Summary: As I was out seeking the Lord for Bible Study, He gave me an obscure passage in Ezekiel. Ezekiel 8:17 He said to me, “Have you seen this, son of man? Is it a trivial matter for the people of Judah to do the detestable things they are doing here... Look at them putting the branch to their nose!
Are You Thumbing Your Nose At God?
As I was out seeking the Lord for Bible Study, He gave me an obscure passage in Ezekiel. Ezekiel 8:17
He said to me, “Have you seen this, son of man? Is it a trivial matter for the people of Judah to do the detestable things they are doing here? Must they also fill the land with violence and continually arouse my anger? Look at them putting the branch to their nose!
Immediately, the Lord brought to mind how over 30+ years ago, when I attended a Church where I knew no one, and I was praying, and the Lord spoke very concise and clear to me. He said, “get rid of your arrogance”. I lifted up my head and looked around as to see who was talking to me, but I knew it was the Lord. That’s all He said to me, “get rid of your arrogance”. I wasn’t exactly sure what “arrogance” meant. So, for the rest of the week, I continued to think on, “get rid of your arrogance”, what does that mean? At the time I was young, a new born babe in Christ, I was still committing some of the same sins I had committing before I got saved. The difference in my life was Jesus. I now prayed every day, calling sin, sin, and asking for forgiveness; whereas, before I accepted the Lord as my Savior, I never called the things I did sin nor did I pray and ask for forgiveness. So, I knew in myself the Lord had changed things in me.
However, I began praying about my pride, asking the Lord to strip me of my pride, and boy did the Lord strip me down, where I was sitting in the creek one day just balling my eyes out crying and crying out to the Lord. He had purged me of much; and after that, I knew I was a new creation in Christ Jesus Amen! However, because I really didn’t get the whole arrogance thing, I didn’t pray asking Him to strip me of my arrogance! So, I remained arrogant. Truth is, I didn’t want to get the arrogance. After all, I always self-confident, self-motivated, and believe myself to be sufficient. I never thought I was better than anyone else or above anyone else, just self-inspired, self-driven. Just occupied with the things of self! Not selfish, anyone who knows me, knows I’m not selfish, but I am self in tuned, self-aware!
Now, the definition of arrogance is self-importance! Stay with me now, where going somewhere!
Fast forward – 30+ years. I was running a successful legal clinic – making money – but feeling the life being choked out of me. My prayers wouldn’t raise no higher than the ceiling. I was no longer reading my Bible on a regular basis. I began praying asking the Lord, to help me draw closer to Him. So, one Wednesday morning, a Pastor friend of mine asked me to come to his Wednesday Bible Study. After Bible study, we all gather in a circle and held hands and each person began to pray going around the horn. Now, before my turn came to pray, the Lord spoke clearly and concisely to me, and said, “you ask me to stripe you of your arrogance and pride”. This time I knew what the Lord meant. So, my only prayer was, “Lord, I ask that you would strip me of my arrogance and pride. In Jesus name Amen!” I knew, I had invited the Lord to break me down. Over the next few days, I started asking the Lord, to me gentle when breaking me down and to strengthen me while enduring the trials. But, let me tell you. THE LORD BROKE ME DOWN AND STRIPED ME OF ARROGANCE. I underwent some real trials and tribulations, and only had the Lord to rely upon. That’s another testimony for another time, but trust me. Most of you would not want to undergo what the Lord put me through and I’m still going through it.
See, arrogance is reliance on “self”, concerned about “self”, see only “self”, dependent on “self”, think on “self” even to calling yourself by His name. Many of you think, “I’m not arrogant, I depend on the Lord”. Let me just say this, so did I!
But, many of us, even in our worship of the Lord, are doing it in the form of “self”. How many of us, rationalize, justify, excuse, have a reason for, brush off, think nonchalantly or down right ignore many of the things the Lord pricks us about, tells us in His Word, in exchange for what we think or feel about something? How, many of us don’t call sin, sin? When I gossip, I call it just wanting to finding out or share. When I covet, I call it just wanting better. When I worry, I call it just looking at the facts, When I lust, I just ignore it as if it didn’t happen or justify it through some other means. When I feel vengeful, wrongfully angered, spiteful, I rationalize it blaming another. When I lie, I say I didn’t mean it or it didn’t hurt anyone. When I mistreat someone or I’m selfish, jealous, I justify my actions with some reason, and a host of other ways of being that are contrary to God’s Word. I ignore, justify, excuse, have a reason, brush it off, think nonchalantly or ignore my thoughts, ways and actions only to tell myself, how I’m walking with the Lord.