Pride is a horrible thing, it can damn you to Hell! It's the biggest thing that causes Christians trouble!--Pride! And as you can see by Saul's example, the biggest failures in the Word of God were the big shot boys who thought they knew it all and went out and fell flat on their faces. They thought they could operate in their own natural wisdom and went out and fell flat on their swords! (1Sam.31:3-6)
Of course, in the world, pride is normally quite a virtue, so people are brainwashed and brought up to believe that. But in the Lord's service and in the spiritual, it's very bad and something you have to really try to fight against and overcome.
Being bound by pride and self-righteousness can greatly hinder your spiritual progress and "growing up" in the Lord. It is only when you get to the point where you really yield to the Lord and get desperate and are willing to forsake it and be delivered that you will be in a position to really grow and mature. For spiritual maturity is not just a matter of years or time, although that often helps, but it's a matter of your connection with the Lord and His Word, your obedience and your humility.
But pride is a problem we all have really, it's one of our main temptations, all of us! What was it that caused the fall of Satan?--Pride! Since pride caused the fall of Satan, it's apparently the root of all evil! It was the beginning of all evil!--pride!
In fact, the basis of virtually all sin is pride! And pride will really get in your way and hinder and keep you from growing and learning what God wants to teach you, and from becoming what He wants you to be.
The Lord says that the FULL, those who think they know better and think themselves so righteous and are full of their own ideas, He sends empty away. (Luk.1:53) One reason that the proud and self-satisfied never seem to grow spiritually is because even if they read the WORD a little, it just rolls like water off a duck's back! They're insulated, they're waterproofed to it, and the Water of the Word can no longer sink in!
They are already soaked in the veneer of self-righteousness and waterproofing against the Word!--A thin paint of self-goodness and self-obedience and pretended service and sacrifice!--So insulated, so waterproofed that the Word doesn't even soak in anymore! And they're usually so insulated against the electric shocks of the Holy Spirit that they don't even FEEL them anymore!--And so blind that they can't even see and realise their horrible spiritual condition! And if they don't humble themselves and really surrender to the Lord, they soon become so hardened in their hearts that they're completely darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God, past feeling! (Eph.4:18,19)
We've said before that discouragement is the Devil's favourite weapon, but it's usually our pride which is really behind the discouragement, he uses that pride to get us discouraged. So pride is really his favourite weapon! He's always trying to tempt us with that sort of thing, to make us get high and lifted up.
But it is not our fault that we get tempted, that's the enemy doing that and he does it to all of us. But it's our fault when we listen to him and go ahead and take the credit and glory for things and don't attack and hit him back every time he tries that tactic on us! So whatever we may do that he tempts us to get proud about and to take the credit for, we've got to really fight!--Fight hard for as long as it takes and really tell him off and say, "Get thee behind me, Satan!--It's not me, it's just the Lord! I'm not going to take the credit for this, I'm just going to give the glory to Jesus! It's not anything I'm doing, somebody else could do it just as well! It's all the LORD'S Work!" Just hit him back and quote Scriptures and really attack!
But the minute you start patting yourself on the back, watch out, God will see to it that you're humbled to bring you out of it! So don't for one moment give yourself the credit for one little thing that you've done. That's one of the biggest dangers you have, to begin thinking it's you.--It's God's anointing, and if He withdraws it, you're as flat as ever!
God alone is the One Who wants to get the credit! God is the One Who wants to get the glory, and GOD is the only One Who can do it! Then He wants you to praise and thank Him and glorify Him because HE did it. 'Cause if you could do it, you could pat yourself on the back for it, and say,
"Well, look what I've done! Look how great I am! Look how wonderful I'm doing!" Watch out when you talk like that: You're headed for trouble! "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall!" (1Cor.10:12) You'd better keep saying, "Wow, look what God has done! Look what the Lord's doing! Look how great He's working!"
When you just want to show off your own big talents or looks or whatever you think you're so great at, that's a very wrong attitude or motivation for any of us to have!--It's part of that self-righteous "works-trip," wanting to do something wonderful or be somebody attractive and appealing to earn love and attention.--Wanting to have the glory yourself instead of just giving it to the Lord!
So for God's sake, confess to yourself and others continually how hopeless you are without God! Give Him all the glory for anything good about you and yourself all the blame for anything bad! That's usually a pretty good rule, because it's usually right!--"What hast thou that thou didst not receive?" (1Cor.4:7) "Every good gift and every perfect gift cometh down from Above." (Jam.1:17) So give God all the glory!
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