God Opposes the Proud, but Gives Grace to the Humble.’ Final Reflection on “Humility”

This is the last reflection on Humility (for now at least, for you can never read this book too many times). Chapter 12 (pgs. 107-114) concludes the reading of this fairly short yet deep well of insight and commentary from the mind and heart of Andrew Murray. Murray gives us some concluding thoughts on what to do with a struggle we generally all face in some form, PRIDE! On page 108, he writes:

“See that you do the one thing God asks: humble yourself. God will see that He does the one thing He has promised. He will give more grace; He will exalt you in due time.”

Murray is drawing upon 1 Peter 5:6, in which Peter tells us, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” We might be tempted to look at this promise of God and think to ourselves, “Ok, if I just humble myself, then I’ll get that promotion, or God will bless me with honor and fame.” I don’t think it is far off to say that if this is our heart, we are probably misunderstanding the heart of God! Murray goes on to clarify his statement above on 1 Peter 5:6 by writing, “The exaltation God promises is not, cannot be, any external thing apart from Himself. All that He has to give or can give is only more of Himself, to take more complete possession. The exaltation is not, like an earthly prize….” This doesn’t mean that God won’t bless with a promotion or something “earthly.” Remember Daniel and Joseph, to name just two such examples in which we see that God did bless tremendously, both spiritually as well as in the physical realm. However, the heart that is truly humble is not going to be seeking the “earthly” reward!

Murray goes on to give us this challenge:

“Make His glory your main concern in humbling yourself. He will make your glory His concern in perfecting your humility, and breathing into you, as your abiding life, the very Spirit of his Son. As the all-pervading life of God possesses you, there will be nothing so natural and nothing so sweet as to be nothing, with not a thought or wish for self, because all is occupied with Him who fills all.”

Let’s do the one thing God asks of us in this matter concerning our struggle with pride: humble ourselves. We can trust that He will be faithful to do the rest! Furthermore, we have this promise of His found in James 4:6, “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.'”


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