“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:10
Is it time to humble yourself in the sight of the Lord? It never ceases to amaze me how many times I can read the same Bible verse over and again, for years even, and miss some of the most important words in the verse. From start to finish, the Bible is chock full of God’s warnings to His Creation that we must humble ourselves with the result that He will then raise us up. So when I considered the verse, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will raise you up,” I didn’t think much more of it than the Lord is reminding us once again that we need to lower ourselves rather than live our lives on our high and mighty prideful perches. How easily, and sadly, I overlooked such a critical piece of His command.
The verse tells us to humble ourselves IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD. Anyone might figure these are just a bunch of meaningless words and rush off with the message in hand simply that we must humble ourselves, right? That’s what I did. After all, of course God sees everything; the whole world is IN HIS SIGHT. So what is the point of emphasizing that we must humble ourselves IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD? The Holy Spirit reached deep inside my heart and showed me the significance of these what turn out to be critically important words.
We humans have a prideful, ungodly habit of doing stuff so we look good and right in the eyes of the world. Whether we do this in front of our family, friends, co-workers, crowds of people, pastors, churches, wherever, whenever, we have a sinful predisposition to put on appearances for all to see. But God is not telling us in this Bible verse to humble ourselves so the world can pat us on the back and tell us how good we are to be humble, or to appear that way anyway in the world’s eyes. He is not commanding us to act humbly in front of others, or to speak seemingly humbly of ourselves, so others think we are doing the right thing and being humble. He is telling us to humble ourselves IN HIS SIGHT. In other words, we need to lower ourselves and exalt Him as sovereign God. We are nothing; He is everything. And God SEES our hearts; He knows what is in them. No matter how hard we may try to appear humble to others, He sees our pride when we are full of it. He also sees our humility when we lower ourselves.
It is high time we stop parading around our lives trying to look good and to please others so we can receive their love, approval, acceptance, validation, and pats on the back and praises. We were not created to receive the praises of people. We were created to give praise to the Lord. We were not created to live our lives for the world. We were created to live our lives for the Lord. As we behold His sovereignty, His magnificence, His majesty, His indescribable beauty and power, we should want nothing more nor anything less than to fall at His feet with hearts full of love and adoration, of praise and honor – and of genuine humility. It is then, when we realize His ever awesomeness, and acknowledge our nothingness without Him, that we come to find that in the midst of our faithfulness and obedience in lowering ourselves before Him, that He lifts us up in His gentle and tender, loving arms with joy beyond imagination. We are lifted up with hearts filled with His love and eyes fixed on the Creator of the universe. Our God! Our King! Our Lord! Forevermore! Is it time to humble yourself in God’s sight? Then humble yourself in the sight of almighty God!