Sanctified by Grace

There’s an unseen force that works to infiltrate your spirit.

By the time you are aware of its presence, there’s an ugly symptom. When you see the ugliness of it in your own life, you’ll be disgusted.

What is it? It’s a simple little word with devastating consequences – pride. With “i” staying at the center of this word and lifestyle, isolation is soon to follow.

I’m not talking about the right side of nominal self-care, by which you always dress appropriately and brush your hairs in place before leaving the house. I’m discussing the kind that is evil because it causes you to think of yourself as better than others.

Let me place this in the context of God’s gifted servants. You know them, they are often well polished and have at least one skill that they excel in. Those in the equipping offices of the New Testament Church come to mind: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.

By comparing their giftedness with that of other servants of God, some of His choice servants can become filled with pride.

How in the world can this happen? The question denotes the answer. By becoming too attached to the ways of this world spiritual doors are opened which can cause one to think too highly of themselves.

There’s a balance that must be kept. As one of these servants, I can tell you there is a certain amount of confidence needed to use your gifts and equip others. However, this should not grow into the pridefulness of self-confidence. Such pride will yield the devastating consequence of God opposing your life and ministry.

Your confidence must remain in the giver of the gifts Who has employed you. Humility is demonstrated by leaning heavily upon His grace. And the beautiful thing is when you practice this humility, God draws close to you. As a matter of practice, the Holy Spirit yearns jealously for your humble spirit.

Given a choice between gifted competency and godly character, I always want to work with the humble servant of God. Individuals who lack humility are in opposition to the One who called and gifted them. Stay away from them!

Those who allow the Spirit of God to help them can stay in the quiet lane where grace abounds. And in that narrow lane, competence grows as grace sanctifies them.

There is an adage which applies to this subject. I’m not sure of the source, but the value still rings true. “A person can teach what they know, but they will only reproduce who they are.”

This should serve as a primer for the pulpit committees and other groups that are looking to hire and or recruit church staff. When making the final call, go with the more humble person. That servant of God will attract His presence. And as they grow, so will your church.

Examine yourself with a gauge like this. On a number scale of 1 to 10, with one being the most humble and ten being filled to puffiness with pride, what number best represents your current position. Prayerfully assess yourself asking the Spirit of God to show you.

How low can you go? Are you in need of His sanctifying grace?

My final advice is to humble yourself before God and your fellow servants. Don’t persist with pride until He forces you down low.

Recommended Scripture reading for this devotional is James 4:1-10.

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