We long for intimacy with God. We attempt to follow all of the spiritual disciplines and serve God. We read and study our Bibles thinking this will deepen our relationship with God. We worship and witness knowing these things are important. We do all these things and wonder why these things are not deepening our intimacy with God.
Isaiah 66:2 opens the door to the answer, “All these things my hand has made and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” Then James 4:6 furthers the answer, “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
God opposes us by hiding Himself from our pride. He draws near to our humility. As Psalm 138:6 confirms, “For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar.”
Humble people do not think too much of themselves, they do not think too little of themselves, they are not thinking of themselves much at all. Humble people see themselves through God’s eye’s, as they really are, “…wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17). Humility is the foundation for contentment. Pride blinds us to the truth of who we really are.
As Isaiah 66:2 tells us that humility leads to a contrite heart and deepens our trembling at God’s Word. It sensitizes us to God’s Word and motivates us to “…work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).
God may let us stew in our problems to deepen our contrition. God will see our need for humility as greater than our need for deliverance. It is a good sign when we feel inadequate and sinful because it draws us closer to God. As our hearts grow more aware of our sinfulness it becomes a sign that we are growing humility and intimacy with God. Every one of us growing in intimacy with God will feel the deep weight of our sin and a deepening sense of God’s love, grace, and joy.
The goal of our ministry to our hearts, and the hearts of others, is to feel the weight of our sinfulness and the greatness of God’s mercy. We don’t need to feel good about ourselves we need to feel good about God.
How do we grow in intimacy with God? We admit we are proud even when though we don’t see it. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you” (James 4:10). Seek to know the beauty and holiness of God, pray to be illuminated by the Spirit. May you be humbled by the Light of Christ’s glory.
“For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the heart of the contrite” (Isaiah 57:15).