Sunday, June 28, 2020
Well just look at you!
A man's pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor. Proverbs 29:23
Pride is the great enemy of the Christian. It motivates you to do things that you know are not Christlike, and it hinders you from doing what brings glory to God. Pride influenced Adam and Eve to try to become like God (Gen. 3:5). Pride motivated Cain to murder his brother (Gen. 4:5). Pride provoked Joseph's brothers to sell him into slavery (Gen. 37:8). Pride caused King Saul to resent David so deeply that he even tried to murder him (1 Sam. 18:8). Pride led King Hezekiah to foolishly reveal his nation's wealth to his enemies (Isa. 39:2). Pride was at the root of the Pharisees’ anger toward Jesus. Pride was the reason the disciples argued over rank in the kingdom (Luke 9:46). If you succumb to its influence, there will be consequences. You may know that you have offended someone, but pride holds you back from asking forgiveness. You may realize you need to reconcile a broken relationship, but pride will lead you to deny that need. The Spirit may convict you that you are living a sinful lifestyle, but pride will discourage your admitting it. Pride will convince you that you deserve better treatment. Pride will impede your serving others. Instead, pride will have you striving for places of prominence. Pride will have you listen to flatterers and ignore honest counselors. Pride will lead you to isolate yourself so that you are not accountable to others. Humility, on the other hand, is pleasing to God and places your life in a position where God will honor you. If pride has crept into some areas of your life, ask God to give you victory over it before it robs you of God's will for you. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day
Interesting title, but then again, my life in the last 8 years has certainly been nothing but interesting.
As easily as it would and could be, the credit for any success in my life comes not from this paltry mind that you hear from every day. Pride is easy to wrap ourselves in. It's probably the warmest, most comfortable blanket known to man or woman.
Pride, as the Bible says, comes before the fall. Look on your life with honesty and you too, believer or not, will see its completely true. I certainly have had times in my life when pride was offered and in moments of weakness I gladly accepted. Then I paid the price.
I have told several that the events of my life at work have appeared to me to be part of some exam or test that I didn't know I was taking. God sized miracles needed and He provided a way using me. I will not take credit for those successes. I don't walk in the door of work without asking Jesus to guide my mind and hands to do what He puts before me for that day.
Jesus is the reason I succeed at anything.
He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way as the song goes.
What drives you? Are you looking for the accolades and praise of man or are you looking for the "Well Done" from Christ?
Could I crave it? Look, I am a human being, anything offered in the right way can be a craving. Sin is being paraded across all forms of media right now calling for the world to celebrate pride in what God calls sin. There's no celebration to be had for that in our household. I do not hate anyone who celebrates it, I instead pray for them.
But that's but a variation of pride in mankind. The airwaves and internet is full of celebrities and political parties celebrating all forms of sin, demanding that the Church comply with their rulings.
Your personal pride can be anything from beliefs to any thought had by mankind. Look at what you hold closest to your heart. If it's not Christ then you indeed need to take the time to get things right.
Which ties into another devotional that was today's from Blackaby.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:34 What you value most is your treasure. Where you spend your time and your money is your treasure. Whatever dominates your conversation is what you treasure. What others know you for is a good indication of what your treasure is. Most Christians are quick to claim that God is their first priority. Yet often their actions reveal that their treasure is not God but things of this world. Some Christians find it difficult to discuss their relationship with God, but they can chatter easily about their family, friends, or hobbies. Some find it impossible to rise early in order to spend time with God, but they willingly get up at dawn to pursue a hobby. Some find it difficult to give an offering to God but readily spend lavishly on recreation. Some boldly approach strangers to sell a product, yet they are painfully timid in telling others about their Savior. Some give hundreds of hours to serve in volunteer organizations but feel they have no time available to serve God. If you are unsure of where your treasure is, examine where you spend your available time and money. Reflect on what it is you most enjoy thinking about and discussing. Ask your friends to tell you what they think is most important to you. Ask your children to list the things most valuable to you. It may surprise you to know what others consider to be your treasure.
Where is your treasure? What indeed is the most important thing to you? Is it patriotic pride? Is that more important to you than your walk with Jesus? A great test of this form of pride is do you know more about it than your Bible? Are you more apt to stay on the straight and narrow of a government document than God's Word it was based upon? Are you more zealous for your rights than for what God's telling you that He wants from you?
This is a bigger post than most but it's God doing the writing. I have plenty to look at in me and the same goes for you.
Now is the day of Salvation. Now is the time to begin living as directed by the Spirit. Now.