Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Weekly Devotion: Pride

“And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart,” Isaiah 9:9

Many have described “pride” as a disease that infects everyone except for the person who has it. Some scholars consider “pride” to be the root cause behind all sin because it stems from a heart that says, “I know better than God”. Here we see a Bible definition, describing “pride” as “stoutness of heart”. This “stoutness of heart” internally, leads to a “high look” externally; both of which “is sin”!

“An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.” Proverbs 21:4

All mentions of “pride” or “proud” (approx. 100) in the Bible have a negative connotation. Obadiah 1:3 says that “pride” will deceive us. Proverbs 13:10a says, “Only by pride cometh contention…” Proverbs 11:2a says, that “When pride cometh, then cometh shame…” and Proverbs 29:23a says that, “A man’s pride shall bring him low…” Ultimately “pride” will cause us to “fall” into “destruction”.

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18

This “fall” due to “pride”, was first modeled by Satan, who fell when his “heart was lifted up” (Ezekiel 28:2, 5, 17). In fact Satan as Leviathan is referred to as “a king over all the children of pride” (Job 41:34). Our adversary, the devil, is also likened unto a “lion” (1 Peter 5:8), and do you know what a family of lion’s are called? That’s right… a PRIDE! So we need to get out of Satan’s family by the new birth into God’s family by realizing that the letter “I” is right in the middle of the word “pride” (as well as sin, pit, lie, blind, thief, Pharisees, and faith).  Since I / me is at the core of the problem, I need to own up to my sin nature and respond in humility; by asking for God’s “grace”.

“…for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5b

I liken “pride” to an invisible prison that each of us were / are in. We can receive things into our cell and communicate with the outside world, but we cannot leave. We know that there is life out there beyond what we know but the ONLY way out of this room is through an obscure, unattractive tunnel, labeled “humility” where we hear a soft voice saying, “come unto me” (Matthew 11:28). We have to bow down our stiff neck to enter this long tunnel and wade through the filth of the messes that we have made, only to come to a locked door marked “grace”. After every attempt known to man, to go through this door, some of us have “knocked” on the door and cried out to God and he has opened it unto us like he said he would (Matthew 7:7, 8). Once out, we are able to see others still locked up in their cells, still trying their own way to get out and not yet ready to deal with the filth / sin, nor hear Jesus’ voice. Friends, I am a poor example of Christ and am still influenced by “pride” but I have been “justified” from the penalty of sin and I urge you to humble yourself today and knock on that door like me and “the publican” did, by praying the proverbial sinner’s prayer.

“And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” Luke 18:13, 14

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