Friday, May 21, 2010
Today’s Topic: Lowering Our Opinion of Self
Today’s Text: The LORD Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled), for all the cedars of Lebanon, tall and lofty, and all the oaks of Bashan,
for all the towering mountains and all the high hills, for every lofty tower and every fortified wall, for every trading ship and every stately vessel. The arrogance of man will be brought low and the pride of men humbled; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day,
Pride is such a deadly enemy because it makes itself appear in every form as a friend.
Isaiah understands that the corruption of culture is completely the consequence of people’s pride. We have placed our trust in what we are able to accomplish rather than what God has already done. And then, to bring pride to its ultimate expression, we even take what God has done and give ourselves the credit for it and control over it.
Notice in this passage of Scripture the five expressions of pride and how God will deal with them:
- Creation – Society has become guilty of worshiping the creation rather than the Creator. (Romans 1:25) The emphasis on elevating animal and plant life to equal status with human life is absurd, and denies the Creator’s image in each of us.
- Comforts – People are building treasures for this life, and every lofty tower that provides comfort is a denial of our need to depend on God for every earthly need.
- Construction – Mankind takes great pride in what they are able to build. Every fortified wall we build is a denial of our need to depend on God for our protection.
- Confidence – We have learned to depend on ourselves. Our culture is built around providing for self, defending self, and having confidence in ourselves to improve the quality of life.
- Commerce – We have built an economic system that has become our hope for survival. The trading ships and stately vessels are symbolic of our demand for financial security, and we have put our hope for that security in a system we have built for ourselves.
But notice what God says – The arrogance of man will be brought low and the pride of men humbled; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.
My friend, what happens to your heart when something you own is taken from you? Does it end up revealing to you that it actually owned you? God does not share His glory. God does not distribute worship around to the idols of our own making. God is a jealous God, and will fight to keep what is rightfully His. He is not envious, for that is sin. But He is jealous, and He will fight to keep you. He will begin to remove everything that interferes with your relationship with Him. He will bring trouble upon you until you open your eyes and surrender the throne of your life back to Him. This is because He loves you!
Take some time today to evaluate your heart in the five areas above. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you any pride that has crept in any area. Then confess that pride, and surrender to the control of Jesus Christ. It is imperative for the days ahead – days of severe testing and tribulation upon the Christ-less cultures of the world – that we stand courageously for Christ at all cost. That is only possible if we are fully committed to him and not to our culture.