Monday, February 2, 2009

Humility and Men

Submission means humility. And humility is the opposite of pride. The warning of Scripture is "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6; see also Proverbs 3:34). A humble, submissive spirit seems a particular challenge for most men. The male ego does exist, and many men are driven by it. I saw once again how this works in the case of Brent. "I've read warfare books, prayed steps to freedom, and I am trying to live the Christian life. What's wrong?" I sensed Brent's tremendous pride and knew what was at stake. We prayed together, and as I talked to the Lord, he said that the Spirit brought to his mind a "soul tie" he had with a married woman in his church. He had taken inappropriate sexual liberties with her. It did not lead to adultery, but he had truly "lusted after her in his heart," which Jesus called adultery in the Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew 5:27-28). In my presence, Brent repented of this sin. I then turned him to the pride issue. Brent was an attractive man and was always flattered when women gave him attention. Moreover, his own wife would become jealous of the attention, and this in some way brought Brent even more pleasure. I showed him through several Scriptures how this pride had hurt him and his marriage. Brent immediately confessed this entire sordid thing to the Lord as vain and asked for freedom from such pride. I watched as he humbled himself, even with tears. Today, he continues to confess the pride problem on nearly a daily basis. "The battle of self is not an easy one," he says, "for I have learned that I am my own worst enemy." This had made Brent feel distant from God. He now sees what had happened. "The Bible, says, 'the Lord resists the proud,' and I think God was resisting me," Brent said "When the Lord resist us, we have no power to live the Christian life. That gave the enemy an opportunity to offer his substitutes: lust, pride, money, et cetera. To day I am thankful to be walking in fellowship with Jesus because He gives me all the grace I need to live for Him successfully." Something else happened when Brent humbled himself. When he first visited me, his initial complaint was "There is something in my head telling me I will never be free; the voice keeps telling me it owns me. "What happened to that voice assuring him he would never become free? It is gone. When truth showed up, it had no debating points left. It simply left the field. How are your choices going this week? Spend some time each day talking to God about the choices you've made and the ones you have to make. He will give you insight and genuine help if you seek Him honestly.

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