Many people think of pride as someone who thinks they are better than those around them. People focus on the “chest beating” pride that is the most outwardly evident form. The dangerous kinds of pride are the less obvious types. These are self-reliance and self-focus. All pride drives us away from God and opens up a foot-hold for the deceiver. God opposed the proud, but gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6) Pride is the reason the devil was cast out of heaven and is the source of all sin. The pride of the deceiver is what causes him to oppose God and oppose those who serve God here on earth. Any pride that you hold is a connection to the nature of satan and a barrier to closeness with the Lord.
It is human nature to try and do things for ourselves in our own way. We drift from reliance on God. This sinful nature draws us into a life soiled by pain, frustration, and worry. We feel out of place and unsettled as we try and mask the missing peace with worldly pleasures through more self-reliance. These earthly “band-aides” leave us deeper in despair. Someone who lives in self-reliance builds a house with no foundation. When they fall there is no limit to the depths of that trouble.
On the other hand, we can fight that nature. We can rely on God. He desires us to rely on His provision and designed us to walk in reliance on Him. We were designed for a purpose and God wants us to walk in His light. If we follow the path of God we a fulfilled and at peace in our journey through life. We draw closer to God in reliance on Him and the deceiver loses his ability to draw on the pride that causes self-reliance. God calls us to humility and submission so that He can lead us in the peace and joy found in Him.
Humans are selfish by nature. From birth we think only of ourselves. The dangerous position of self-focus causes many things that create deep turmoil in our live. This kind of pride is the source of anxiety, depression, anger, unforgiveness, etc. It’s sad to see the world turn to medication over God. When we think the world revolves around us or that we deserve more than we do, we fall victim to pride. We are anxious when we think we can control the things around us. We get depressed when we don’t get what we feel we should or feel the way we want. Anger occurs when we feel wronged because we don’t deserve undesired treatment or belong in a certain situation. We have trouble forgiving when we want additional attention for the wrong we perceive. All of those situations find their source in personal opinions on what we think should be true.
We have to turn to God and realize our mission on earth is to serve the growth of His kingdom and to glorify Him as His image bearers. The world owes us nothing. We have no control over the outcomes when God is in control. People are not focused on how we are affected by their actions because their fallenness causes them to be self-focused. It’s not our job to hold anyone accountable for the pride that we can now recognize. We must show them what humility looks like as they continue to walk in pride. Their escape from the prison of pride is between them and God. Focus on God and His plans. Focus on your involvement in His kingdom and turn away from the temptation to make any situation revolve around you.
The most dangerous part of pride is that pride keeps us from seeing the pride in ourselves and others. We cannot admit the existence of our pride because our pride will not allow it. That is the reason why, even in the eyes of defeat, the devil cannot admit to himself that he cannot defeat God. People cannot see their own pride so you cannot call out their flaw. You must be an image bearer of humility and love that draws them to God’s peace that radiates from you. If you read this and find pride in your heart, you can thank God for that revelation and know that He personally is calling you out of the darkness of sin. You cannot see your own pride without the humility God gives you. The cycle of pride requires Godly intervention to break. Thank God for His continued work in and through you. Love others in their fallenness and draw close to God who loves you too much to lose you to pride, the source of all sin.
Those who God calls are awakened to their fallenness and desperate need for a Savior. Their pride falls away and they become aware of their depravity. They stop believing they are good by comparing themselves to the fallen world and realize in the eyes of a holy and perfect God all have fallen short. I love to share with people that even their curiosity about God is a gift from Him. If you are looking to reconnect with your Creator it is because He has gifted that desire to you. Praise the God who actively seeks you and offers His only Son so that you can be reconciled to Him and begin a new life with possibilities that far exceed the worldly imagination that has held you captive. We are called to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and to let the sacrifice of His life for us cover our sin debt. If we were to truly look at the sin of our lives we would realize the debt we are in is too great to overcome. It would compare to a credit card that we have no chance of paying of the balance. God loves you in your fallen state enough to erase that debt. He refuses to let you stay a slave to sin and debt that piles up with it. When even one spirit is awakened to Jesus all of heaven rejoices. Another child of God has come home to the Father and they are now on a path that allows them to fulfill the purpose for which they were created. The can take their place in the Kingdom of God for all eternity and will never taste death but have eternal life in reconciliation with their Eternal Heavenly Father.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)
So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. (Romans 9:18)
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:10-11)
God is impossible to fully understand or fathom with our limited minds. We are asked to walk with faith in the things we don’t understand. If we are honest with ourselves. We don’t fully understand anything. The depth of God’s creation is too vast. The best that can be done is to establish scientific theory and then watch it evolve over time to try and explain its unknowing position. If we can’t fully comprehend God’s creation, how much more incomprehensible is the Creator? I begin this way to make a point that came to mind during my studies today.
I think back to all of the pagan gods of time past and the practices of those followers. The scripture for Ecclesiastes above tells us that God puts eternity on all men’s hearts. He creates a missing piece in all man’s spirit that can only be filled by Him. This explains the way all men seek to fill that void with other gods and practices to fulfill a need they cannot explain. The problem arises when they can’t comprehend anything larger than what they see and feel. They can’t understand the scripture from Isaiah above. That is, God is larger than our feeble attempts to explain Him. To this day even Christians are guilty of putting God in a box that suits their understanding. That understanding creates comfort, but confines God’s work in them as they can’t believe His prompting outside of their standard for Him. They struggle to let ‘God be God.’ Pagans suffer the same way in that they attach human qualities to the gods which leaves them in a perpetual state of uncertainty of how to relate to or please those gods. They live life sacrificing larger and larger things hoping to find favor. Some cultures even looked to human sacrifice to accomplish such things.
As I sit and think about how terrifying that must be to hope that you have done enough and lived up to a god’s changing standard and emotion. I fall deeper into praise that I was called to be the child of a God that doesn’t change. He is the same forever. He took on human flesh to come save me. I don’t have to sacrifice anything accept my flesh, but in return He gives me a new heart and a clean spirit that far surpasses what was given up. I would not seek to serve a God that needed fulfillment from His people, or a God that has variation based of situation and emotion. The Heavenly Father I speak of is above all things and stands steadfast and faithful in His love and mercy. How anyone might miss the superiority of what the true God looks like is beyond my comprehension too. If you know Jesus consider yourself blessed to have been called to Him. Now let that blessing overflow to the lost world around you as they find idols to fill the void that God desires to be filled only by Him.
It is clear that our world is falling into chaos. As people turn away from God and toward their own abilities the deceiver gains a bigger foot hold on this world. We can rest assured that our God is victorious over death in the end, but we must endure the consequences of sin while we sojourn on earth. We have to remember that we were created in God’s likeness, as children of light. We were never meant to live in a world of darkness. We were never meant to experience death and fear. Sin made those things come into existence after man had been created to flourish in direct relationship with God. Sin created separation, darkness, and death. Knowing that we weren’t meant for this type of life we have to rely on the provision of God to live abundantly. The ruler of this world is the deceiver; he takes the people who have become lost in sin and convinces them that this is all there is. He keeps their eyes toward the earth so that God is never in focus. We were never meant to see hell either. The deceiver is meant to be there with his followers. (Matthew 25:41) Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
As you struggle through this life, always focus on the path lit by the light of God. That is, the path He designed for you. Leaving that path puts you in an environment where you were never designed to live. We are God’s children and meant to live in relation with Him. Stand close to your Protector, Provider, Sustainer, Creator, and Father. Be a child of light and refuse to live in darkness. You aren’t meant to experience that life, only what God chooses for you as you serve His kingdom.