Give Up Greatness

I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. Let the oppressed see it and be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive! (Psalm 69:30–32)

What are God's demands? What does an all-sufficient God, who owns and controls all things, demand from the creature he has made?

His demand is great, but it is not that we be great, but that we cease to be great in our own eyes and become small that he might appear great.

“The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit. A broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”

“It is not the well who need a physician but those who are sick.”

Jesus has nothing to do for those who insist they are well. He demands something great: that we admit we are not great. This is bad news to the arrogant, but words of honey to the oppressed who have given up their charade of self-sufficiency and are seeking God.

For by such he will be found, and he will pour into their empty hearts such a love as they have never known. And there will arise freely and joyfully a sense of gratitude so genuine and so visible that God will be greatly magnified as the merciful giver of everything we have and are.

I beseech you all by the mercies of God, “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility . . . for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that in due time he may exalt you” (1 Peter 5:5–6).

O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. (Psalm 34:3)

I will praise the name of God with a song. I will magnify him with thanksgiving. (Psalm 69:30)

Bless the Lord, O my soul and all that is in me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all his benefits. (Psalm 103:1–2)