Summary: The pride test is actually a three part test. We already covered the first part when we talked about selfish pride (Pride Test, Part 1). The second part of the test is about presumptive pride. That’s where our text takes us today.
1. Presumptive pride is futile
2. Presumptive pride is arrogant
3. Presumptive pride is sinful
Well, here we are, standing at the edge of a New Year. People use this time of the year for different things, don’t they? Of course, some people just use the New Year as an excuse to party. But most people use the changing of the calendar for a much better purpose. Many people use it as a time to reflect over the events of the past year. A lot has happened this past year, hasn’t it? Some things have probably happened that we expected, but many more things have happened that we could never have imagined. Good things have happened and bad things have happened. You can never forecast things like birth and death and love and strife, can you? And each of us have tasted those things this past year. Each of us has enjoyed the thrill of a new experience. And each of us has mourned the passing of experiences we’ll never have again. Think back with me to this time last year. What were your plans for 2007? What were your hopes and dreams and aspirations? I’m not talking about resolutions. Resolutions usually don’t make it through the month of January. I’m talking about real plans. Now, I want you to think about your plans for the coming year. Have you made any yet? Are you planning a career change? Are you planning a major investment? Are you planning to retire? Are you planning on a new family member? Planning for the future is a good thing. God has given us the ability to think and plan for a reason. He intends for us to use the minds He’s given us. He intends for us to plan for the future. He intends for us to save for the future. He intends for us to prepare for the future. The problem comes in when we begin to see our plans for what they are not. When we begin to see our plans as the ones that matter the most. When we begin to see our plans as sovereign. As all-knowing. As the be-all-and-end-all. God wants us to make plans, but He wants us to trust Him far more than we trust our plans. God has a plan that is far bigger than any plan we can make. And His plan is guaranteed to be fulfilled. Look back at the plans you made last year at this time. Can you say that your plans are guaranteed to be fulfilled? The last time we were in James, we started a section of his letter that runs all the way from chapter 4:1 through 5:6. Remember that throughout James’ letter, God’s Word gives us 9 tests to determine whether or not our faith is real. This large section that we started a few weeks ago is our sixth test of faith—the pride test. Remember that the pride test is actually a three part test. We already covered the first part when we talked about selfish pride. The second part of the test is about presumptive pride. That’s where our text takes us this morning. If you were to come up with the most basic definition of pride you could, what would it be? Think about it. If you had to explain pride to a young child, what would you say? Probably the most basic definition of pride I can think of is to say that pride is putting ourselves in the place where only God should be. When we looked at selfish pride a few weeks ago, we saw what happens when we elevate our selfish desires above God’s desire. This morning we’re going to see what happens when we elevate our personal plans above God’s plan. When we think we know more about the future than He does. When we pridefully presume upon God by placing our worries over His providence. This morning, I want us to get rid of our presumptive pride. I want us to submit our plans to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. I want us this coming year to be able to say with Him, “Not my will, but Thine.” In order to do that, we’re going to look at three characteristics of presumptive pride. The first characteristic is that presumptive pride is futile. Look with me in verses 13-14: