Ouch! This one hurts and hits SO CLOSE to home!
Actually, I was unaware of how much of this ugly sin was still in my heart ~
I really thought I had made great strides forward in this area!
Pride ~ Unfortunately, none of us is immune!
We all suffer from the same malady.
Simply put ~ it's SIN.
The first sin was all tied up with pride ~ "...You shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." Genesis 3:5b The Devil tempted Eve in the Garden with this thought ~ to be as gods. Just eat and it will come true! Oh how tricky the Devil is! He had previously fallen in the very same sin ~ he desired to be worshipped as the King of Kings was ~ this was his downfall. We all struggle with the same thing he did ~ we want to take glory for ourselves.
Over the years in my role as Wife and now Mother, I have allowed pride to reside unchecked in my heart. It is a constant battle to keep it at bay and subdued. How often have I thought to myself ~ "No, I can't welcome them into my home ~ it's not clean enough, new enough, orderly enough ~ they will see my imperfections!"
How foolish! We are called to give HOSPITALITY ~ not provide ENTERTAINMENT ~
that's a good one to ponder for awhile! :)
"Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,
ye have done it unto me." Matthew 25:40b
To my shame, I have also had moments of thinking that I was superior in my Mothering methods, my home cleaning abilities, my cooking skills ~ you name it, I probably thought I was better at it than most! As Christians we are called to live humbly before our God and fellow man. I was doing the exact opposite ~ exhalting myself instead of abasing myself.
"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16:18 "These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look,..." Proverbs 6:16-17a
According to this passage of Scripture, my pride is and ABOMINATION to the Lord!
OH. DEAR. ME.
Let's think for a moment about a king who lived in Old Testament times. By the world's standards he had everything going for him. He had built a magnificent kingdom and thought it was all the work of his own hands. He took the glory to himself. Consequently, God removed not only his kingdom, but his sanity as well! King Nebuchadnezzar is the king of whom I speak. This entire story can be read in the book of Daniel chapter four. I would encourage you to take the time to read it ~ it's amazing to see how God dealt with him and how he repented in the end. Powerful story!
Everything we have ~
EVERYTHING. WE. HAVE.
~ is DIRECTLY from HIS hand.
ANY good found in me is because my Glorious Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, lives IN me! What a wonderful thought! All my "righteousnesses" are as filthy rags ~ it tells us that fact very clearly in the Bible. (Isaiah 64:6)
We must never take any glory to ourselves.
We must always live in a state of humility and recognition that
ALL IS OF THE LORD ~
the very next breath we take is from HIM!
Oh yes, and while we are at it, there is something else ~
"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."
How wonderful it would be if we were all to live in such a way ~ can it be done? Only with His power is this possible...as we continually bring it before HIM in prayer. When we least expect it, and often seemingly from way out of left field, those old thoughts will creep in. That is the time for battle ~ as we tell our children ~ that is the time to send an "arrow prayer" up to the Lord. Take a moment to send up a quiet and quick prayer for help or grace in order to be obedient to God's Word ~ "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exhalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled." II Corinthians 10:5-6 We all are equals before God and none of us should think more highly of ourselves than we ought. (Romans 12:3)
"Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality." Romans 12:10-13
Might the Lord help us, for our good and His glory, to win this battle. It is one we must fight daily until the glorious day that He takes us HOME to be with Him forever! Until that day, we must constantly battle these thoughts of superiority and subdue them with the TRUTH that we are created for the Glory of God alone to be useful instruments in His hand. As we prayerfully consider these things, He will give the grace day by day to live our lives accordingly.
Have I "arrived"?
BUT, God is all sufficient and HE lived that perfect life I could never live and died to pay the penalty I could never pay. How WONDERFUL to rest in HIS finished work! One day at a time ~ WITH the Lord. ALL things are possible. We are all works in progress. The longer I am a Christian, the more I see the ugliness of my sin and my need of the Saviour. How beautiful it is to belong to HIM and to trust in HIS Righteousness ALONE!
"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the
Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." Colossians 3:17
You might like to also read the poem "Dying to Self" which has been a great blessing to me over the years ~
one day at a time...WITH the LORD! :)