Everyone likes to think that God is for them. We see it in politicians of every party to the most vulgar of superstars. Athletes claim God is with them as well as little league teams. It could be a drinking game before any major event or awards ceremony on how many people thank God. Nations claim God is with them in their endeavors while He is against other nations and their endeavors.
I know in my own life I just assume that God is cheering for me. I sing with the Church the song “Our God” that proclaims “and if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us. And if our God is for us, then who could stand against”. We are constantly sent the message that God is always with us. But, what does the Bible say about God standing against us? Both as a Church collectively and as individuals? What about times we put ourselves against God and still assume His blessing?
While I believe there are many specific actions that will cause God to stand against us there is one attitude that I am drawn to write about. When an individual, church or movement has this in their heart they can be assured that God is against them! They are what Jesus calls a “white washed tomb”. Their actions are a facade and they will be exposed. The Bible makes clear that God will not be mocked.
Have you guessed it? In the book of James we read “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble”. Some might feel relief at such a simple statement. But, we should understand the gravity of God opposing us! It’s not that he’s shaking his head or is slightly disappointed He is against us when we allow pride to rule us. The fact that we feel we can breathe a sigh of relief is probably a sign of our pride.
Pride is exalting ourselves, our ideas and accomplishments to a place that belongs only to God. He alone is worthy of praise and will not share His glory with anyone or any organization. We exalt God with our lips but claim the glory in our hearts. We sing “How Great Thou Art” but are thinking “Don’t I look so spiritual singing this song with my hands raised?”
Ironically I think God is closest to those who don’t think they deserve Him. He is close to the widow, the orphans, the prisoners, the sick, the weak, the lonely and the elderly. He is closest to us in our brokenness. He is close to the humble and broken-hearted. He rejects us in our pride.
What is our hope then if we find that God is not for us but against us? James offers the answer! “Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?
Jam 4:6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Jam 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Jam 4:8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Jam 4:9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
Jam 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
I mentioned before in another post that humility is not belittling ourselves but rather acknowledging Gods worthiness to be exalted. When we see God for who He is we realize how much we need him. There is no place for pride in the presence of God.
Unfortunately most of us miss this blessing because we feel it is too important to exalt ourselves to others. We don’t understand that God wants to lift us up. But, when He lifts us up it is to exalt His name and what He has done. We, like God, do not like sharing our glory with another. We believe that God exalts us because we have done something. And, just as quickly we are brought back down and lose God’s blessing.
We love to talk about the idea of God being with us but what about the times he is against us? Which one best describes your life? How can we walk humbly with God?