Temptations of Pride
Various pitfalls to watch out for.
By David Brandt Berg
The following are quotations from the writings of David Brandt Berg. I pray you find them inspiring and useful to your life and service for Jesus Christ. I sure do!
As in all of Pastor Berg's writings, he liked to capitalize the first line of each paragraph he wrote. He wrote them way before the Internet was even imagined. Please know in this case the ALL CAPS do not mean shouting as it does in email and on-line chats.
ML#F:11 BUT SOME PEOPLE DO LIKE TO RUN THINGS and I'm afraid that is some people's temptation. They like to be bosses, like to administrate, like to have authority and run things. Perhaps that's good in a way. But when it gets to the point where they can't do it and still are trying to run it, then it's sad. Especially if they won't let anybody else do it and they stand in the way of getting the job done.
ML#T:68 NOW SOME PEOPLE HAVE GRANDIOSE IDEAS OF HOW GOD'S SUPPOSED TO SUPPLY YOUR NEEDS: You ought to be rolling around in the very best and have the finest and the best-looking and the most expensive and so on, “nothing is too good for God's servant.” I agree that nothing is too good for you, but it might not be good for you. It might minister to your pride instead of your humility.
ML#4:22 IT'S ONLY WHEN YOU GET BIG and POWERFUL and POPULAR and PLENTIFUL THAT YOU THINK YOU CAN MAKE DECISIONS ON YOUR OWN, and you think you know what to do, and you think you can get along without God.--And that's where you run into a stone wall! That's where you crash! That's where you make your mistakes, and watch out for that.
ML#23:2 THIS IS WHERE MOST GREAT MOVEMENTS FIRST BEGAN TO DEVIATE: Pride cometh before a fall! They became numerous, big, rich, and powerful in the flesh, and lost the power of the Spirit!
ML#23:13 AS LONG AS WE'RE STILL SMALL, still poor, and still persecuted, we're pretty safe, and most likely to be in the will of God!
ML#31:22 NEARLY EVERY GREAT LEADER IN THE BIBLE HAD TO BE PUSHED INTO IT! Only in the folly of this world do men fight each other for fickle fame and fortune! Only in the sickening System of this world do men struggle for power, position, riches, and glory--only to find that it doesn't satisfy!
ML#32:29 IF THERE'S ANYTHING A SINGER IS PRONE TO, IT'S PRIDE! DON'T LET IT HAPPEN TO YOU! Don't let happen to us what happened to the church. Look at them! Listen to their music--and be ye not like unto them--Scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites--tombs full of the dead, whited sepulchers full of dead men's bones!
ML#71:46 SO THE TWO MOST PERFECT PEOPLE THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN, LIVING UNDER THE MOST IDEAL CONDITIONS THAT EVER EXISTED, WERE DISSATISFIED BECAUSE THEY LACKED ONE THING--MORE POWER! Satan himself had been Lucifer, the Light-Bearer, the mightiest of all archangels, next to God Himself--but he was not satisfied! He wanted to be God! He, Adam and Eve did not have to fall--they chose to, because of their lust for power!
ML#86:13 YOU'RE NEVER SO NEAR THE ABYSS AS WHEN YOU'RE ON THE BRINK! You're never so near the pit as when you're on the pinnacle!--You're never so near the bottom as when you're on the top! Pride cometh before a fall! Success often precedes failure, and sometimes exultation comes before humiliation! “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall!” “To him that hath shall be given, but from him which hath not shall be taken away even that which he thinketh he hath.”
ML#122:18 SELF-CONFIDENT OVER-CONFIDENCE and COCKY INVINCIBILITY! There's nothing God hates worse! The minute you start patting yourself on the back, you're finished, and God will see to it that you're humbled to bring you out of it! He's a jealous God, and He wants and deserves the glory, and will have no other gods before Him! So you'd better not start admiring your own arm of flesh, or you're apt to lose it! Watch out! Give God all the glory.
ML#151:20 GOD'S WAY UP IS DOWN! He that is greatest among you must be servant of all! If the power of your position goes to your head so that you forget what you're there for, you're simply proving that you're still a novice, filled with pride and not ready to be a leader! (Mat.18:23-25; Luke 22:26; 1Tim.3:1-6)
ML#168:3 THE LORD WARNED ME ABOUT THAT SINCE THIS PRECIOUS YOUNG MAN WAS SO EARNESTLY DESIROUS OF SERVING THE LORD in a capacity of some leadership, he would be tempted by the Enemy through pride and jealousy.
ML#319:9 THESE KINGS ALWAYS, WHETHER CONSCIOUSLY OR UNCONSCIOUSLY, when they get in that bad spirit of pride and jealousy, they become proud just like the Devil did before his fall!
ML#328:30 ONE OF THE BIGGEST DANGERS YOU HAVE IS TO BEGIN THINKING IT'S YOU. It's God's anointing. If He withdraws it, you're just as flat as ever.
ML#335C:37 SO LET THE OLD BOTTLES BEWARE, and the big shots of yesterday beware lest it go to their heads and cause them to tumble to very little shots of tomorrow! The cream of the crop of today can sometimes become the stinking old limburger cheese in the limbo of tomorrow!
ML#335C:38 PRIDE COMETH BEFORE A FALL. Let him that thinketh that he standeth take heed lest he fall! For unto him who truly hath what it takes it shall be given, but from him who thinketh that he hath and boasteth of it, it shall be taken away from him even that which he thinketh that he hath! Beware lest ye be found to be a prematurely exalted novice and fall into pride which was the condemnation of the Devil!
ML#337A:13 “NOT A NOVICE”--ANYBODY CAN BE A NOVICE IF YOU GIVE THEM MORE THAN THEY CAN HANDLE--”LEST BEING LIFTED UP WITH PRIDE, HE FALL INTO THE CONDEMNATION OF THE DEVIL.” If any job you get makes you proud, then you're a novice. If it ministers to your pride and you think, “Ah, now what a big shot am I!,” that's sure proof you're a novice!
ML#337A:14 IF A REAL SEASONED LEADER IS GIVEN A JOB, HE'S NOT NECESSARILY GOING TO BE PROUD OF IT. He just knows it means more work, more responsibility, more serious blame and all the rest, and he knows he'll get very little credit.
ML#530:65 THE SCRIPTURE IS CERTAINLY TRUE--NOT TO PICK A NOVICE FOR A LEADER! He's apt to become lifted up in pride and fall into the condemnation of the Devil! (1Tim.3:6) The trouble is, you may sometimes have a feeling they're a novice, but you can't really find out for sure until you lift them up, and then you find out for sure when they blow it!--Are you a novice?--Or a good, experienced leader?
ML#606:14 SO OFTEN WE ARE TEMPTED TO TRY TO COVER FOR OURSELVES OR COVER OUR MISTAKES, Lord, because we think that our followers must think that we're perfect and we dare not make a mistake. Yet, Lord, we've found that even our mistakes have been a blessing. When we admit and confess our mistakes, and explain how we made them and why we made them and warn others how not to make the same mistakes, Lord, it has then been a lesson and a blessing not only to us, but we have also shared it with others, that it might help them too. So we thank You, Jesus!
ML#662:46 SOMETIMES IT'S HARDER TO TAKE PROMOTION THAN IT IS DEMOTION. We can manage to survive it better and it doesn't influence us as much.
ML#734:20 IF THE POWER OF THE POSITION OF BEING A SHEPHERD GOES TO YOUR HEAD so that you forget what you're there for and you think, “Ah, now what a big shot am I!,” you're simply proving that you're still a novice, filled with pride, and not ready to be a leader! (Luke 22:26; 1Tim.3:1-6)
ML#813:10 IN JESUS' NAME, HELP US NEVER TO BE LIFTED UP OR TO BE NOVICES IN PRIDE and FALL UNDER THE CONDEMNATION OF THE ENEMY. Help none of us to be guilty, Lord, to think that we are anything. As Thy Word warns us, those who think they are anything or something, they're really nothing--even worse than nothing. (1 Cor.8:2, Luke 8:18)
ML#845:6 INTELLECTUALITY BRINGS PRIDE. Knowledge brings pride. Love and emotion is humiliating and humbling. Sex is humbling. Love is humbling. All these other God-cursed things are of the Devil--pride, intellectuality, knowledge, power-they're cold icicles!
ML#869:8 SOONER OR LATER THEY USE THEM [milatary weapons], ALWAYS! Sooner or later somebody's pride gets hurt and/or somebody's property gets damaged, so they dive in for the glory of war and Fatherland!
ML#911:25 PRIDE IS WHAT HAS CAUSED MOST WARS, fomented them, started them and fought them and ended them!--Pride, just plain damn pride! There're some people who would rather die than surrender!
ML#952-01:7 (About entertainers:) ONCE THEY'VE BEEN A BIG SHOT, once they've been a star, once they've been a big leader or a sensation, famous, nothing else ever seems to satisfy them and they never seem to really fit any place else.
ML#952-01:16 (MARIA: IT'S NOT THAT THEY'VE LOST THEIR TALENT, I THINK IT'S JUST THEY CAN'T ADAPT to not always being the center of attention and having their own way, the pride and the attention and everything. Then they get arrogant and demanding when they don't get it, and it just doesn't go over with people. They can't take the loss of prestige and power, and they get mean and over-bearing and bitter about not having what they used to have.)
ML#954-4:192 GOD BLESS YOU and KEEP YOU FROM FALLING INTO THE SAME TEMPTATION WHICH LED SATAN HIMSELF ASTRAY--pride, jealousy, covetousness, possessiveness. May God save you from it and deliver you from it and help you never to fall into such temptation and such a pit!
ML#960:36 IT HAD BETTER NOT GO TO HIS HEAD, but if he sticks close to the Lord and keeps being inspired and led of the Lord, he'll make it.
ML#1112:64 BUT IT DIDN'T STOP HIM (the Apostle Paul) FROM OBEYING THE LORD!--Which he as good as confessed was to keep him humble because he had been so exalted and carried up to the heavens with great revelations and so on, lest he become too exalted. (2 Co.12:7.)
ML#1112:65 I'LL TELL YOU, I'VE SURE HAD THE REVELATIONS and BEEN IN THE HEAVENLIES and seen the visions and heard the voices, and if any man had a temptation maybe to get exalted, especially the way people love me and some nearly worship me--which they shouldn't--it's me! But the Lord lets me have enough afflictions physically and different things to be concerned about to keep me humble--faults, weaknesses. But thank God, He doesn't let them last forever! He doesn't let them be too heavy a burden to be borne.
ML#1371:78 “THIS IS A PROBLEM WE ALL HAVE REALLY, IS PRIDE. This is one of our temptations, all of us!”--Right! What's the 3-fold appeal of the world? “Lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, and the pride of life!” I John 2:16. What caused the fall of Satan? Pride! Since pride caused the fall of Satan, therefore, apparently it's the root of all evil!
ML#1372:1 PERHAPS THE TENDENCY OF SOME OF US IS TO SO GREATLY DESIRE TO BE GREAT SPIRITUAL LEADERS that this not only becomes our desire, it becomes our temptation. (See “So You Want To Be A Leader?,” No.31.) But “he that would be greatest among you, let him be servant of all!” (Mt.20:27.)
ML#1372:4 AS LONG AS I WAS AROUND TO WATCH and SEE HOW HUMBLE and HOW WILLING YOU WERE to do all these things and gave you a little glory, you were willing to do them. But as soon as I was gone, what happened? How come you suddenly quit having the inspiration to do any of the humble tasks or take care of the baby? (C: My pride.) And why? What was it? (C: Thinking I was too good and had such a spiritual ministry now.) Yes, but what put that idea in your head? (C: A title, thinking I had so much more to do now.)
ML#1390:6 THIS IS WHY THE YOGIS CAN DO MIRACLES, like throwing ropes straight up in the air and having little boys climb up the rope! My Grandfather saw them do it, and they still do it.--Levitation, float right up to the ceiling, what have you, by the power of the Devil! They've got power, all right, and that's what they're seeking. The Yoga books say you get into yourself and you receive power! They don't, of course, ever mention the Devil or demons. They say you will magnify the personal powers of your own ego, the unknown you that's within you. (Maria: It always gives the credit to yourself.) Self-realization, “you've got more power in yourself and in your spirit than you realize,” blah, blah! Yes, well, if they yield to the Devil they sure will!
ML#1704:15 LOOK AT JOSEPH!...LOOK WHAT THE LORD PUT HIM THROUGH!... HE PROBABLY HAD QUITE A BIT OF PRIDE and was just naturally proud that his father loved him the most.
ML#1704:18 JOSEPH WAS A VERY GOOD BOY, APPARENTLY, HE WAS PRETTY RIGHTEOUS. (See whole ML for details of Joseph's successes, pride and humbling!)
ML#1704:21 APPARENTLY THE LORD CAN'T TRUST YOU WITH A HIGH and MIGHTY JOB OR A HIGH and MIGHTY TESTIMONY, or a high and mighty responsibility, something that might really lift you up in pride, until He has really humbled you and broken you so that you know it's the Lord and you give God all the glory and all the credit and it doesn't go to your head and make you proud!--Which is why the New Testament says you're not to give a novice any position of great responsibility or leadership, lest he be lifted up in pride and fall under the condemnation of the Devil. (1Tim.3:6)
ML#1704:25 THE DEVIL REALLY TEMPTS YOU WITH THAT SORT OF THING TO MAKE YOU GET HIGH and LIFTED UP, and especially if you accept the praise of men and you don't remind them it's the Lord.
ML#1704:64 SOMETIMES I'M ALMOST AFRAID OF THE LORD'S BLESSINGS, for fear He is going to give us some kind of a trial along with it to keep us humble!
ML#1739:5 THOSE EVANGELISTS HAVE A BIG PROBLEM SOMETIMES WITH SOME OF THAT SPIRITUAL PRIDE! They've been on their own so long just receiving acclaim and worship of people constantly, and nothing on the other side, the negative--no rebuke or correction. It's really a temptation, they really get that way.
ML#1893:18 YOU ARE NEVER SO NEAR THE ABYSS AS WHEN YOU'RE ON THE TOP OF THE CLIFF, AS WHEN YOU'RE AT THE SUMMIT.
ML#1907:17 YOU MIGHT SAY THAT PEOPLE WHO HAVE SO MANY NATURAL ABILITIES TEND TO BE PROUD, and I think it's more of a fight for them not to be. Look at how other people view them--it's harder for people to see the Lord coming through them since they have a lot of natural ability. In other words, it's a handicap--especially for the Lord and His service!
ML#1929:14 The Bible says in Psalms 19:13, "Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me:” See, the pride is going to be there always and we're always going to have to fight it, but it won't have dominion over us. We have that temptation, but we don't have to be bound by it and held by its grip! It doesn't have to have dominion over us.
ML#2084:68 I JUST FRANKLY DON'T BELIEVE THAT THE LORD ALLOWS THE ENEMY TO GET IN SO EASILY, UNLESS WE ALLOW HIM!--Like the young prophet who allowed himself to be persuaded to disobey the Lord--he got it then, because he really deserved it! (IKgs.13) He really knew the Lord and heard from God, he knew better, he knew he shouldn't do that, but he was enjoying this little glorification from an already-famous old prophet, who probably already had a very good reputation.
ML#2131:24 DO YOU REMEMBER WHY HE (PAUL) HAD TO HAVE A THORN IN THE FLESH?--To keep him from what?--From getting too highly exalted about the revelations God had given him about Heaven and his trip to Heaven! (2Cor.12:7) It's really exalting.
Copyright © 1998 by The Family
James and Tess Arendt
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