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We say “WE SEE!” We say “WE DO!” We say “WE KNOW OUR HEART IS TRUE!”

December 9, 2009
Several months ago, I heard a message in which the topic of spiritual pride was being discussed. It was very thought provoking as the various pitfalls were presented and elaborated upon; many of which I have battled in the past. (and still must keep a diligent watch for) How imperative it is that we guard against becoming full of ourselves. As if the message wasn’t sobering enough the preacher then issued a warning:
“As we grow spiritually, the danger of succumbing to spiritual pride grows proportionally.”
In other words, the danger of becoming full of ourselves doesn’t diminish as we receive understanding; it becomes increasingly greater. I thought to myself “Oh NO!” Without a doubt, knowledge tends to puff a person up. Likewise, spiritual growth, rather authentic or perceived, tends to do the same thing as we may unwittingly take on an “I got this” mentality concerning  particular aspects.  It has to be one of the most difficult areas of our lives to police as pride can be tucked away safely within the confines of our spirituality. It can be so well hidden that we may unwittingly dismiss (without even realizing that we are doing it) the promptings of the Holy Spirit which are bringing attention to the problem. My past contains a lengthy season in which I was in a backslidden state; brought on partially because I didn’t recognize that I had become overly confident and prideful. 
During that dark season, choices were made which continue to affect my life and will for some time to come. It did, however, result in the abandoning of many idols (which I previously hadn’t recognized as being such) and a more eternally-focused world view. These adjustments were necessary, however, it would have been much easier to take heed to the promptings that I was being given and repent, instead of traveling down a lengthy trail of tears. One of the biggest lessons, however, to come from that season is the incredible mercies of the Lord. He could have turned me over to my own ways. And yet, at the perfect time, on the perfect evening, he began to call this wandering child back to himself. Today, it’s as though my love for the Lord is on a deeper level than in the early years, while memories of the dark season stand as a reminder that we must keep our hearts with all diligence.
I Samuel 15:17 “And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD annointed thee king over Israel?”
Esther 5:13 “Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the kings gate.”
Luke 18:11 “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterors, or even as this publican.”
When we think of spiritual pride, an assortment of images may come to mind, such as King Saul. A man annointed to be king over Israel; who even prophesies along with a company of prophets, but spends his final day seeking advice from the witch of endor. A bitter spiral downward that ended in disaster. And Haman; a man so consumed with himself that he sought the destruction of the children of Israel because one man refused to bow to him. We all know how he ended up being hung from the very gallows that he had constructed to hang Mordecai upon. (This wasn’t actually spiritual pride, but the mechanics are the same) And we are all  familiar with the pharisees who would pray on the corner and fast for show, in order to receieve attention. And likewise today; spiritual pride can pop up in the most unsuspecting of places and is a thing that none of us are immune to.
Spiritual pride will cause a person to say “I see” when they don’t see and “I’m doing God service” when they have never been born of the Spirit. It can lure those who know the Lord into seeking promotion and honor for themselves, under the banner of “serving the Lord” and, if not dealt with, will bring about shipwreck. Sometimes modern day Pharisees are obvious, while at other times they can remain undetected for a lifetime. Either way, a terible thing has been made manifest. Self has become the first love and this love will oftentimes be fiercely defended. In Luke 18:11, mentioned above, the Pharisee is “talking with himself about himself” and in the following verse, he goes on to list his religious works. The following passage reveals that many will find that they’ve been trusting in works, instead of the finished work of Calvary.
Matthew 7:22-23 “Many shall say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
I’ve been thinking of writing up a tract that has the words “UH OH” printed on the front in a bold format. The thrust of the tract would be “are you sure that what you are trusting in, whatever it may be, is true? Because when you enter eternity, you do not want your first words to be UH OH.” In the passage above, the most tragic word of all is “many” as in “there are going to be a lot of surprised professors of Christ (along with the professors of other things) on that day.” THIS SHOULD KEEP ALL OF US ON OUR KNEES! Many are unwittingly trusting in themselves that they are righteous. They are doing many good works, and even giving glory to God with their speech, while secretly basking in the attention that’s aimed in their direction. They love the uppermopst rooms at the feasts, to be admired by those around them, to have their face on television, and to be called Pastor, or Doctor, or Reverend. It’s a danger that we all must be aware of, from the most prominent leader, to the pricelss soul that was redeemed by the blood of Jesus last week.
THE DANGER OF YOUR HOLINESS (Scottish Warriors) This post is a more thorough discussion about this most serious of spiritual conditions.
There is one thing that will always bring to nought the tendancies of spiritual pride. It’s a topic that was planned for an upcomming post, but needs mentioning here. First, however, a visit to another familiar passage.
John 13:23-24 “Now there was leaning on Jesus bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.
Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.”
“That disciple whom Jesus loved.” John seems to have had such a love for the Lord that he simply desired to be close to him. Self-serving desires had been abandoned as his only desire was unto Jesus. It’s fascinating that, in his twilight years, he is shown the very end of all that we see and the bringing about of the new creation. A new heavens and a new earth, which will never be contaminated by sin. I wonder if John was the only one who could receive such a revelation and keep a proper perspective. I certainly don’t know, but one thing is for certain. If our love for Jesus is where it should be, even the most obscure intrutions of pride will fail to take hold of us. A standing prayer request is that, each day, my love for Jesus would be stronger than the day previous.
Well I have to go for now as the clock is ticking and I must head off to work shortly. These are such serious times and it’s imperative that our heart is where it should be. Seemingly minor issues can spell disaster in the hour of trying and spiritual pride is a serious form of drifting. The following post was linked to on Steve Quayles site yesterday, and is very timely indeed:
THE PERFECT STORM (Watchman 33)
Blessings always in Jesus name.
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9 comments

  1. Hi! It’s true that none of us are immune to spiritual pride. I agree with you that when our love for God is properly placed pride will fail to take hold.

    Martin.


  2. Hello Timbob, sorry not to have visited your site recently. I’ve been kind of busy at our church – real world interfering with the online one. 🙂

    Blessings,

    Peter


  3. Hi Martin. Thanks so much for taking time to stop by. It is true that, when our love for the Lord is fervent and unwavering, pride will not have a conduit by which to foster drifting. The kind of love that Paul wrote of in Philippians 3:7-10. We’ll always have to be watchful as the old nature is still present, but love for the Lord Jesus will keep it contained and the Holy Spirit will let us know when drifting begins to take place.

    Thanks again for stopping by. Blessings always in Jesus name.


  4. Hi Peter. It is “so great” to hear from you. I’m likewise finding it increasingly difficult to find time for engaging in this forum, and yet there’s so much on my heart that needs a vent. The lateness of the hour makes it all the more imperative to use time wisely; both in a cyber venue and in the real world. (I like the way that you worded that: “Real world interfering with the online one.” lol)

    Last weekend I read an article about online addiction and about a facility (in Seattle I think) where recovering internet addicts can reside for treatment. One guy mentioned in the article, had been spending 17 hours per day playing World of Warcraft, while others reported losing jobs, families, and what have you, because of uncontrolable internet habits.

    Strange times that we live in. Thanks so much for stopping by. Blessings always in Jesus name.



  5. Arrgg! I can’t see my comment! It was too long probably LOL!

    Rather than go through it all again, basically…

    Great post Timbob, it reminds us all to be ever watchful of the snares of sin and self.

    One point I will type again, is that the more I get into God’s Word, the more I know that I know nothing. God’s omniscience accentuating my limited understanding. Thank goodness we have the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth!


  6. Hi Timbob,

    This is a subject I have thought about a lot in the past couple of months. I heard a minister speak not too long ago on a message that was entitled The Death Of Pride. He talked about how we must die daily to this thing called pride, and he gave many examples of just exactly what pride is. Things such as refusing to forgive someone, not asking for forgiveness when you know you’ve done someone wrong and being jealous or feeling slighted when someone gets the promotion or recognition maybe you thought you deserved all have their roots in pride. It was an awesome message and the altar call was one of the deepest and longest I’ve ever been in, as there was a lot of repenting going on. Thanks for the admonition to guard our hearts against this pitfall.

    Blessings,
    Carol


  7. Hi Five Peas. So true this is; to get into theword of God and gradually realize just how much we don’t fathom. But every revelation causes us to realize that our God is beyond awesome and someday we’re going to see him as he is. WOW! It causes us to desire, all the more, to get in close to Jesus and proclaim that he becomes more wonderful by the day.

    Thanks for stopping by. Blessings always in Jesus name.


  8. Hi Carol. It’s so imperative for us to stay in a place of humility before the Lord. To love him so much that we’ll not be tempted to entertain thoughts of self. And yet, because of the old nature, thoughts of pride can sneak in ever so subtily. We truly do have to die daily to the old nature and not allow these destructive attitudes to take up residence.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. I’ll head your way as soon as possible, although the next three days will be hectic.

    Blessings always in Jesus name.



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