16 Jul 2012
We in America live in probably the most blessed Nation in the world. Yet as a Nation we have become very focused upon blessings and have lost our focus on the Provider of these blessings. It appears that some of us may be more concerned about protecting and expanding our blessings, often through pride and selfishness, than worshipping and serving the One who is the Source of all blessings.
Pride and selfishness have been a nemesis of mankind since man’s FALL in the Garden of Eden. At that time Satan apparently convinced Adam and Eve that God was holding out on them and if they would only chose their own way, they could have a better more fulfilling life. Satan continues to promote selfishness, pride and disobedience with enormous skill to this day. He and his helpers are without doubt working on some of us as these words are being written.
Pride seems to have had its birth in the heart of Satan before God created this world.
Isaiah 14:12-14 (AMP)
12 How have you fallen from heaven, O light-bringer and daystar, son of the morning! How you have been cut down to the ground, you who weakened and laid low the nations [O blasphemous, satanic king of Babylon!]
13 And you said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit upon the mount of assembly in the uttermost north.
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.
In the death of fallen man, in ways not known to me, men and women seem to have inherited this strong natural tendency toward selfishness and pride. Though we often use two or more words to describe our dark and doggedly disastrous tendency, it is no doubt in the eyes of God a single sinful issue of a fallen heart.
This self-pride, our deep-seated desire for self-honor and glory, seems to be at the root of all sin. While there are several lists of sins in the Word of God, we are hard pressed to find a single one that does not have its roots drooping down into the dark and dreadful cavern of self -pride.
Men of God over the past few centuries have declared using various words that our tendency toward sin is primarily promoted by inaccurate ideas and beliefs about God.
“It is an astonishing thing to have to say, but it is nevertheless the truth, that all our troubles in this Christian life ultimately arise from our ignorance of the character of God.” - Martin Lloyd-Jones - “Revival”
“It is impossible to keep our moral practices sound and our inward attitudes right while our idea of God is erroneous or inadequate.” -A.W. Tozer, “The Knowledge of the Holy”
Can an adequately accurate view of God help us to greatly minimize our propensity to operate from the sinful position of self-pride? While this is no doubt true, moving toward this solution we may face a bit of a chicken verses an egg issue. In order to see God as He really is, in part we must begin to see ourselves as we are. The deceptive power of self-pride blinds us to the ability to see ourselves as we should. Self-pride exchanges the truth about who we are and bends the truth to place us to a large extent in the center of everything. This tendency to see everything as revolving around us blinds our ability to see God fully as He has accurately revealed Himself.
It is clear that in His Word and through His Son, God has intentionally revealed much of Himself to us. The problem is not at all with His revelation; it is always with our focus. We tend to bend or selectively emphasize His word to fit our self centered bias and faltering experiences. The effect of our bias on the truth of scripture powered by our self-centered perspective often progresses nicely without the slightest detection.
By contrast the more we grow in humility and the more we become others focused the more freedom and fruit we experience. As we grow in humility the resulting ability to see God as He has revealed Himself enhances our capability to begin to see and connect with His purposes for our lives.
Philippians 2:12 (AMP)
12 Therefore, my dear ones, as you have always obeyed [my suggestions], so now, not only [with the enthusiasm you would show] in my presence but much more because I am absent, work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ).
God certainly seems to be attempting to get our attention as a Nation. On every front we are being chastised. God is slow to respond to His people in anger but He will not be mocked forever.
Ezekiel 7:9 (AMP)
9 And My eye will not spare, nor will I have pity. I will punish you according to your ways while your abominations are right in the midst of you. And you shall know, understand, and realize that it is I the Lord Who smites you.
In the passage above, written to the people who were called by God’s name, God through His prophet Ezekiel said that they would ultimately realize that the punishments they were experiencing were at the hand of God. It seems that we who are living in this Nation that claims that it is “Under God” are running out of time. It seems that God’s warning shots are even now passing across our bow.
Is it possible that most of the people who are called by His name are asleep? Are we in the main going about buying and selling and eating and drinking and hoping things will get better? Are we in need of a better economy? Are we in need of an improved housing market? Are we in need of lower unemployment numbers? Our real need is to wake up to see the root cause issue! We need God to heal our land. Our land must to be healed of its abdominal sin before it can be healed of the symptoms of said sin.
Regarding the healing of our land, God spoke to Solomon in these words: If my people who are called by My Name will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, will forgive their sins and will heal their land.
Oh Lord, God of Heaven, show us, reveal to us, our pride. Help us Lord to see you as you are, faithful and true, full of mercy and grace, loving Your children with an everlasting love. Help us Father to grow in a spirit of humility and in submission to the work of the Holy Spirit minute by minute in our lives. Father, make us fit for and prepared for the revival that you desire to bring. Work in us Father that we might become clay in the hands of the potter, for Your glory!
Jeff and Kathy Williams