It’s hard to be humble, isn’t it? Perhaps you don’t see yourself as a prideful person, but we all struggle with pride at times and in one way or another. It is in our sinful nature to be self-focused and self-worshipping, and it takes effort to kill our pride and humble ourselves before God, desiring what He wants above what we want.
Today, we are going to continue digging into the famous passage of Proverbs 3:5-8. In a previous blog, we stuck to the first two verses in this passage, and were reminded that God always knows what is best and good in every situation, and we are called to trust in Him and His understanding – not ours. We also discussed how we are to acknowledge His and His sovereignty in even the hardest of circumstances. It isn’t always easy to trust in Him, but I would rather put my trust in a sovereign, all-powerful, always perfect and loving God rather than my imperfect self, wouldn’t you?
Before we move forward in the study of this passage, let’s review these verse altogether:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones.
Verses 7-8 are a call to humbleness with a promise of the blessings of killing pride in our lives. It is clear that all throughout scripture the Lord speaks strongly against pride. Verses like Psalm 138:6 pose a great warning for those who choose to live their lives in stubborn pride: “For though the Lord is exalted, yet He regards the lowly, but the haughty He knows from afar.” Likewise, “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12) What grave warnings these are!
In our Proverbs passage, we are told to not be wise in our own eyes. This connects well to the previous verses discussed in our last blog; when we think we know better that God and that we have a better understanding of a situation that He, we are being prideful. We are placing ourselves above God and believing that He doesn’t know what is good and we do. Again, remember: God is the One Who created goodness and He gets to create the definition. We may not see a situation as good, but we are called to not think of ourselves as wiser than God and trust His Word when it says that God causes everything to work for our good – to make us more like His Son, Jesus (Romans 8:28-29)! When we acknowledge God for the great and perfect God that He is, then we begin to fear His with a proper, surrendering, reverential fear, which will help keep us from the sin of pride.
These verses also come with a sweet promise: when we choose to humble ourselves under God’s perfect sovereignty and plan, then we will be refreshed. The Lord will regard us as precious – not simply know us from afar – and we will be in the refreshing peace of His presence! The Bible speaks of this refreshing in other passages such as Lamentation 3:22-23: “The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” Isaiah 40:31: “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” And 2 Corinthians 4:16: “…though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.”
We can all use the refreshing presence of the Lord in this day and age, can’t we? May we seek to humble ourselves and entrust every area of our lives to our perfect, loving, sovereign, good God!