The Obvious Secret Often Missed
“God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.” (James 6:4)
For the Christian this is one of the most well-known secrets to success. We all know the passage, yet have we really considered it in light of not having enough grace? When there is a lack of grace in our lives the reason is clear. We simply need more humility!
Grace is critical. Like fuel to the combustion engine it is our key energy source. Having an ample supply is essential and the key to supply is humility. Humility and pride are the elements which either cause God to assist or resist our efforts. Like us, Elijah experienced both!
There are moments when humility and pride stood out in his life. One of the best examples of humility is expressed when he said, ‘I am no better than my fathers’. It came following the greatest victory of his life (1 Kings 19:4). The Baal prophets on Mount Carmel had just been conquered when Jezebel retaliated with a paralyzing threat. It was a crushing spiritual assault but God was about to use to advance His plan.
His aim was in the heart of Elijah and is revealed in the statement, ‘I am no better than my fathers’. It indicates a change of attitude. Until that moment he believed he was better than his fathers. Hidden here is a secret pride which threatens us as it did Elijah. It may not come with those exact words but the sentiment is the same. Every generation must struggle with this secret belief that it is somehow superior to the previous. The Holy Spirit is changing this.
First we need to understand what really happened. Elijah’s discouragement came right after the victory over the Baal prophets. He was ready to celebrate until he heard the threat of Jezebel (1 Kings 19:2). It penetrated him so so deeply that he withered under discouragement. But what could have made him so vulnerable to this simple threat? It was his pride! Pride is the spiritual kryptonite of God’s supermen.
Pride makes us vulnerable to attack as it requires God to withdraw His grace. You may remember the vicious taunts Elijah poured onto his opponents. They are not consistent with humility. The humble do not ‘trash-talk’.
Here is what we need to remember. God wants to pour out His grace but is restrained by our pride. We simply need to come to the place where we know ‘without Him we can do nothing’. Like Elijah we must each come to say, “I am no better than my fathers”. This kind of honor unites families and generations.
There is coming a dimension of the blessing of God the earth has never really seen. It comes as the hearts of fathers and sons turn to one another (Malachi 4:6). The prophet Malachi declares God will send the Spirit of Elijah to accomplish it. We will know we are ready when like Elijah we are fully convinced we are ‘no better than our fathers’.