By Bob Hoekstra
God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble . . . through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand. (James 4:6 and Romans 5:2)
Thus far in our daily meditations on growing in the grace of God, we have examined various areas of biblical truth: such as, the Old Covenant of law, the New Covenant of grace, God's sufficiency for godly living, living by the promises of God, and Old Testament saints who lived by God's grace. Now, we return to an extended consideration of how we avail ourselves of the glorious riches of God's grace. As noted earlier in our studies, God's grace is accessed through humility and faith.
If we desire to live by God's grace, we must be willing to renounce pride and to walk in humility. "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." The Lord is opposed to the path of self-sufficiency. When we pridefully assume that we can produce the kind of life God calls us to live, spiritual progress is prevented. Humility involves agreeing with God's pronouncements concerning our inadequacies. "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves" (2 Corinthians 3:5a). The person who is willing to walk humbly before the Lord has an accurate understanding of our comprehensive need for the Lord to work in and through our lives. "Without Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5b).
Along with humility regarding ourselves, God wants us to walk in faith regarding Him. The Lord wants to work in our lives by His incomparable grace. Faith accesses grace: "through whom [Jesus] also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand." The Lord is pleased by the path of "Christ-dependency."
Whenever we face any issue of life by faith in Jesus Christ, we are drawing upon the abounding grace of the Lord. When we dependently accept that God can produce the kind of life He calls us to live, spiritual progress is assured. Faith involves agreeing with God's pronouncements concerning Him being our adequacy: "but our sufficiency is from God" (2 Corinthians 3:5b). The person who is willing to walk in faith toward the Lord has an accurate understanding of His comprehensive ability to work in and through our lives. "He who abides in Me . . . bears much fruit" (John 15:5b).
Also, as noted earlier, humility and faith are relational realities. Neither can be produced by us. They are not the result of human labor. They can only develop as an increasing reality through a growing relationship with the Lord Jesus.
Dear Lord, I humbly admit my own insufficiency to produce the life You want me to live. Nevertheless, I confidently confess Your grace as my sufficient resource for abundant fruitfulness. Lord, I want to know You better, that humility and faith might be growing realities in my life, Amen.