Summary: Pride is devastating to the life of God within us, primarily because it focuses us on ourselves and tricks us into believing that the good things of life are somehow produced by us or are given to us because we are so great or so worthy or so important.
Return to Sanity
Dan 4 Mar 11, 2012
A young woman was seeking some help: Pastor, I have a besetting sin, and I want your help. I come to church on Sunday and can’t help thinking I’m the prettiest girl in the congregation. I know I ought not to think that, but I can’t help it. I want you to help me with it. The pastor replied, Mary, don’t worry about it. In your case it’s not a sin. It’s just a horrible mistake.
A deacon, who was full of himself, was teaching a boy’s Sunday school class. He was working hard to stress the importance of living a Christian life. With an air of arrogance he asked, Why do people call me a Christian? After an awkward silence one of the little guys said, Maybe it's because they don't know you.
Let me suggest you consider the difference between dogs and cats. The master pets a dog, and the dog wags its tail and thinks, He must be a god. But the master pets his cat, and the cat purrs, shuts its eyes and thinks to itself, I must be a god.
As we walk through this season of Lent, preparing to worship through serving our crucified and resurrected Lord Jesus, we have joined a journey of repentance. We have asked God to awaken us to the reality of sin and how it robs us of life and joy, and in His kindness lead us to repentance and life. Last Sunday we talked about and repented of the sin of idolatry, of making anything more important in our lives than God. We learned from Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego how choosing to obey God leads to freedom and deliverance. Today we are going to continue in the book of Daniel and see the sin of pride.
Dan 4 (NLT):
1 King Nebuchadnezzar sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world: Peace and prosperity to you! 2 I want you all to know about the miraculous signs and wonders the Most High God has performed for me.
3 How great are his signs,
how powerful his wonders!
His kingdom will last forever,
his rule through all generations.
4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was living in my palace in comfort and prosperity. 5 But one night I had a dream that frightened me; I saw visions that terrified me as I lay in my bed. 6 So I issued an order calling in all the wise men of Babylon, so they could tell me what my dream meant. 7 When all the magicians, enchanters, astrologers, and fortune-tellers came in, I told them the dream, but they could not tell me what it meant. 8 At last Daniel came in before me, and I told him the dream. (He was named Belteshazzar after my god, and the spirit of the holy gods is in him.)
9 I said to him, Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you and that no mystery is too great for you to solve. Now tell me what my dream means.
10 While I was lying in my bed, this is what I dreamed. I saw a large tree in the middle of the earth. 11 The tree grew very tall and strong, reaching high into the heavens for all the world to see. 12 It had fresh green leaves, and it was loaded with fruit for all to eat. Wild animals lived in its shade, and birds nested in its branches. All the world was fed from this tree.
13 Then as I lay there dreaming, I saw a messenger, a holy one, coming down from heaven. 14 The messenger shouted,
Cut down the tree and lop off its branches!
Shake off its leaves and scatter its fruit!
Chase the wild animals from its shade
and the birds from its branches.
15 But leave the stump and the roots in the ground,
bound with a band of iron and bronze
and surrounded by tender grass.
Now let him be drenched with the dew of heaven,
and let him live with the wild animals among the plants of the field.
16 For seven periods of time,
let him have the mind of a wild animal
instead of the mind of a human.
17 For this has been decreed by the messengers;
it is commanded by the holy ones,
so that everyone may know
that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world.
He gives them to anyone he chooses—
even to the lowliest of people.
18 Belteshazzar, that was the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had. Now tell me what it means, for none of the wise men of my kingdom can do so. But you can tell me because the spirit of the holy gods is in you.