So I say to you, Ask and keep on asking and it shall be given you; seek and keep on seeking and you shall find; knock and keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you.
For everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives; and he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds; and to him who knocks and keeps on knocking, the door shall be opened.
Luke 11:9-10 AMPC
Is it possible that the opposite of spiritual impudence is the pride of human goodness? I’m really asking that question; it’s not rhetorical, and I don’t have a firm answer yet. It just occurred to me that spiritual impudence is born of need as well as powerlessness. It’s not enough to need something. I have to know that I am powerless to meet that need in any way, and I have to accept that. Humility responds to need and powerlessness by knocking on God’s door. The pride of human goodness does anything but.
God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.
Psalm 62:11 KJV
If I really and truly believe this, that power belongs to God, then knocking on the door is what I’ll do. If God is who He says He is and He holds the power, then it’s foolish for me to do anything other than knock and keep on knocking. But I certainly have been foolish, more than a few times, too.
The Lie of Human Goodness
I said in my last post that pride always promotes the worst lie about God. The pride of human goodness puts that lie on display. Instead of knocking on the door, my human goodness has…
- Endured the suffering all while giving the impression that God is an unjust jerk who must be endured.
- Looked for the escape route hidden behind unconfessed sin just in case God was completely disconnected from my pain and only a formula can trigger His intervention.
- Rubbed gravel in my hair (figuratively) while declaring that I “deserve” the suffering, thus implying that I am a pitiable sinner under the boot of a merciless God.
My pride puts on a good show every time I let it out of the grave. It whispers sadly, “I think you’re just supposed to take it and say ‘thank you.’ Isn’t that what the Bible says?” And sometimes it’s truly diabolical: “Just pray for the grace to get through this for however long it lasts.” As if the life God has given me is a prison sentence! That’s how my hideous pride parades as ‘longsuffering goodness.’
Spiritual impudence, on the other hand, practically shouts its belief in the true character of God. “You’re the Good Shepherd; I’m a lost sheep, so please get me out of here!” Every promise of God comes rocketing to the surface of spiritual impudence with a resounding, “You are GOD!” And who is GOD? God is good. God is sovereign. God is love. And to God belongs the power.
God doesn’t want my so-called ‘goodness’ and posturing. In fact, He loathes it. He wants me to knock on His door with all the impudence of a child calling out to the father he trusts and loves. A child who is loved doesn’t hesitate to call on the one who loves him. We shouldn’t either.