There is a line in a song we sing in church: “We bow down. We lay our crowns at the feet of Jesus.”
We sing this song in the present tense, and I recently realized the importance of doing this very thing. We may not wear literal crowns today, but most of us have areas in which we feel we rule, parts of our lives in which we take pride (often rightfully so), places where our “hat” is a crown.
When we lay everything else at Jesus’ feet–our burdens, our brokenness, our sickness, our pain–we should lay these crowns at His feet as well. In doing this, in submitting one’s whole life to Him, you see those strong places strengthened even more; also, when you recognize that no matter how much you “rule” in an area it is He who reigns supreme, you steer clear of the sin of pride.
It is far better to lay one’s crown down that to have it removed as a result of sin.
6But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith,
God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Pride has no place in God’s kingdom. “God resisteth the proud,” we are warned, and if we are wise we heed the warning. The word “pride” does not only apply to that person who stands off from others with his nose in the air. It applies when we grow prideful of our accomplishments and forgetful of the fact that we attain nothing without Him. It applies when we look at others and pridefully assume that we have traveled further down the road of righteousness. It applies when we determine that our offering is better, our position of ministry more worthy, etc. The word applies much too often, I’m afraid.
Oh, but when we humble ourselves…then He gives us grace. And how can we not humble ourselves when we consider Him? In Him we have all things, can do all things and can be all things, but only IN HIM. Step outside of Him and we are nothing – no better than the sin-filled scum we were before He saved us. When one meditates on this, can one not be humbled? Being so humbled by the reality of all He is compared to all we are not without Him, the next reasonable step is to submit one’s self to Him.
The one who can say they are God’s bond-servant – one who has willingly turned himself completely over to God – receives the fullness of God’s grace. This one also receives something else – a promise.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
The one who has fully submitted himself to God can resist the devil; indeed, this one is commanded to resist him! And when this one resists, the devil will flee; it is inevitable. Why?
I tend to visualize things, and I have this picture of me standing sure and proud against the devil as a child of God who has been given the authority. But this is not all. Behind me, towering over me and radiating ultimate authority, is my heavenly Father. Only a complete idiot challenges Him.
Only when I’ve put down pride, humbled myself, and submitted to Him, do I have that authority; only then does He stand behind me so.