Summary: There are many countries around the world that have fallen and I believe in most cases it is due to power struggles that take place and just plain old pride. Solomon said pride comes before a fall and I believe that is exactly what is happening in the Un
“Watch your Step!”
For the past 12 weeks we have looked at a variety of traps that Satan places in our path. As we have seen, these traps come in different sizes, large and small. And I have this suspicion – that of all the traps we looked at there were some of you who thought-that particular trap; that particular temptation is not something I deal with but that one is. Satan has a way of personalizing these traps.
Last week we looked at the trap of bitterness-the week before we looked at some of the traps we as men fall into, before that we looked at pornography; well we didn’t exactly look at it-but at any rate some of these don’t struggle with so much, others are huge and they are a daily temptation.
Today’s trap is best summed up in a couple of verses in the Bible (1) is found in Psalm 59:12 (RSV) for the sin of their mouths, the words of their lips; let them be trapped in their pride. Proverbs 16:18. Pride goes before destruction and haughtiness before a fall. And the picture that places in my mind is a picture of someone casually walking along so completely absorbed in themselves and they are about to fall into a huge trap that they never saw coming.
For me that is a picture of where America is today. Traveling down McMullen Booth recently I spotted a sign outside a church that immediately caught my attention. The sign read, “America is the only country in the world that was created for a good purpose.” It was near Memorial Day and I realize this church was trying to be patriotic but I also realized a couple of things about it—that statement is full of pride and it is simply not true.
The Bible tells us that God created the earth and that it was good and everything in it was good. As Americans we often fall into this trap of thinking that we are the only country in the world that God is blessing and that we are the only ones that are doing anything right. My wife, my entire family are very patriotic-we love this country. Our oldest son, David is serving in a special ops team right now in Afghanistan.
While I don’t like the area where he is serving because I know it is dangerous, I do believe that Afghanistan was created for a good purpose. I also believe that Iraq with all of its problems was created for a good purpose as well. Iraq, as evil as that country has become; that area is referred to as the place where mankind got our beginning. We believe that it was the birthplace of Adam and Eve…the garden of Eden so it would be hard to say that Iraq was not created for a good purpose—they are simply not fulfilling God’s purpose.
There are many countries around the world that have fallen and I believe in most cases it is due to power struggles that take place and just plain old pride. Solomon said pride comes before a fall and I believe that is exactly what is happening in the United States.
Now first of all we should be aware that pride can be a very good thing. If we take pride in our families, if we take pride in our country, if we take pride in our work, it means that we pour more of ourselves into these areas. It usually means we have worked hard and that we have invested time and energy in something and that we are pleased with the results-we are proud of them. Paul expresses this in speaking to the church in Corinth. “I have said before that you have such a place in our hearts that we would live or die for you. I have great confidence in you; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged.” 2 Cor. 7: 4.
So Paul took pride in those who were in the churches he helped start and in the people because of their spiritual growth. Paul made an investment in these people and he was proud of the results.
Look at another one, Philippians 1:26… “and when I come to you again, you will have even more reason to take pride in Christ Jesus because of what he is doing through me.” So now Paul has told us two things. (1) it can be good to have pride in another person’s spiritual growth. (2) it is good to have pride in Jesus and what He does in the lives of His people. And if you are a part of that be proud.
Now we also should be aware that pride can be a very sinful thing. So what’s the difference? Many times it is all wrapped up in the little word “I.” It is a good thing to be proud of how God is working in someone’s else’s life, it is good to be proud of how Christ is making a difference in someone’s life-but we get into a problem when there is too much emphasis placed on self.