"When a man asked George Mueller the secret of his service, Mueller responded: “There was a day when I died, utterly died; died to George Mueller, his opinions, preferences, tastes, and will; died to the world, its approval or censure; died to the approval or blame even of my brethren and friends; and since then I have studied to show myself approved only to God.”
I believe the opposite of pride is trust in God. Pride wants us to believe it all depends on us. Trusting God requires us to place our dependence on Him. The path of humility will take us from pride to a place of truly trusting God. Humility is never easy and sometimes comes at a cost but always worth the price.
I believe God uses circumstances and trials to get us to have an unshakable trust in Him. I believe God has big plans for us. Plans to proper us. Jeremiah 29: 11, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" God must remove all of our bits of pride before we get this "bigger position" or that thorn of pride will grow to a dagger and could potentially kill our calling.
God revealed this kind of pride stripping process by feeding the children of Israel manna in the desert for the purpose of humbling them. God prepared them to trust Him as they stepped from the desert into their destined Promised Land. Deuteronomy 8: 2, "Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands." Verse three goes on to reveal, "He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord."
We must give up control to humble ourselves. We must acknowledge that God is our provider. All good things come from Him. James 1: 17, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." The children of Israel were used to working the land to provide for themselves. They trusted their own hard work for their provision. Now, they would need to look up and trust God for His provision.
Sometimes God's provision is what we need but not what we want. The manna God provided was not "normal" food for them. But God knew it was the perfect nourishment for those in the dessert. He knows our needs better than we do. Matthew 6: 8, "Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him." God sees the big picture, therefore, He is more concerned about our ultimate good than our temporary pleasure.
1 Peter 5: 6, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time." True humility is shown when people don’t take offense easily or fight back. They turn the other cheek. This true humility is not cowardly, it requires courage. It allows us to take a lower "place" than we deserve. It keeps us quiet about our merits. You are willing to take insults and false accusations for the sake of a higher purpose. A truly humble person does not think less of themselves, they just think of themselves less.
Matthew 23: 12, "For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted." In most instances in the Bible, as well as in life, pride is associated with failure, not success. It was pride that caused the fall of Lucifer causing him to become Satan. It was pride that led King Saul down to a shameful and untimely death. It was pride that caused Peter to deny his Lord. But the greatest act of humility in all of history was when Jesus died on the cross of Calvary. And before any man can get to heaven, he must kneel at the foot of the cross and acknowledge that he is a sinner and he needs the grace of God in Jesus Christ. No man can come proudly to the Savior.
"Be humble in your confidence yet courageous in your character." Melanie Koulouris