I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High. Isaiah 14:14

Geoffrey Grogan writes, “It is a strange paradox that nothing makes a being less like God than the urge to be his equal, for he who was God stepped down from the throne of his glory to display to the wondering eyes of men the humility of God (Philippians 2:5-8).” To the human mind, it seems such a contradiction that to make oneself like God means to be humble.

The temptation to be God’s equal goes back to the Garden. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5). Adam and Eve wanted to be like God. Likewise, we often want to be the god of our own lives, determining for ourselves what is good and evil, running our lives and our little worlds for our benefit, and being reliant on our own resourcefulness.

However, Paul tells us to have the mindset of Christ, “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:5-8).

Jesus didn’t take advantage of his equality with God because that’s not how God operates. It’s not his nature or mode of operation to overpower us with his authority or compel us by force. Rather he comes to us humbly, identifying with us and taking upon himself our humanity.

If you want to be God-like, be humble.