Summary: "It is possible to be too big for God to use you but never too small for God to use you!"
LOWERED TO BE LIFTED UP
When Joy and I lived in Manville, NJ, we had a beautiful magnolia tree in our side yard. However, the roots were so persistent, that they grew right through the sewer pipes and caused a clog that only roto-rooter could fix. So we cut down our lovely tree, only to find the roots were still a problem. We drilled holes in the stump and put root-killer in the holes but the problem continued! We then decided to remove the stump - we dug and dug and dug, and chopped, but it wouldn’t budge. Finally, we got one of our young men with a 4x4 truck, to wrap a chain around the stump and pull out the roots with great force!
Why do I tell this story? Because the book of Proverbs tells us there is a ROOT sin, which is deeply imbedded in our souls- that keeps effecting us even after we think we have remove it, and that leads to many other problems. Unless we cut it off and pull it out, PRIDE will clog up our pipeline to God.
Prov. 11:2 "When pride comes, then comes dishonor!"
Pride was actually the first sin in the universe. Satan proclaimed in Isa. 14:14 - "I will make myself like the most High." The Lord rebuked him for his pride in Ezek. 28:17 "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, you have corrupted your beauty by reason of your splendor, therefore I will cast you to the ground."
God had created Satan with such great wisdom and beauty, but Satan wanted to take the credit for it himself. He became so self-centered that he was no longer of any use to God, and God had to bring him low. The same root sin caused the fall of man. Eve gave in to Satan’s temptation when he promised her: "You will be like God." W.B.Erdmans has written: "Pride is at the bottom of disobedience and rebellion against God’s laws. We think we are too good to live under His standards, so we would rather make up our own."
Since pride is the root that needs to be destroyed and humility is the flower that needs to grow in its place, I would like us to study from the book of wisdom:
1. The Dishonor of Pride cf The Honor of Humility
I. THE DISHONOR OF PRIDE
A. The Description of Pride
1. Pride is ARROGANCE
Prov. 8:13 "Pride, arrogance, the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate."
In pride, we often debase and devalue the rights and opinions of others. Pride convinces us that we know it all, that we have all the right answers and that makes us "better" than those around us.
Prov. 30:12+13 "There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, yet is not washed from its filthiness. There is a generation - O how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up."
2. Pride is HAUGHTINESS
Prov. 16:18 "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."
The word haughty means snobbish or phony. A haughty person thinks that he’s greater than others- he is often "status conscious," aloof, patronizing and a "name-dropper."
3. Pride is SELF-GLORIFICATION
Prov. 17:19b "He that exalts himself seeks destruction."
Prov. 25:27 "It is not good to eat much honey; so to seek one’s own glory is not glory."
Prov. 27:2 "Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips."
4. Pride is BOASTING
Prov. 25:14 "Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of his gifts falsely." Boasting is telling everyone how great you are.
It’s interesting that this verse is basically calling a boaster a "windbag" or "full of hot air."
Prov. 20:6 "Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, but who can find a faithful man?"
Prov. 30:32 "If you have done foolishly in lifting yourself up, lay your hand upon your mouth."
5. Pride is CONCEIT
Prov. 26:12 "Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him."
Pride causes us to feel we have arrived and are much wiser than others. We than take it upon ourselves to "become the Holy Spirit" to other Christians - telling them how to live their lives, what to believe, what they should do in the future.
It is ridiculous to think we are spiritually sufficient, God is our only sufficiency!
6. Pride is SCOFFING
A proud person makes fun of and ridicules people and ideas that do not coincide with his
own values and opinions.
Prov. 28:25 "He that is of a proud heart stirs up strife."
Prov. 13:10 "Only be pride comes contention, but with the well-advised is wisdom."