This is an ongoing series dealing with four of the answers to the question, "I’ve done everything I can and nothing is working. Why?"
We’ve already examined two answers:
#1. The God-Factor is inactive – "Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain."
~ Psalms 127:1
#2. The individual is laboring in ignorance – "A fool’s work wearies him; he does not know the way to town."
~ Ecclesiastes 10:15
Let’s look at the third answer.
“…‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
~ 1 Peter 5:5
It is possible for God Himself to resist the progress and promotion of an individual.
“But,” you might be wondering, “isn’t God a good God?”
Sure He is.
How then could He be opposing someone?
Well, God is good, but according to His word, He opposes a certain type of people: The proud. He said so Himself.
11 I will punish the world for its evil,
the wicked for their sins.
I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty
and will humble the pride of the ruthless.
~ Isaiah 13:11
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
~ Luke 1
There you have it; God opposes the proud. When pride takes its place in the life of an individual, he experiences resistance from God.
It’s bad enough to not have God working in one’s plans; but to have Him opposing one’s efforts is another matter entirely. The reason most people have efforts without results – laboring in vain – is because God is actively opposing them due to their arrogance.
The Egyptians encountered divine opposition when they pursued the Israelites into the Red Sea.
24During the last watch of the night the LORD looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. 25 He made the wheels of their chariots come off[b] so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The LORD is fighting for them against Egypt.” ~ Exodus 14
Clearly, the Egyptians were enemies of God. However, it is possible for one to find himself or herself in this situation as a result of pride. This is a most common cause of stagnation in life.
Pride turns people into God’s enemies: Ask Lucifer. Pride demonizes.
So, what is pride?
Its not very easy to define pride: Let me rather point out some of its manifestations.
#1. Feeling that you are better than others: This is very rampant among religious bigots.
The worst form of pride is spiritual pride.
The gospels have the account of the Pharisee who strutted before God in prayer, highlighting his righteousness before the Mosaic Law. Another man, who described himself as a sinner, also came before God, but in penitence and humility. The account has it that the second left the presence of God more justified before God.
12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!
~ 1 Corinthians 10
#2. The inability to ask for help from others: Some folks need to learn how to give, many others, however, need to learn how to receive. To ask is an exercise in humility. Avail yourself of that exercise if you have problems with pride.
Pride makes a lot of people suffer and die in silence. A lot of times, asking for help will humble you and attract more blessings to you.
#3. The inability to listen to others: If you can’t be silent during a conversation with another, it is a sign of pride.
Must you win every argument? If so, you probably have problems with insecurity – and, maybe, pride.
We mess up big time when we think we know it all and fail to get input from other people.
#4. Unforgiveness towards self: When you are unable to forgive yourself, its a manifestation of pride.
One, you are indirectly claiming to be holier than God, and two, you are saying that you are above mistakes.
Let me give you some practical tips to eliminate pride from your life
#1. Practice listening to others even if you think you know better.
#2. Practice submitting to others.
#3. Ask for help from others.
#4. Practice serving others. You take action against pride by serving others. Do it until you no longer feel miserable doing it.
Humble yourself before your Lord and others. If you can do that, there’s no limit on the grace He’ll make available to you. A life of humility is how to attract the favour of God and man.