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When swelling and pride come, then the emptiness and shame come also, but with the humble (those who are lowly, who have been pruned or chiseled by trial, and renounce self) are skillful and godly Wisdom and soundness.  (Amplified)

When swelling and pride come.  How easy is it for man to get big headed (swelling) and full of pride!  Even those who are poor in spirit can be tempted to swell up with pride.  We need to be aware that even though we are being transformed into the image of Christ the sanctification process is an ongoing work of the Holy Spirit.  There will be setbacks; they are inevitable.  This passage warns us that it could happen and gives the remedy when we fall into this temptation.

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.  (Romans 12:1-2, NASB)

But we must always thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God has chosen you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth.  (2 Thessalonians 2:13, HCSB)

Who were chosen and foreknown by God the Father and consecrated (sanctified, made holy) by the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and to be sprinkled with [His] blood….  (1 Peter 1:2, Amplified)

Emptiness and shame come also.  The results of pride for the Believer are that he will experience emptiness and shame.  Emptiness because the Believer has left his first love relationship with God and decided to live as if he controlled his own destiny.  A life without God in control, a life not walking in close fellowship with the loving Father, leads to emptiness.  Shame comes because we have let the Father down by taking the reins of our lives and wanting the glory that is to be only due to Him.  Shame comes because when man looks at the Believer all they see is himself and not the King of glory.

For by uttering boastful, empty words, they (false teachers) seduce, with fleshly desires and debauchery, people who have barely escaped from those who live in error.  (2 Peter 2:18, HCSB)  

For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man my boast before God.  But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”  (1 Corinthians 1:26-31, NASB)

But with the humble (those who are lowly, who have been pruned or chiseled by trial, and renounce self).  The remedy is to walk in humility.  We have a choice presented to us moment by moment.  When we fall into pride we can quickly repent, which includes turning from pride and start to walk in the true character being built in us – being poor in spirit.  We are to be lowly, which we have seen in past days is to be low in our own sight, in our recognition of the self.  God lifts up the lowly.  I like the commentary the Amplified Bible presents of being pruned or chiseled by trial.  We have seen that God often uses circumstances to develop the poor in spirit character.  The most important concept to grab from the commentary is that to be humble (poor in spirit) we need to renounce the real enemy: the self.  Pride is the swelling or the building up of the self.  Only God should get the glory; self needs to die.

We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin.  (Romans 6:6, Amplified) 

That, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.  (Ephesians 4:22-24, NASB)

Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices, and have put on the new self.  You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator.  (Colossians 3:9-10, HCSB)

They have skillful and godly wisdom and soundness.  The results of turning from pride and becoming poor in spirit are that we get the blessings of possessing godly wisdom and soundness.  When we become poor in spirit our relationship with the Lord is more intimate and we discern His will for us easier.

Read the verses presented in this meditation and choose one to meditate before God with and ask the Holy Spirit to continue the work in your life by applying the chosen verse specifically to your life.

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