So, today throughout this post; I want you all to ask yourself this question: Am I focusing on myself or am I humble and focusing on others?
What does “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall” really mean? (see Proverbs 16:18).
Well, the word Pride comes from the English word meaning “A sense of one’s own proper value or dignity” or “A overly high opinion of oneself.” God calls us as people and as Christians to give up our pride and humble ourselves, but how can we do that when we as human beings are prideful and arrogant? In Isaiah 13:11, Isaiah talks about how God will punish the world for its evil; particularly the arrogant, proud, and haughty of humanity.
“11. I will punish the world for its evil; And the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.”
The verse itself for me is saying that there will come a day when God will judge all of humanity for its evil since the first sin in the Garden of Eden. God will then put a stop to the proud nations and people who let their arrogance consume them and bring down the arrogant people of this world. In the Bible, there are many people who are prideful and arrogant in the Bible but there are two kings that come to mind: King Nebuchadnezzar and his son Belshazzar.
In Daniel 5:20, the prophet Daniel makes a reference to King Nebuchadnezzar saying, “20. But when his heart was lifted up, and his spirit was hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him.” King Nebuchadnezzar, who built a powerful empire had failed to recognize God as the source of his wealth and empire and thus his kingdom was taken from him and he was driven mad.
This cycle of pride and arrogance would pass on to his son Belshazzar who hosted a feast when Daniel said in verses 22-23, “22. But you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, although you knew this. 23. And you have lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven.” So, you can see in both cases that when Nebuchadnezzar or Belshazzar boasted about their massive empires that God intervened and stripped them of their right as king because of their pride.
“The word Pride really means that you have “I” in the center of your life; where God is trying to be.”
Humanity’s prideful and arrogant nature didn’t really begin with humans at all; it began with Lucifer (Satan) who believed that he was better than the Most High God and let his pride get the better of him leading to rebel against God. In Isaiah 14:12-15, we see five times where Lucifer lets his pride dictate his later actions and the downfall of humanity.
The Five “Pride” Quotes of Lucifer
1). Verse 13,”I will ascend above the heavens”
2). Verse 13, “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God”
3). Verse 13, “I will also sit on the mount of the congregation”
4). Verse 14, “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds”
5). Verse 14, “I will be like the Most High God”
This scripture on Lucifer’s pride reminded me of the 2016 Forward Conference down in Atlanta, Georgia where I remembered Pastor Robert Madu speak on the topic of pride. At the conference, Pastor Robert Madu talked on the subject: “I Have Issues” where he says, “… the mannequin on the outside is just proof positive that there is a bigger Kingdom that is on the inside. The mannequin proves that there is greater glory that is on the inside” and that statement changed how I looked at myself and what I previously thought about myself.
However, it was what Robert Madu says next that actually caused me to re-evaluate the way I was speaking about myself saying, “You are simply somebody God wants to use to put on display… wherever you go so that somebody walking by and look at you and not be attracted to you but be attracted to a God that is bigger than you.”
C.S. Lewis said, “As long as you are proud, you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.”
This actually brings me to a blog post I read by Desiring Lights entitled, “Haughtiness vs Humility” where she says, “… there is something wrong when pride keeps us from having the beautiful life that God has for us” and that is why pride is a such a dangerous human flaw because when we are prideful; we don’t focus on anyone but ourselves and that can lead us to become arrogant and selfish. In my opinion, this is a part of human history that has seen the destruction of people and kingdoms and it’s because of our pride.
God wants us to let go of our pride and humble ourselves before Him saying in Proverbs 29:23, “23. A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor” but if we have such an arrogant attitude then we will only keep saying, “I did this all by Myself” or “My ways are better than God’s ways.”
This leads me to the second half of Pastor Robert Madu’s sermon: “I Have Issues” where he said, “God creates boundaries… boundaries are not to prohibit you there to protect you” and that is the same with our pride. God created boundaries to keep us from going down a path that leads to self-destruction and protect us but if we let our pride get in the way, we will decide for ourselves that “God is hindering me from doing what I want to do” which could cause us to think that we know better than God; just like Lucifer did before he too was cast down from Heaven.
Whenever we let pride into our life, we run the risk of giving the enemy a foothold in our life because he knows exactly what to put in our path that will hinder us from obtaining the blessing that God has for our lives with Robert Madu saying, “I can tell what you like by what the enemy offers you… he knows exactly what to send your way.”
I recently read a devotional by Lizzy Milani of Pocket Fuel called, “Pride – In the Name of Love – Part 7” where she talks about this particular topic. In the devotional, she said, “We either sacrifice our pride leading us toward love. Or we sacrifice love to protect our pride” and that couldn’t be a better quote that describes human nature. As human beings, we pride ourselves in everything that we do, but if we let pride become our natural attitude towards people; then we will only be letting the enemy continue to push us further and further away from God because that is what the enemy wants and if we let that happen; then that will lead us to be boastful and haughty.
Psalms 10:4 says, “4. The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts.”
This scripture should show us, as people and Christians that without God in our lives; we will only grow more prideful and arrogant but we won’t have the Bible to stand on. Remember that question I asked at the beginning of the post: Am I focusing on myself or am I humble and focusing on others? Well, in my opinion; that question should be not only a reminder but also allow the Holy Spirit to convict us when we let our pride get the best of us.
This question should also remind us as people and Christians, that Jesus never let His pride dictate how He would fulfill His ministry on Earth.
Ezra Taft Benson said, “PRIDE is concerned with WHO IS RIGHT. HUMILITY is concerned with WHAT IS RIGHT.”
Pastor Robert Madu has several statements in his sermon: “I Have Issues” that I feel we as people and Christians should use when we realize that our pride can hinder us from experiencing the full blessing of Christ.
I Have Issues – Part 1
- “Mannequins are dummies… even a dummy can be used”
- “… if you can’t be used then your useless”
- “… dummies tend to forget who put them together”
- “Whenever dummies try to do their own thing… the problem is, is when dummies tend to think that their way is better than their creator’s way”
- “Whenever you try to do your own thing when you think your ways are higher than God’s ways”
- “You’ve got to obey His will”
- “When people do their own thing [and] when you step out and do your own thing it affects other people.”
- “If pride is your problem, he’s [Satan] gonna make sure that there are people to pump you up…”
- “Whenever you try to do your own thing when you think your ways are higher than God’s ways”
I Have Issues – Part 2
- “… the only one that questions God’s boundary us”
- “Arrogance… we inherited from our parents Adam and Eve is this notion that you can give God your opinion when God is more concerned with your obedience; then He is concerned with your opinion.”
- “One of the biggest problems we have is the “I” problem”
- “The danger of sin is in all of us is this “I” problem.”
- “Be careful what comes after that “I” because every problem, every sin… starts with an “I” problem.”
- “All of us have an “I” problem on the inside of us.”
- “SIN is an “I” problem”.
- “Whenever “I” am in the center of my world, I sin.”
- “It’s an attitude or an action that denies God His rightful place in your life.”
- “Whenever there’s an “I” there will always be a lie.”
- “There will always be consequences for your sin.”
- “… when you exalt your will above God’s will. You will always end up in a huge mess.”
- “Sometimes being in a mess is the best place you can be in because whenever there’s a mess; God always has a message.”
- God is saying, “The “I” has got to die.”
In the end, Pride is a major problem with humanity and if we don’t learn to let the “I” within us die, we will never be able to allow the Christ within us to live. If we just allow the pride of our lives be overtaken by Christ and His Word; whatever validation and recognition you may think you have to be prideful can be restored and be made whole. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “7. Therefore, is anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away [PRIDE]; behold, all things have become new.”
So, what will you do?
Will you let go of your pride and humble yourself before God?
Or, will you continue to hold your “I” problem and never let God be Lord over your life?
If you have been touched by this post, I ask that you share it with friends, family, even co-workers who struggle with an “I” problem.
Desiring Light. “Haughtiness vs Humility”, 4 Jun 2017, desiringlight.com, https://desiringlight.com/2017/06/04/haughtiness-vs-humility/ . Accessed 3 Oct 2017.
“I Have Issues – Part 1”, YouTube, uploaded by Awakening Conference 2017, 7 months ago, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdO0MgPtkI4 . Accessed 4 Oct 2017.
“I Have Issues – Part 2”, YouTube, uploaded by Awakening Conference 2017, 7 months ago, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeDHaIZ9eQw . Accessed 4 Oct 2017.
Milani, Lizzy. “Pride – In the Name of Love – Part 7”, pktfuel.com, https://www.pktfuel.com/pride-in-the-name-of-love/ . Accessed 4 Oct 2017.
Thought Seed. “C.S. Lewis – Pride” 28 Jul 2017, https://toniumbarger.wordpress.com/ , https://toniumbarger.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/pride-2/ . Accessed 4 Oct 2017.
T.R. Noble. “5 things that Stumble Me as a Believer”, 22 Sep 2017, nobledevotionblog.wordpress.com, https://nobledevotionblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/22/5-things-that-stumble-me-up-as-a-believer/ . Accessed 3 Oct 2017.
Author Unknown. “Proverbs 29:23”, https://i.pinimg.com/originals/43/bd/54/43bd5442f69afd39049ceb7a393f51ee.jpg . Accessed 3 Oct 2017.
Author Unknown. “Isaiah 13:11”, https://i.pinimg.com/originals/fc/aa/70/fcaa701132bb8e5a867bc45ff279ccda.jpg . Accessed 5 Oct 2017.
Barkley, Scott. “Belshazzar – Writing on the Wall”, https://christianindex.org/sin-ssl-belshazzar/belshazzar-writing-on-the-wall/ . Accessed 3 Oct 2017.
Desiring Light. “Starve your ego,” https://desiringlight.com/2017/06/04/haughtiness-vs-humility/ . Accessed 4 Oct 2017.
Wellman, Jack. “Why is Pride a Sin in the Bible”, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/christiancrier/2014/04/12/why-is-pride-a-sin-in-the-bible/ . Accessed 4 Oct 2017.