Summary: Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. Examples and illustrations are given.
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Pastor James May
YOUR PRIDE IS SHOWING
One of the greatest problems that all of us have is our sense of pride. While not all pride is considered as sinful, it is that pride of our own heart that causes us to lift ourselves higher onto a pedestal that can quickly crumble beneath us. God knows how to bring down the prideful spirit and he will never fail to do just that.
Proverbs 16:18, "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."
With a “promise” from God’s Word that the prideful heart and proud spirit are destined to fall and face destruction, it would be to our best interest to look into the subject of pride in the heart of man and examine our own hearts to see what pride lurks in the deep recesses of our heart so that we can attempt to root it out.
I want us to look at the prideful attitudes of some of the characters from God’s Word and see if we can identify with these same men. Let me say that if you find yourself feeling some of the same things and reacting in the same fashion as any of these men, then find an altar fast and start letting God work on the pride in your heart before it destroys your testimony.
Destroying Pride in the heart is one of the hardest battles that we all fight.
I like what Benjamin Franklin had to say concerning his own pride when he wrote his autobiography…”There is perhaps no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive. Even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.”
Exodus 5:2, "And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go."
Pharoah’s pride and self-confidence would not allow him to recognize that God was in control of his life and his kingdom. Pharaoh would not confess that there was a God greater than he because all of Egypt bowed before Pharaoh and he was considered as a god by his own people.
G. Gordon Liddy, Watergate conspirator under former President Richard Nixon, was quoted as saying this after he was released from prison: "I have found within myself all I need and all I ever shall need. I am a man of great faith, but my faith is in G. Gordon Liddy. I have never failed me." Mr. Liddy, if that’s true, why did you wind up in prison for so long? I would hate to know that I had to depend on you to get to heaven one day.
Mr. Liddy, Pharaoh, and a lot of people that I know will not admit to themselves or anyone else that God is real. They refuse to allow God to touch them, change them or direct their lives and they rush headlong into ultimate destruction.
Their pride and self-reliance get in the way of their finding God’s will.
2 Kings 5:11, "But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper."
Here was a man of power and position. He was the Captain, or commanding general if you will, of the Syrian Army. But, Naaman had a big problem. He was covered with leprosy.
Leprosy, as you may know, is a type of sin and, in the time of Naaman, there was no cure. In Naaman’s case I think the sin that was most prevalent in his life was the sin of pride. It covered him because of his power and position.