James 4:6, But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
In the sanctification process, God is at work in the life of a Christian, seeking to conform him more to the image of Christ. This sanctification is something that God does, but uses man’s obedience in the process. Every command God gives to us confronts our wills. We must therefore choose to do what God wants, rather than choose to do what we want. There are, though, a seemingly numberless amount of commands, and they can become daunting. Because of this, we can wrongly conclude that we shouldn’t even try because failure is inevitable. Or we can take a different, but equally erroneous approach and commit ourselves to just simply try harder and harder.
There are certain truths to keep in mind when we discuss changing into the image of Christ. First, is that we cannot do this on our own. We desperately need God’s help. God is working in us to both desire to please him, as well as helping us do those things that please Him.
A second truth is this: God’s offers His grace to those who will humble themselves in His sight.
The axiomatic truth that God gives grace to the humble is found in Proverbs 3, James 4, and 1 Peter 5. This is something that is always true. A person who humbles himself before God will receive grace to do what God has called upon him to do. His grace is not just present at the time of our conversion, but is available throughout the entirety of our Christianity.
Think of it as an unending well. The well of God’s grace can never be diminished, it will never dry up, nor will it ever be exhausted. It is God’s grace that can help us fight the sinfulness of our flesh, and yield to the Spirit. It is God’s grace that can help us to respond to our spouses in love, rather than anger. It is God’s grace that can help us to build up our children, rather than provoke them to anger. It is God’s grace that can help us trust God rather than accuse God of being unloving, when we find out we have a debilitating disease. It is God’s grace that can enable us to do those things that we dislike, but need to do. It is God’s grace that can conform us into the image of Christ, in our words, our mindset, our attitudes, and our actions.
Humility is like the faucet handle of God’s grace. When we truly humble ourselves before God, His grace flows freely to us. However, when we exert our selfish and sinful pride, that grace is replaced by opposition. God has a divine allergic reaction to pride in the heart of mankind. Man’s pride never yields God’s grace.
In order for sanctification to take place in our lives, we must yield ourselves completely to God’s help, and we must also realize that God has given us the tool of His grace – always available, and always sufficient – to help us do what we need to do, say what we need to say, respond how we need to respond, and be who we need to be.
Embrace the grace of God available to you because of your relationship through Jesus Christ, and allow God to grow you more into Christ’s image for His own glory.