But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (verses 6-10)
Grace and humility come together powerfully in this passage.
Humility is expressed in submission to God. Laying aside our own agenda and whatever we have been clinging to from our own accomplishments, we bring ourselves again into that place where we acknowledge we are empty-handed and in continual need of the grace of God. Grace and humility come together.
Humility expresses itself further in acknowledging our ongoing struggle with sin and evil. Realizing the spiritual battle that continues to rage, we submit to God in order to resist. “Prone to wander; Lord, I feel it,” in the words of the hymn. Owning our own sinfulness, we draw near again to wash our hands. Acknowledging the double-mindedness of our lives, we come again to purify our hearts. All of it requires humility. All of it leans into grace. Grace and humility come together.
Humility spills out of face-to-face relationship with our Lord. It’s before him, with his eye upon us (keen and loving), that we bring ourselves down – down to reality, down to our need – and lay ourselves bare in his presence. That’s exactly the place his grace meets us, lifting us up, standing us on our feet, clothing us in Jesus, equipping us with his armour, filling us with his Spirit. Grace and humility come together.
Oh, how good it is, then, that his grace flows so freely. “He gives us more grace.” That grace, of course, has already been lavished upon us (Ephesians 1:7-8). But he gives us more. We’ve humbled ourselves previously, finding his grace meeting us time and again. But he gives us more. What a wonderful God. What a wonderful Saviour.
Gladly, then, I submit to my Lord, drawing near to him, acknowledging my need, humbling myself in his presence. Why would I hold back? He gives more grace.
Lord, thank you for your grace. Thank you for your generosity. Gratefully I receive. Oh, how I need you.
Reflect: Are you in need of more grace this day? What would it require for you to humble yourself before your Lord? Will you? Place yourself before him, ready to receive.