Current Teaching Series
By Rick Warren — Jul 18, 2017
“‘God opposes everyone who is proud, but he is kind to everyone who is humble.’ Surrender to God!” (James 4:6b-7a CEV).
One of the most important ways you can practice courageous humility is to surrender your plans to God. However, this is what we usually do: We make our plans without even consulting God. Then we pray and ask God to bless our plans, which we didn’t ask him to be a part of. We assume that our plans are his will. Then, when our plans don’t happen on the timetable we want or they don’t happen at all, we get angry with God. That’s called pride, and God hates pride.
James 4:6-7 says, “‘God opposes everyone who is proud, but he is kind to everyone who is humble.’ Surrender to God!” (CEV). I can think of a lot of people I wouldn’t want to have as an opponent. I would not want to compete in the swimming pool against Michael Phelps. I would not want to be on a basketball court opposed by LeBron James. I would not want to be at an auction opposed by Bill Gates.
But I really don’t want to be opposed by God, because there’s no way I’m going to win that battle. The Bible says that when I am prideful, God is not just mildly irritated at me. He’s in opposition to me at that very moment. I’m an enemy of God anytime I get full of pride. That’s how serious it is. So, what does it mean to surrender yourself and your plans to God?
Romans 6:13b says, “Give yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life, and surrender your whole being to him to be used for righteous purposes” (GNT). Surrendering means saying, “God, I’m going with your plans for my life, not my own. I’ve got plans, I’ve got dreams, I’ve got goals, I’ve got ambitions, but I know that you put me on this earth for a purpose, and I’m going to intentionally choose your plan for my life instead of my own. I know you’re not going to reveal it to me all at once. It’s going to come a little bit at a time, so I’m going to take it a step at a time.”
Talk It Over
- In what areas of your life do you need to surrender to God?
- How does your desire to control certain areas of life reveal your pride?
- Why do you think God hates pride?