This is a study I did principally because the Lord showed me that my service to Him was being hindered by my own false humility and pride. It is an awesome feeling when the truth contained in scriptures finally starts clicking at a deep level. Satan’s army tries hard to keep this from happening but failing that they will come on the heels of a breakthrough for God and try to snatchT us away. PRIDE is the chief weapon Satan uses to ensnare those that know the truth. Satan gets us to think about how special we are and how book smart on the bible we are becoming and slowly steers us away from serving God to serving ourselves and our own self righteousness. Satan will do anything to gets us focused on pumping ourselves up, beating up other believers, engaging in endless strife and debate and to serve ourselves. How many critical spirit, highly judgemental, bible thumping zealots do we have to meet before we understand Satan’s strategy? In my own case, sure I was out talking about Jesus and doing some good things, but secretly it was all about me. I was not building the kingdom of God, I was starting to destroy it. Let us be extra vigilant not to fall for this deception.
BEWARE THE LEAVEN OF THE PHARISEE “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted”. Proverbs 29:23 warns us that a man’s pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor. When pride comes, then comes dishonor. Many “religious” people become self-righteous and puffed with pride yet do not realize it. Pride is how Satan most always tempts us.
Jesus saved his harshest criticism for the prideful falsely humble Pharisees: “Woe to you…..”. In Luke 12, Jesus warns us Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. If our motivation is not love, any good we think we are doing for God is greatly hindered. It really comes down to what Paul taught in 1 Corinthians about Love being the most important thing.
“ Though I speak with the tongue of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging symbol. “DON’T BE A CLANGING SYMBOL!
“And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”
” And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.”
I found myself preaching Christ and being bold about it, but alas I was full or pride and did not show love, gentleness and humility. I was nothing but an evil judge. Having seen quite a few bible zealots screaming scripture out in criticism, I try to keep these teachings close to my heart.
Eph 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love. Col 4:6 Let you conversations be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone Phil 4:5 Let your gentleness be evident to all 2 Tim 2:24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition Rom 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in Brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves”
I read a sermon preached by Jonathan Edwards about diagnosing spiritual pride. I thought it was great and took the liberty to create my own cliff notes on the sermon as follows:
The signs to identify spiritual pride: Examine Yourself
1 Hindrance to the work of God
2 A most secret sin & enemy. Hidden agenda’s and self promotion
3 Best identified by the fruit it produces. Am I producing fruit for God?
4 Pro at pointing out other’s faults and delights in doing so
5 Possess a boastful critical spirit versus silent humility
6 Ministers harshly without showing true love and gentleness
7 Pronounces judgments towards both wicked and true brethren
8 Easily offended when criticized or rebuked
9 Takes great notice of opposition and speaks out
10 Presumptuous and showing of improper boldness
11 Does not worship or minister reverently
12 Attention Seeking, promoter of their own self righteousness
13 Thinks everyone needs help, seeks no spiritual help of their own
The other side of the spiritual pride coin is the presence of false humility. False humility is best exemplified by the acts of the Pharisees, in the gospels. They would act out their days to be seen by men as religious looking, spiritually minded people, yet their hearts were not pure. Jesus called them out often and he was killed for his righteous judgments of them. Two areas that Jesus called out hypocrites were those that fasted and prayed in the sight of men. He said people that do these things to be seen by men, already have their reward and that there would be no reward in heaven. Jesus further instructed us to do these things (prayer and fasting) in private where our Father in heaven would see us and our reward in heaven would be great.
Mat 6:1 Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
Now I am not putting down fasting and prayer or any of the things we can do to seek God and bring him honor. I do believe however that many of us that are battling pride also are dealing at the same time with a false humility and the Bible has some choice words for those practicing self denial and sacrifice without a true humble heart.
Matthew 9:13 “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.” Matthew 12:7 “But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.” Hosea 6:6 “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” Amos 5:21-24 “I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies …But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” Col 2:18 “Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on self denial”
Let’s be sober and not prideful in our walk. It is indeed a battle and we need to remember pride is the chief weapon Satan uses to trip us up and hinder or worse destroy our walk with God.
Rom 12:3 “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith god has given us.” 2 Cor 13:5-6 “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are holding to your faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless indeed you fail to meet the test.”
There is not a single prophet or apostle in the Bible that was proud and that did not also practice true humility before God. God cannot use us effectively if we are proud.
Proverbs 16:18-19 “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.”
I am sure all Christians at one point or another have dealt with a bout of spiritual pride. It is an awesome thing to know the truth about Jesus and his promises. But recognize Satan hates those that know the truth and will come to kill, steal or destroy their walk and testimony. Be watchful that his chief weapon doesn’t hit its target.
" The Logos-Wisdom is the principle of all Divine and Esoteric Revelations. She has the characteristics of being the indwelling revealer of God. She IS the active principle and the transmitter of all Divine knowledge as well the cosmological cause of all creation. "
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Think for yourself and do not quickly accept ideas. Test all things; hold fast what is good. (1 Thes. 5:21)
If you have enemies, each has a Soul, as you do.
" Love your enemies "
" By their fruits you will recognize them" (Matt.7:15-16) "
" Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own. " --Robert A. Heinlein
" I neither know nor think that I know. " --Socrates
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