Vapor, Blown in the Wind of His Breath and Voice
(1/1 from Nick) Right after saying that God opposes the proud & gives grace (provision) to the humble... James goes into this discussion.
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. (James 4:13-16 NIV) Pride & boasting is not just saying “Look at me, I’m the best”... it’s also our arrogant oblivion of God. We are NOT in control. He is. To describe our “plans” in any detail... without a softness & humility of heart that understands & acknowledges God... is arrogant! And, God opposes the proud. He gets in their way. But, He gives grace... He opens up a way... for the humble. He’s on the “side” of the humble. He’s rooting for them. He tweaks the holodeck game in their favor. He does the opposite for the arrogant. He lets their world (like He did with Nebuchadnezzar) collapse around them. And even that... is a “kindness”. It’s our foolish pride that gets in the way... it’s at the root of our independence... it blocks our vulnerability with each other... it makes intimacy with God (prayer) a charade (if it doesn’t come from eyes-wide-open, freely-recognized, un-reluctant-neediness). (Luke 18:9-18)