I Am Great

 

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
– James 4:10

I don’t think I’ve ever stopped to think about the meaning of this verse. I’ve been singing it for years in churches, at conventions, in my cousins’ basement (ah, memories). But not once have I taken the time to think about what it is I’m singing.

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord…” The definition of humble means “to lower (someone) in dignity or importance.” This means I am to lower myself. This is what James is telling us to do: in the presence of God (which, with Him being present inside me should be all the time), I am to lower myself in importance. It’s like in the movies when one guy is trying to be the hero, the hotshot, but then the true hero or the “big boss” shows up. What does the hotshot do? He quiets down; he realizes his place, and he offers the respect and importance the boss man deserves.

I am perpetually trying to be a hotshot, but do I really offer God, the true Hero, the honor and importance and dignity He deserves?

It isn’t always easy stepping back and giving someone else the glory, but it’s not like that’s the end of it. Look at what God does when I finally give Him the glory: “…and He will lift you up.”

That is not nothing. That is a big deal! It’s one thing for me to talk a big game and toot my own horn, but when God, Creator of all things, King of kings, Lord of lords, lifts me up in His glory, that’s a whole other ball game. Take Joseph for example. If he just decided one day, in his position as a servant or a prisoner, to start talking up how he was this awesome guy who could interpret dreams and should be Pharaoh’s right hand man, would that count for anything? No! Because he was a servant and later a prisoner. But when Pharaoh lifted him up to be his second hand, everyone respected Joseph, and it meant everything.

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So it is with me. When I lift myself up and puff myself up, it means nothing, and in fact it leads to my destruction because “God resists the proud” (James 4:6). But when I humble myself before God, and let the glory be to Him, He will lift me up, and I will share in His glory which is far greater than anything I could have done for myself!

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Supernatural

And Mary said:

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.
And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.
He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,
As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed forever.”

(Luke 1:46-55)

This prayer is unbelievably beautiful. That first part just gets me: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior”. How beautiful is that? St. Mary is so joyful in God from the very core of her being — her soul, her spirit. There really is nothing remotely comparable to rejoicing in God from the innermost place of your being.

And why? Because God chose her, just as He chooses me to carry Himself within me. God, whose might is greater than thousands upon thousands of men, chose her, a virgin girl whom no one really knew, to be the mother of the Savior, to be the carrier of God. And who am I? I’m just a young woman in the middle of nowhere, no one knows me as anything special–and yet, God, out of His grace and compassion, chooses me to make His dwelling place.

This is no small thing! If I just lived the way I should, if I just acknowledged God dwelling inside of me, I would realize how powerful my life really is. He has “exalted the lowly”–He has given me power and glory–I just haven’t truly accepted it yet.

“His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3)

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Imagine what life would be like if you only embraced the power of God within you.