The Pride Pandemic

Trust and obey, be watchful of the details, discerning and co-operating with the continuing process of sanctification.

Originally, I wrote out these thoughts just for myself as I spend time in God’s Word and in the prayer closet.  I am still learning.  Maybe this can benefit someone else,

I think pride is the worst, greatest, deadliest of all sins, of every sin.  If I choose to sin, no matter what it is, that choice is because my focus is all on myself and not on God.  Pride is total attention on myself and that is idolatry.  Lucifer brought pride right into heaven when he gave his whole attention to himself, his beauty, his wisdom and his desires.  He was enraptured with himself.  With the Fall of Adam, humans inherited the revolting pride of self-interest, self-promotion, self-seeking, self-importance, etc.  A ruling anti-God law and disposition was deeply entrenched in the fallen nature, the natural being of all of us.  As a Christian I can see that natural law of sin (Romans 7:23) warring in my body members.  Pride can take many different forms and some are so devilishly subtle.  I may not recognize them as pride.  Pride always (3 John 9) wants pre-eminence, to be noticed and admired.  Pride can attend church and look very spiritual.  Pride can deceitfully manipulate a conversation so that individual takes credit and boasts of the gifts and achievements of God. (You’ve heard them – I say this to the glory of God – but – and you know how it goes on).

Just a few of the danger points:

Self-sufficient – I don’t want to accept anything from anyone because, I do want to appear as capable and sufficient, well able always for everything.  All the while unaware of my desperate need for God.

Conceit – I am not teachable.  You cannot teach me anything because I am a know-it-all.  I think that I fully understand myself.  What arrogance!  Only God knows and understands the deep things locked in my subconscious and in the deep hidden chambers of my being.  Only He can open, cleanse and put right all that is wrong.

Self-interest – Whatever I think, say, plan, do, - it’s all about me and my desires, my preferences, my indulgences.  My life is so filled with me that there are no thoughts, no tears, no prayers, no compassion for the lost, the needy, the Persecuted Church.

Judging – Only pride can see the motes and faults (Matthew 7:3) in others, the same pride which blinds me to all the possibilities in myself and the huge log in my own criticizing eye.  If I think I’m standing superior to others and qualified to judge, then I need (1 Corinthians 10:12) to pay heed because I’ve already fallen.

Centre-stage – If I foolishly think I have something wise and impressive to say, make sure there are as many as possible of others nearby to hear.  Make sure there are people to see if I do anything kind or helpful.  Maybe ‘let slip out’ details of my giving.  This hypocrisy is self-serving and definitely not self-giving, it is self-realization not Christ-realization.  There is no area of my life, even what I consider spiritual, which cannot be contaminated by my pride. Self-realization puts ‘what I do for God’ on the throne instead of realizing and enthroning Jesus Christ in His work.

Self-reliance – If I assume that I’m fully capable, I can do it, I can handle it, I can depend on my own understanding, so I don’t need God in these daily matters.  That means I have usurped God's place and have become my own pitiful, helpless misguiding god.

Rationalization – My self-protecting reasoning and selfish thoughts offer me an easier, more pleasant, more comfortable path with many plausible excuses for my choices – than to seek God’s will, God’s way and God’s timing and His faultless, Omniscient guidance.

(Oswald Chambers) – “Ishmael mocked Isaac and the wicked, undisciplined, natural life will mock the life of the Son of God.  Ishmael must go.  The natural must be transformed into the spiritual by (Romans 12:1-2) obedience and sacrifice.  Abraham had to relinquish the natural born Ishmael and surrender the miracle born Isaac.  If I stubbornly refuse to discipline myself, I will ruin the whole of my personal life for God.”

When Isaiah was confronted with the stupendous holiness of God (Isaiah 6:5-7) he saw the concentration of the one thing (unclean lips) and that was the root of everything.  He saw it but could do nothing about it except cry out to God in confession and repentance.  He needed the touch of a burning live coal from the altar.  That altar makes me think of sacrifice and I’m transported to Calvary and the Lamb of God.  The consuming baptismal fire of the Holy Spirit, administered by the Lord Jesus (Matthew 3:11) and He does things no one else can do.

There are so many varieties of pride always ready to spring out of the deadly main root.  Everyone is a focus on SELF. I see somewhat of a similarity with PRIDE and COVID-19.  

COVID-19 is a world-wide pandemic and with its unexpected variants spreads further global alarm, confusion, illness and death.  Pride can be a pandemic over my whole life.  It’s shocking variants can intrude, invade throughout my entire personality.  I can deceive myself into thinking that something is spiritual progress but in truth it is a deceitful variant of the Pride Pandemic.  Pride can blind me to the symptoms of the disease.  Our medical advisers have given us guidelines and procedures to safeguard us from COVID-19 and try to bring it to an end.  But if the PRIDE pandemic is already entrenched in me, even if I can see it as Isaiah saw his need, what can I do?  If I (1 Peter 5:6) humble, demote, lower myself in my own estimation, under the mighty hand of God in due time He will exalt me.  This exalting does not mean that God will elevate me to some lofty position but He will lift me, free me from being under the control of pride and work in me to conform me to be like Jesus.  Jesus became the atoning Sacrifice to pay for my freedom.  Sometimes infirmities can be God’s protection (2 Corinthians 12:6-9) against pride, so don’t despise them. Consistent obedience must never make me think that I’m achieving anything but simply removing the hindrances to God’s purpose.  If I am fully surrendered to the Lord Jesus can live His life in me.  He is meek, humble, lowly in heart (Matthew 11:29) - He will express those characteristics in me.

UNLESS I eat His flesh and drink His blood (John 6:56) take into me His very life because (Colossians 3:4) He is my life, so that it is truly Jesus living in and through me, I will never be set free from pride and its variants.  My desire and prayer is to be so completely filled and flooded (Ephesians 3:19) with God Himself, that there won’t be even a speck of room in me for pride and its subtle delusions.

Not feelings, not visions, not experiences but steady, rock-solid reality.  Trust and obey, be watchful of the details, even the tiniest details, discerning and co-operating with the continuing process of sanctification.  As long as it is NOW we can live victoriously (1 Corinthians 15:57) in the unfailing Presence of our loving God.

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