A Stiff-arm from God
I excelled academically in high school. I set my path to do the same in college. Two things that should have been good did not produce good results because I allowed them to turn to pride. That pride led me into liberalism, which in turn led me to doubt many portions of the Bible and outright deny others.
I was a preacher boy who was supposed to be growing closer to the Lord and learning how to be a pastor. I was not doing either of those well. Both James and Peter explain why:
“God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5
I once heard a gifted Bible teacher translate this verse, “God stiff-arms the proud … .” I think he got it right. What was the original sin that got Lucifer kicked out of heaven? Pride!
When Jesus began His Sermon on the Mount, he said in Matthew 5:3 (NKJV) “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Poor in spirit means humble. Humility is the beginning place for a life becoming like the life of Jesus. Pride is the one obstacle that can block all progress toward that goal.
Consequently, God is willing to go to great extremes to help us overcome pride and humble ourselves before Him. He graciously did so in my life. He brought me to a place where I had to abandon all my so-called intellectualism, and accept in its place that all knowledge and wisdom came only from the Lord through His Word.
In the 1970´s, when God worked this transformation in my life, it was neither popular nor career enhancing to avidly believe in the inerrancy of Scripture and a literal six, twenty-four hour day, creation. But God made me an advocate of both. It was humbling to be the object of ridicule and scoffing. It also drew me into a much closer walk with Christ and a more fruitful ministry.
God´s desire for each of us is to rid us of pride and self-sufficiency and replace it with humility and Christ-dependency.
When considering the reasons why our loving Heavenly Father might allow something like the Coronavirus to bring pain and suffering in the lives of His children, we should consider how greatly the Lord desires to prevent the destruction and fall that pride brings to those who walk its path. As the Spirit declared in Proverbs 16:18 (NKJV) Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.
How many people next year will be able to say, “God rescued me from destruction by a tiny little virus?”
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