Verse of the Day Devotion: James 4:10
“Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” – James 4:10
James here, in this passage, is telling the Christians to remain humble before the Lord. When we either go before God in prayer and praise, or in studying His word, we must remember who we are and who we are going to. He is God, the Almighty Creator of all things. We are man, someone whom He created. This is an infinite gap between us. All mankind has sinned against Him, from Adam and Eve to us individually. We have gone against His commands and were destined for eternal punishment.
But in God’s love and mercy, knowing that we had no possible way of paying the penalty for ourselves, sent His only begotten Son to die in our stead. For it took a perfect being to earn salvation, however, no one has ever lived this perfect life except for Jesus. “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2.
Based on these verses, what could be our reason for exalting ourselves before God? Were we perfect? No. Did we deal with our own sin? No. Did we help Him in any way with the process? Absolutely not. However, because of the joy set before Him, He endured what we deserved, death. In tasting death for every man, He is set down at the right hand of the Father, and as the theologian Adam Clarke said in his comment on Hebrews 12:2, “ever appearing in the presence of God for us, and continuing His exhibition of Himself as our sacrifice, and His intercession as our mediator.” We could do nothing; therefore, He did everything.
One last thing that it is important to remember, as Paul said to the Philippians, “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13. What God calls us to do, He works in us to fulfil His will In us. To think we do it all is a misunderstanding. We submit to Him and He does a great work through us. He has a similar statement that he wrote to the Thessalonians. “To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12. It is God who makes us worthy of His calling on us and will do a great work through us by His power, so that Jesus may be glorified in us, and us in Him. It is here, in Him working through us, that we are glorified, where we are exalted.
Because He created us, then saved us when we sinned, then works through us to accomplish His will, we have no standing to come before Him in anyway but humbly. For we are, as Christians, who we are because of Him. Let us always remember this, so that when we go before God, we come in humility. Our future is set, and we will live forever with Him in glory. What a great gift along with the others He has already shown us.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.