Pride

image-of-spirit-leaving-the-body

As we continue to read the Book of Isaiah, I thought it would be a good time to insert a little teaching on the Spirit of Pride, because you will see that this was a lot of Israel’s problem that brought about God’s judgment.

Do we, as Christians, ever grant Satan permission to come into our lives and take us bondage? Does God ever grant Satan permission to take us bondage in any area?

Keep in mind, Satan is a thief looking for an open door to come through. The number one open door for Satan to enter into a believer’s life is “Pride.” Before you tell yourself you don’t have any pride in any areas, let me give you some areas to reconsider.

#1 – Pride is trusting in your own strength. “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).

Luke 22:31-34 – And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. (32) “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” (33) But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” (34) Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.

Even in the New Testament Satan asked to sift Peter, but Jesus let Peter know He had prayed for his faith to not fail. That open door for Peter was in his own strength. We know this by the previous conversation they had, but Luke doesn’t record it. Matthew, Mark, and John, do.

Mark 14:27-31 – Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ (28) “But after I have raised, I will go before you to Galilee.” (verse 29) But Peter said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be.” (verse 30) And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” (31) But he spoke more vehemently, “If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And they all said likewise.

Jesus even spoke scripture that had already been written and Peter said, “Nope, not me!” And then we see in Matthew 16:21-23 where the garrison of soldiers come to arrest Jesus and Peter tried to split a soldier’s head wide open and ended up cutting his ear off. There’s over a hundred soldiers there and Peter is going to take them all on – trusting in his own strength. Think about it; he was one of the strongest disciples and willing to lose his life to protect Jesus, but yet later on he denies that he even knows Jesus.

Many mature believers fall into this trap: They walk with the Lord for a long time and then begin to trust in their own strength to resist temptation. Is that the reason maybe King David fell into temptation with Bathsheba?

#2 reason we can fall into pride is trusting in our own righteousness. I’m sure you have read the story of Job. Again we read where Satan asks permission: Job 1:6-12 – Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. (7) And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” (8) Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” (9) So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? (10) “Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. (11) “But now, stretch our Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” (12) So the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

So Job loses everything except his hateful wife and wishes he had never been born, but wait, 3 of Job’s friends show up to comfort him. After they say all the things that they think where Job could have possibly sinned, a 4th young man has been sitting there listening and stands up to talk. This next verse says it all. Job 32:1, 2 – So these three men ceased answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. (2) Then the wrath of Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, aroused because he justified himself rather than God.

Job answers this man in Job 33:9 – I am pure, without transgression; I am innocent, and there is no iniquity in me. Job is not Jesus, the only one that is without sin or iniquity. Here’s the thing; Job felt he was righteous because of what he did not because of who he knew! All through Job he states what he has done and hasn’t done.

I fell into this when things started to go really bad for me a few years back. And while I was reading and studying Job at the time, my prayers were always, “Lord, I’m tithing, praying, studying, going to church, I, I, I, and I stopped. The Holy Spirit said, “Listen to what you are saying.” That broke me. It was not what I was doing that made me pleasing to God or righteous or even strong, it was what He had done for me.

We are not righteous by what we do, we are righteous by the blood that was shed by Jesus Christ! He took all of our punishment that we deserved and gave us His righteousness. It’s called grace. And then God showed up to speak to Job.

Job 38:2 – “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” (verse 4) “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? (5) Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! (6) To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, (verse 12) “Have you commanded the morning since your days began, (verse 22) “Have you entered the treasury of snow, or have you seen the treasury of hail, (verse 24) By what way is light diffused, (verse 34) Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, that an abundance of water may cover you? (verse 35) Can you send out lightnings, that they may go, 39:26 Does the hawk fly by your wisdom, and spread its wings toward the south?

Then God says this, 40:8 – “Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified?”

Please don’t misunderstand; I believe we are to live righteous lives, but what we do does not make us righteous.

And the final thing that can open a door to pride is Trusting in our own wisdom. Do you think you know more than what God’s Word says is right? Can you be corrected? Sitting under ungodly counsel can mess us up. Don’t ever take what the world says to do, over what God’s Word says. Pride is a trap that the strong, the righteous, and those who think they know it all can fall into, when we don’t trust in the Lord for strength, righteousness, and wisdom.

So now, ask yourself, “Is there any area that I have trusted in other than the Lord’s strength, righteousness, and wisdom?” Job repented, just as King David did, and so do I.

 

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