Sunday, March 8, 2009

Crucify Bad Pride

Today, I want to get into something deep……and that something is pride……

I know we all have some pride (some more than others), but as the body of Christ, we cannot afford to have pride dictate our lives and our response to the word of God…..No, we need to let the Spirit guide us and have His way in us, if we truly want to abide in God’s love….

But not all pride is bad folks …It is good to have some measure of pride ….According to the Oxford Dictionary, pride is the feeling of pleasure or satisfaction of doing something well, or from owning or being responsible for something excellent or widely admired…..It is also the knowledge of one’s own worth or character, a sense of dignity and respect for oneself……

We as a body of Christ should never lose track of what God has done in our lives, what He has given us, what He has enabled us to have….And so, it is good to be well pleased with what you have accomplished…..I believe that God was proud of His creation in Genesis 1:31 records that God “looked at all that He had made and, behold, it was very good”….

It is good to have good pride…….which is the satisfaction of that which we have accomplished, honoring Him who gives us ability. But it isn’t good to have bad pride, which is an have an over-amplified sense of jest in our abilities…….It is this bad pride that we need to crucify….

Another definition of pride, according to the Oxford dictionary, is a too high opinion of oneself or one’s achievements…..This form of pride is bad…..See God gave us pride, not so that we can believe or be deceived to thinking that we are all that, but that we may delight in that which we have done through Him and give Him praise…..He wanted us to feel good when we do right, when we accomplish that which He has entrusted in us, but not be haughty, arrogant or come to a place where we can’t give God thanks, because we are too lofty in our own eyes…Yet so many of us walk in bad pride…..

I submit it to you, that is good to have good pride….That good pride is happy in your accomplishments, is humble and is appreciative of God’s influence in your life…..If you have a big car, a beautiful home, a gorgeous wife, be proud and be happy…..But most of all, acknowledge the creator who was enabled you to have that which you do……….

Why should you crucify bad pride? Here are a couple of reasons……

1). Bad pride is not good for you….It will lead you down the path of devastation, disaster and death if you aren’t careful….See bad pride moves you away from God’s will for your life, and brings you subject unto the prince of the air…..You become a pawn of the enemy, and the word tells us that he comes to steal, kill and destroy….If you let him, the devil will steal you from God’s will, kill you by corrupting your soul and giving you an unright spirit (which doesn’t honor God…) and then destroy you (by keeping you bound in sin, and in the radar of God’s wrath).

2). When you fester bad pride, you begin to believe that you got there by yourself (and pronounce unto God that you are infact God…..) That’s what got Satan kicked out of Heaven, because He tried to elevate Himself to the throne of God, because He was the most beautiful of all the angelic beings….And I know you don’t want God kicking you out of His presence…..Rather than Satan having good pride and thanking God for making him excellent, he became arrogant unto God…….Understand that there is only one God, and there is none like Him, and you are not it! So, flee from your bad pride…..

3). When you let bad pride eat into your heart, what happens is that you invite a rebellious spirit…….You stop caring what you do, you stop listening to the instruction of others, you want to do it your way…….Again, just like Satan did….He became so rebellious and even pulled other angels of God along with Him…..He was no longer fit to be in the presence of God and was spat out…..Worse still, when you get that rebellious spirit, you don’t want to listen, even when God is telling you something…..Even when the Holy Spirit is convicting you, you don’t want to hear what He has to say…..You become completely hard headed, and if you continue the same way, the enemy, having killed your relationship with God, will now start to destroy you…..

4). Perhaps the worst thing about having bad pride is that you invite the wrath of God…It is written that the Lord resisteth the proud…..what does that mean…..Like He cast away Satan, He will not hearken unto you in your pride…..See, your bad pride threatens His authority in your life, and see God says He is a jealous God….He is a consuming fire……So by harboring bad pride, you are telling God that He isn’t Lord, that He isn’t Jehovah……and He will not share His glory with another, and He will not compete with this idol that you have brought into His presence…..He then will harden your heart, if you aren’t careful, like He did with Pharaoh….Because Pharaoh festered that bad pride, (infact God said that He is sure that the King of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand)…..Understand this was at the height of the Egyptian empire, and they were in so much bad pride, that they couldn’t hear of God……He told Moses that He will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they pursued the Israelites even after they had been allowed to leave………Trust me, if you let your bad pride to take you there, the Lord will harden your heart and judge you rightly…… ……Pharaoh and his armies were plunged into the sea, largely because of their bad pride…..And why? God says in Exodus 14:17 “….and I will get me honor upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen”…..God wants you to honor Him, bad pride will hinder you from doing just that……

But thanks be to God for His grace and mercy…..Understand that God isn’t there with a fly whisk waiting to swat you for your sins, but He is a loving Father, and wants you to be reconciled with Him in His son…..But be not deceived, if you continue to dethrone Him by throning your bad pride, by rejecting Him, His love and His son, there’ll be a price to pay…..And don’t let the enemy get you in trouble…..He already is in hot soup and is looking to not go down alone……

5). When you exalt your bad pride to the throne of God, you shut God’s love out, and then you become your own God….Somehow, you begin to believe that you got there by yourself, that you need your pride to protect you, that your pride is all you have…..I can’t emphasize enough that bad pride competes for God’s authority in your life, and you can’t afford to do that…….You can’t afford to have bad pride convince you that you are self-sufficient…..You need Him! For me, my bad pride threatened to replace God, and in His great love, the Lord knocked down that throne that I had built that He alone may receive glory….I thank God that my heart wasn’t hardened unto Him, but His mercies, helped me up.

6). Bad pride makes us want to conform to please the world, but not to submit and please God……..I don’t think I need to expound on this one……But, just in case, bad pride makes us reject what God has to say, makes us focus on us, self (that was meant to be crucified) and what people will think about us, and not on what God thinks about us…..

OK, time for me to share some areas in which the Lord has revealed that I am walking in bad pride:

1). When I can’t forgive….Why? Because I don’t want to hurt my pride…….

See, that bad pride is trying to protect me and not letting God do that…..Worse still, God says forgive, and if I am not forgiving, that means I am walking in rebellion, which is a consequence of my bad pride….

2). When I know what God will have me do, but I chose not to…..Why? Because I want to do it my way………

This is a biggie for many of us…..When we obstinately want to do it our way, we are telling God that we aren’t submitted to Him…..and when He makes it clear to us what He will have us do and we chose not to, it’s like telling Him “Yes, I know you know what’s best for me, but I would rather continue doing it my way”, or “My way is better”…..See how that begins to build a throne that is in competition with that of God’s? And trust me, He will knock that throne down, and if you hang onto it, He will knock you down along with it…..So please…..don’t let bad pride rob you of God’s love for you and His good and perfect will…

So what am I saying……increase in good pride….walk around seeing that which God has given you and praise Him….Be proud of your body, your accomplishments, of your giftings, of your wealth, your belongings, for they were given to you by God….but in being proud of such things, give God the glory that is due to Him…..See if we were never proud of what was going on in our lives, we’d never seize the opportunity to praise Him, or to testify of what the Lord has done in our lives……That good pride is meant to bring us closer to God, and to encourage others…..

Be wary and flee from bad pride…..That bad pride made Satan lose his calling and was cast away by God…..Because of their bad pride, their rebellion and their godlessness the Israelites were banished into captivity….But thanks be to God for Jesus Christ, who died for our sins and gives us the ability to overcome the bad pride in our lives……

And if after reading this, you realize that there are areas in your life that you are operating in bad pride, pray and ask God to break you off from that….The truth is that you have no portion in Christ that is associated to bad pride….If you let it fester, you will be removed from the presence of God….But when you humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, He will raise you up in due time…When you are subject to His will, a true servant of righteousness and you truly delight in the Lord, He will come into your heart and give you increase, power, authority and dominion over this life, and life everlasting….All of creation is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God, and we’ll never get there, if we operate in bad pride….

Like Paul, if you boast, let it be in the Lord….Let your good pride give God honor, and magnify Him, for He alone is worthy!

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