by Neil Anderson
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling
Pride is a killer. Pride says, “I can do it alone. I can get myself out of this mess without God’s help.” Oh, no you can’t! We absolutely need God, and we desperately need each other. Paul wrote, “We are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh” (Philippians 3:3). Humility is confidence properly placed. Examine the instructions on pride and humility in James 4:6-10 and 1 Peter 5:1-10. The context reveals that spiritual conflict follows the expression of pride. Pride is what caused Lucifer to be thrown out of heaven.
Jesus said, “Simon, Simon [Peter], behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat” (Luke 22:31). On what basis could Satan make that demand? The context reveals the answer: “There arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest” (Luke 22:24). Pride was Peter’s downfall, and it opened the door to the devil’s opposition.
The Lord says that pride goes before destruction and an arrogant spirit before stumbling (Proverbs 16:18). We must confess areas where we have not denied ourselves, picked up our cross daily, and followed Him (Matthew 16:24). In so doing we have given ground to the enemy in our lives.
Have we believed that we could be successful and live victoriously by our own strength and resources? We must confess that we have sinned against God by placing our will before His and by centering our lives around self instead of Him. We must renounce the self life and by so doing cancel all the ground that has been gained in our members by the enemies of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We must pray that God will guide us so that we will do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but that with humility of mind we will regard others as more important than ourselves (Philippians 2:3). We must ask God to enable us through love to serve others and in honor prefer others (Romans 12:10).
Prayer: Loving Lord, I want my life to be marked by a humble spirit today. Forgive me for my proud, self-centered ways and independent spirit.