The Enemy in Us

Connecting Points

Friday, August 03, 2012

Today’s Topic: Accept Correction

Today’s Text:  Proverbs 1:23 (ESV) If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.

Within each of us is a terrifying enemy of God. Not terrifying to God, but to us. Unfortunately, we have embraced this enemy and signed what we think is a lasting peace treaty with it. In reality, this treaty is a lie, and sooner or later we all discover that the enemy has deceived us and brought us to destruction.

The enemy I refer to is Pride. God hates pride.

  • Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure. Psalm 101:5
  • The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate. Proverbs 8:13
  • Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the LORD; be assured, he will not go unpunished. Proverbs 16:5

Pride manifests itself in a variety of ways in our lives. If time and space permitted I would tell you all the ways it comes gushing forth from me. I was made very aware of it on my recent trip to see friends as there were several instances where my desires and wishes tended to dominate the decisions that were being made. I was embarrassed and ashamed, and repented both to them and to the Lord.

But the single most prominent way that pride reveals itself as both the enemy of God and the enemy of my life is this – I reject correction. When confronted with a wrong and a challenge to change there is an immediate rise in my pride pressure, and just like an exaggerated rise in blood pressure, my heart is at risk when it happens.

Pride seeks to protect when in reality it is causing harm. We are deceived into believing that we are guarding our hearts – our value system and our image – when actually we are moving quickly towards the destruction of our spiritual hearts. Just as high blood pressure is an indicator of hardened or constricted arteries, so high pride pressure is an indicator of a hardened heart.

King Solomon makes it very clear that pride is conquered only when we respond humbly to the reproof of God when He lovingly disciplines us for our sin. How we respond to God’s correction reveals the nature and extent of pride in our hearts.

Those who embrace the perceived benefits of pride’s self-protective responses will find themselves alone, abandoned, and absorbed with awful consequences.  Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD,would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof, therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices. (Proverbs 1:29-31) But those who in humility seek the Lord and embrace His correction comes the abiding Presence of God in the Person of His Holy Spirit, and a constant understanding of God’s Word – His purpose for our lives and the power and provision to accomplish it.

What a contrast. The choice is ours. Pride resulting in only what we can do for ourselves, or correction resulting in what God can and will do in us. Today, and every day from here forward, while I know I am weak and pride is strong, I choose to read God’s Word not for knowledge, but for transformation, calling out for God’s reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16

How about you? How do you respond when someone tries to correct you? What does that say about the enemy of God in you? What will you do about it?

Pastor John

2 thoughts on “The Enemy in Us

  1. I so wanted to rush through this thinking, “this has nothing to do with me”. Then I stopped and listened to my heart instead. If I want to get through this so fast, it must really have something in it the Father wants me to hear that Satan doesn’t! So I slowed down and read every word and was convicted of several things. Thank you PJ for being so open with us and continuing to show us your heart and thank you Father for showing PJ what You want him to share.

    Like

  2. I almost feel like pride is at the root of everything I grew up believing – I am now able to identify it (most of the time), and it hits in such unsuspecting ways. I have struggled over the last month with grief and have begun to start pity parties almost daily. Then I get a nudge…. pity party? Poor baby. Oh no! That’s my PRIDE trying to take control.

    I choose to read God’s word, not for knowledge, but for transformation.

    Like

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