Let me distinguish clearly between pride and humility. A humble person is not one who thinks little of himself, hangs his head and says, “I’m nothing.” Rather, he is one who depends wholly on the Lord for everything in every circumstance. He knows the Lord has to direct him, empower him and quicken him and that he’s dead without that!

A proud person, on the other hand, is one who may love God in a fashion, but he acts and thinks on his own. At its root, pride is simply independence from God, and the proud person makes decisions based on his own reasoning, skill and abilities. He says, “God gave me a good mind, and he expects me to use it. It’s silly to ask him for direction in every detail of life.” This person is unteachable because he already “knows it all.” He might listen to someone who is higher in authority or better known than himself but not to someone he thinks is inferior.

Not one word a proud person receives is of God! It is impossible for him to judge righteous judgment, impossible to speak God’s mind, because the Holy Spirit is not present in him to bear witness to truth. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, but a good man will be satisfied from above” (Proverbs 14:12,14, NKJV).

Pride is independence; humility is dependency. The humble Christian is one who makes no move or decision without first seeking counsel from the Lord. Scripture clearly states, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:6-8). The Bible says the steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord, but he cannot order the steps of an independent spirit. This is all to say God wants full control. Give it to him.