1 Jun 2013
Are you willing to take a few minutes to consider the obscure price of pride? Pride has several diverse yet dreadfully attractive faces. While it primarily resides in the deep reaches of our heart it systematically seeps its way to the surface of our lives in our words and actions our attitudes, thoughts and motives.
Pride ignites destructive fires and causes catastrophic collisions in our relationships, with our friends and family and most critically with our God. While the world around us grants pride a privileged place on the podium of life, the God who created this world and all that is in it, including ourselves, perceives pride in an entirely different light.
James 4:6 (AMP)
6 But He gives us more and more grace (power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace [continually] to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it). ( emphasis added)
How seriously do you take pride? God sets Himself against the proud and haughty! Let’s consider a few of the consequences of our cozy connection with this relationship crusher. The most powerful force for good in this world, the Holy Spirit, is residing internally in the life of every true believer. But the Spirit’s supernatural power is neutralized by pride. It is not possible to walk by the Spirit while holding on to the balancing pole of pride. Pride says “I can do this thing myself” and secretly sets us up for a vicious fall.
Psalms 138:6 (AMP)
6 For though the Lord is high, yet has He respect to the lowly [bringing them into fellowship with Him]; but the proud and haughty He knows and recognizes [only] at a distance.
The scope of the power of pride is long and wide. While it provides for powerful and persevering defeat in our private lives, the impact of our collective pride is causing incredible destruction to the calling and mission of the Church. The Church was born on the Day of Pentecost. The power of the Church is the Holy Spirit, not money, organization, or gifted leaders. We can easily acquire an ostentatious organization, fascinating finances, fantastic facilities and extraordinary leaders while at the same time being fueled by pride. However by the indelible laws of God we cannot experience the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in the midst of a flock filled or even regularly flirting with pride.
One example of the prevalent patented faces of pride among believers in our churches today is the pride of self-centeredness. We have become so familiar and comfortable with self-centeredness that it seems only normal or right and in some cases even righteous. For example our normal thinking in our churches today is to attend or move where the music, the feel of the service and even the preaching is desirable to our particular tastes. If something changes in our current local body that is slightly distasteful to our desired flavor, we begin to shop for another church that will fulfill all of our desires. In our self-focused attitudes have we come to value our comfort and sense of instantaneous fulfillment above the call of God? Is our only question “what will my church do for me?”
As we consider the wider and more collective impact of pride we must contemplate its impact upon our Nation. There is much hand ringing and crying out against our leaders and the downhill slide away from God by believers in our churches. Could it be that the primary missing means in our vigilant evaluation is a mirror? When the church becomes self-focused as a result of the self-centeredness of its participants, it is only logical to expect that the impact of the Church upon our society and nation will become virtually fictional.
We should not expect unbelievers to act righteous! We should however have some reasonable expectations of righteousness flowing from those who have the Holy Spirit in their lives. But having the Holy Spirit resident is not sufficient to make a conspicuous difference in our families, our churches, our communities or our nation. The Holy Spirit of God must be in control of our every part of our lives. However Spirit control is incongruent with the presence of pride since pride always seeks to maintain preeminence.
This nation was founded first and foremost on the faith and obedience and sacrifice of committed believers. From the perspective of heaven are not believers today the primary stewards of this land? If we fail as sincere believers in the Lord Jesus Christ to humble ourselves, turn away from our pride and pray and seek His face and repent of our sinful ways, this nation will likely not survive. We will simply ride the party train of pride over the cliff of steep decline until the nation as we know it ceases to exist.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
The decline of our nation does not lie at the feet of our government, or at the feet of our culture, or at the feet of individuals who voted this way or that. The decline of our nation clearly lies at the feet of those of us who have been given world changing Power residing within our hearts but are not yielding the powerful sword of the Spirit!
Psalms 33:12 (NASB95)
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.
The price of pride is to forfeit supernatural power. The price of pride is to part with the favor of God. We must each individually evaluate our personal contribution to the collective pride of the Church. We must make changes one believer at a time in order to change the outcome resulting from our collective pride. Better church leaders will not be able to change our hearts, we are personally responsible to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. If we do not individually make revolutionary changes soon, pride will likely cost us this nation. Lord, give us eyes to see what You see and courage to make the changes You desire.
Isaiah 66:2 (AMP)
2 For all these things My hand has made, and so all these things have come into being [by and for Me], says the Lord. But this is the man to whom I will look and have regard: he who is humble and of a broken or wounded spirit, and who trembles at My word and reveres My commands. (emphasis added)