The Power to Be Humble

Hydraulic power represents an amazing display of overwhelming strength. We recently rented a hydraulic wood-splitter to cut wood for the winter. Wow!! While no human being could split a 20-inch round of wood with their bare hands, the hydraulic wedge can cut through it with as much effort as it takes a hot knife to slice through butter. The wood might prevail against lesser foes, but it is easily humbled before the power of hydraulics. And my back sure is thankful!

In an infinitely greater way, God’s power is supreme over all. His power is displayed in every realm of His creation. But God’s power is not simply an “out there” reality that we can observe and be awed by as His power is revealed in creation. His power is also very personal in this sobering way: He is able to humble those who walk in pride.

The essence of all sin is pride. Pride passionately seeks to exalt self and, therefore, pride rebels against the absolute authority of God. Pride might be expressed in many different “socially acceptable” ways in a person’s life. Thus, it can often exist undetected in our lives, but it is fully known by the One who sees and searches all, and who is able to humble those who walk in pride.

One of the most graphic examples of God’s power to humble the proud concerns His dealings with King Nebuchadnezzar as recorded in Daniel 4. Double-Quadruple WOW!! This king was unparalleled in his earthly glory and might. The extent of his power and the expanse of his kingdom were staggering. But he was a proud man who did not give glory to God. So God humbled him. Big time. For seven years, God caused him to lose his mind and become like a beast of the field.

King Nebuchadnezzar would not humble himself, so God did. Through his painful experience, the king eventually repented and gave glory to God (Dan. 4:1-3; 34-37).

God is still active and powerful in humbling those who walk in pride. Everyone. As Scripture declares:

“…at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

God’s power is infinite and eternal, and cannot ultimately be resisted by any. But rather than being subject to His humbling work in discipline and judgment, God graciously invites people to humble themselves under His mighty hand (1 Pet. 5:6). To humble oneself, is to openly acknowledge and glorify Him as Lord. It is to trust Him with absolute confidence and joyfully submit to His word. It is to fully and gratefully receive by faith all the blessings and privileges of eternal life that God has given in Christ. It is to rejoice in our God-given weakness and frailty that we might know His all-sufficient power to supply.

A mechanic in an old automotive repair commercial often said this: “you can pay me now, or you can pay me later.” The same can be said for this matter of humility before God – you can humble yourself now, or wait for God to humble you later. One way or another, God will humble all. May you know the joy and peace of being humble under His mighty hand.

Growing in Grace with You,


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