Tuesday, August 13, 2019
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. However, 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. On a recent trip to see friends 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 makes be believe it is protecting me when it is actually causing me harm. Pride will ultimately destroy me heart. 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 says that pride is conquered only when we respond humbly to the reproof of God when He lovingly disciplines us for our sin.
Proverbs 1:23 If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.
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 to those who humbly seek the Lord and embrace His correction comes the abiding Presence of God in the Person of His Holy Spirit. He brings us a constant understanding of God’s Word, along with His purpose for our lives and the power and provision to accomplish it.
There’s a clear contrast between living by pride or humbly walking in the Spirit of God. Pride results in only what we can do for ourselves. Accepting correction results in experiencing 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. I will humbly call 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?