The Stumbling Block of Pride

May 25, 2016

Proverbs 8:13

The fear of the LORD [is] to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. 

The Stumbling Block of Pride

Pride has been the foundation stone and building block of every rebellion against the Almighty.  From the rebellion of satan forward it has been the seed that has exalted itself against God and boasted in its own self.  The fear of the Lord is to hate evil and much of evil derives its strength, power and presence from the pride and arrogance of self.  One of the dangers of being gifted and blessed with special attributes and abilities is how easy it is to get caught in this ugly snare of pride.  

I wonder how many men have approached God, but have heard nothing and received nothing because of the unrepented pride that was in their hearts.  If we think that we can approach God on our terms and expect Him to respond to us then we are not only prideful, but foolish as well.  How many of us have had children or seen children who approached their parents in this manner?  Instead of humbling themselves in obedience and respect to their parents they came with the attitude of usurping their authority and leadership in the home.  A wise parent wouldn’t give place to this kind of arrogance and manipulation on the part of child and certainly God won’t meet with us on those terms.  We are to come to God on His terms, not our own.  His terms are humility, a broken, contrite and repentant heart.  This is the attitude of heart that God will respond too.  When we are willing to take off this garment of selfishness and lay it down at the altar, then we are in a place where He can meet with us and clothe us with Himself and His vesture of righteousness.   Pride is a major stumbling block to those who would desire to know God.  Pride focuses our attention away from the Lord and onto us.  Thus it robs us of His resources while making us dependent upon the weakness of our own strength and ability.  Many feel they are sufficient within themselves and indeed, in this world, may do well for themselves, but their faith and hope are built upon sand.  Sand is a shifting and unstable foundation that will eventually give way to failure.  We see Jesus as the rock of our foundation, steadfast and unmovable.  He is what anchors us to the Almighty and brings us through every adversity and trial.  

Sometimes we are tempted to envy the wicked, because it may seem they are enjoying the entire blessing of this life while we have inherited all of the struggles.  Psalms 73 addresses these very feelings and perceptions.  “1 Truly God is good to Israel, to those whose hearts are pure.2 But as for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone .3 For I envied the proud

when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness.4 They seem to live such painless lives; their bodies are so healthy and strong.  5 They don’t have troubles like other people; they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else.  6 They wear pride like a jeweled necklaceand clothe themselves with cruelty.  7 These fat cats have everythingtheir hearts could ever wish for!  8 They scoff and speak only evil;in their pride they seek to crush others.  9 They boast against the very heavens, and their words strut throughout the earth.  10 And so the people are dismayed and confused, drinking in all their words.  11 “What does God know?” they ask. “Does the Most High even know what’s happening?” 12 Look at these wicked people—enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply. 13 Did I keep my heart pure for nothing?  Did I keep myself innocent for no reason?  14 I get nothing but trouble all day long;every morning brings me pain. 15 If I had really spoken this way to others, I would have been a traitor to your people. 16 So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper.  But what a difficult task it is! 17 Then I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked. 18 Truly, you put them on a slippery path and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction.  19 In an instant they are destroyed, completely swept away by terrors. 20 When you arise, O Lord, you will laugh at their silly ideas as a person laughs at dreams in the morning. 21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside.22 I was so foolish and ignorant—I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. 23 Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand.  24 You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.  25 Whom have I in heaven but you?  I desire you more than anything on earth.  26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. 27 Those who desert him will perish, for you destroy those who abandon you.  28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.”

Even when God blesses us and gives good success, we must be very mindful of this crafty evil called pride.  It can as easily wear a spiritual face, as it can a natural one.  Pride builds us up in a false sense of security.  It makes us believe we are something rather than giving the glory and the honor to the Lord who has blessed us.  God is the author of every good and perfect gift, be sure that the honor and praise always returns to Him.  Pride is the balloon that lifts you to ruin.  Humility is branch that hangs low, laden with the fruit of God’s Spirit and life.  The mountains will be brought low, but the valleys will be lifted up and the meek shall inherit the earth.   If you want to find Him, lose yourself and lay down your pride.  

Blessings,

#kent

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