superiority, and self-dependence.
ANNOUNCEMENT: We announce our complete dependence on Christ alone.
AFFIRMATION: We affirm that Christ must increase and we must decrease.
COMMITMENT: We will humbly seek God and his will through the Word and prayer.
I want to talk today a bit about pride and humility.
We all know that pride is dangerous…
ILL Pride (S)
…and I think Tony Campolo has got a good warning for us…
“If you ever start to feel proud, just remember that soon after your body has been lowered into the grave, your family and friends will be eating potato salad and telling jokes, and you’ll be history.”
That’s funny in a sobering type of way.
But here is a biblical principle from James 4.
Hear this, because it is powerful.
God opposes the proud.
Listen to that statement.
God opposes the proud.
It is sobering.
So note this, whenever we act proud, God is against us.
Whenever pride is our primary motivation, God stands against us.
Whenever we communicate that we are superior, God is not on our side.
This is true for us as individuals.
This is true for us corporately as a church.
What we have discovered over this past year is that it can happen to us corporately, and that indeed, it has.
We have developed an air of superiority and independence that has hurt us, and God has stood against us in this, all the while lovingly urging us to reverse course.
It is dangerous territory to be in, isn’t it?
So note this…
The evidence of independence is self-centeredness and self-exaltation (Luke 22.24).
I am reminded of the story that we find in Luke.
Jesus is at the table with His disciples eating a Passover meal.
He is going to be arrested this very evening.
And what happens?
The text tell us…
A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest.
They were jostling for position.
They figured Jesus was going to establish a physical Messianic kingdom.
And they were wrestling for the seats of power.
They did not get it.
They did not get what He was saying because they were too self-centered to hear or understand it.
They were too busy wanting to be on top to get the idea that being a follower of Jesus means you are a humble servant.
We all struggle with this, don’t we?
We tend to believe that we are more than we are.
We tend to believe that we are products of our own doing.
It is humanity’s constant fight for independence.
It is no wonder, for…
We live in a culture that encourages and rewards ambition (James 3.16)
James very wisely warns us…
For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
We live in a chaotic culture.
It encourages and rewards ambition without qualification.
We are surrounded by a way of life in which betterment is expansion, acquisition, and fame.
We all want more.
We want to be on top, or at least on top of something.
The problem with this is that we are caught up in a way of life that defies God.
Instead of delighting in finding out the meaning of God and searching out the conditions in which our human qualities can best be realized, we recklessly seek ways to circumvent God’s design for us.
It is pride.
It is difficult to recognize pride as sin when it is held up on every side as a virtue.
Scripture calls it sin.
But we do it anyway.
We take things into our own hands.
We grab what we can.
We improve ourselves by whatever means we are able.
We reach to get ahead regardless of the price.
It is, “take care of me first.”
But there is a better way.
With an allusion to Proverbs 13, we once again hear from James…