Blessings to you through Christ Jesus our Lord!
Pride often runs much deeper in our hearts than most of us realize. When we are newborns in Christ, we undergo a great transfer of heart posture as the Lord brings liberty, conviction and promise, while He vigorously lays hold of our sins and begins to drag them out of us one, two and maybe many at a time. After some time passes, we begin (at least
some most of us) to think we’re pretty humble. Usually, it is at this time the Lord will begin to peel off a layer of old, dead sin from our heart and reveal a another layer of ripe, yet-to-be-dealt with pride… amen.
I will be thirty in a couple of years, having been a Christian for all of my twenties, and I have found the ‘peeling’ process to be both miserable and glorious. I have also found that this process will yet continue for a great many years. To this I conclude, “Repentance must become a daily discipline and a never-ceasing aspect of our prayer life.” Not only this, but we must also purpose our hearts to believe and know the forgiveness and grace of God, understanding that when we are face to face with our sin, the very person to whom we should go is often the one we most often avoid, that is of course, God. Repentance is a wonderful thing when we realize that He is faithful and just to forgive. Mercy triumphs over judgment, but only to those who are repentant in both heart and deed. When we run to God in the face of our sin, we actually get the grace to become victorious over it. If we continue running from God, sin will remain our master and truth will become defiled within the diluted mixture of our souls.
Pride is the most devious nature of our hearts, and we are all guilty of this sin. The nature of man is such that, even after being born again in Christ, the process of renewal is a life-long marathon. Just as repentance should be a daily discipline, so we should also continually humble ourselves before the Lord. These of course will often go hand in hand. Our goal is to know and pursue the meekness of Christ, which we can only be done when we gaze upon Him. Meekness is the character and fruit of humility, something that is only perfected through submission to Christ and all His authority. Only then will be conformed into the likeness of Christ. Though we were originally created in the image of God, we have all fallen into sin, being conformed, partially at the very least, into the image of Satan, who is full of pride, deceit and lies. Yet, when we accept the grace and forgiveness of Christ, He begins to redeem every aspect of our being, pulling out the roots of pride, and filling us with the Spirit of truth and the knowledge of Christ.
Consider the motives and heart’s cry of King David, who wrote in Psalm 101:2-4:
“I will give heed to the blameless way. When will you come to me? I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart. I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not fasten its grip on me. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil.”
Who among us gives heed to the blameless way? Are they not those who have testified of their need to give heed to God’s way, knowing that their way is not the blameless way? Understand, we mere humans have exalted the knowledge of man over the knowledge of God. Our way is not blameless, and yet we continue in our own way. Those who give heed to the blameless way understand that their heart is deceitful above all else, and they must behold the blameless paths of Christ. Doing so, it creates a deep and incurable longing for God and His Scriptures. One will then yearn and strive for a heart of integrity, one that agrees with the Spirit of truth and all things that are pleasing and acceptable to Christ.
As the Spirit of truth begins to govern our lives, we will remove from ourselves all vile, worthless and impure things from our eyes, that we might, as it though it were, apply to them a salve so that we might no longer be blind to the beauty of Jesus. Gazing upon Him then, we begin to love what He loves and hate what He hates, setting ourselves to hate all the deeds and lifestyle of apostate people, so that such faithless works will not cling to us. It is only here that all things evil and perverse will be removed from our lives. The end goal is to know and love the truth.
Application is simple. We believe, repent, humble ourselves and gaze upon Jesus. It is His job to conform us into His image. This is a daily process.
The purpose of life is to know and be known by God, and to pursue a pure and sincere devotion to Jesus Christ. Anything exterior to these things is delusion.