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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 122

Hindered Prayer continued...

Pride can also hinder prayer and does so more frequently than we would like to admit. God hates pride! Yes, hate is a strong word. It means to dislike intensely or passionately, or feel extreme aversion for…yet God, in His word, says that He hates pride.

Proverbs 8:13, “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.”

‘But that can’t be true, because our Sunday school teacher said, God is love, and because He is love He can’t hate.’

The Book trumps the Sunday school teacher, and the book says that God hates!

Proverbs 6:16-19, “These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.”

There are seven things which are an abomination to God; seven things He has an intense and passionate aversion for, and a proud look, or pride, tops the list at number one. God has more of an aversion for pride, than He does for a lying tongue, or a false witness who speaks lies.

The proud man, He will not hear, for the proud man cannot humble himself. Pride is the antithesis of humility, and when we come before God with pride in our hearts, He perceives it as an abomination.

There is nothing that we can do in and of ourselves, there is nothing we can accomplish that would give us license to approach God in a prideful manner. If we boast, we boast in the Lord, and what He has done for us.

Pride is not reserved for the wealthy, those with good pedigree, the well-educated, or the beautiful. I have seen pride in simple, ordinary, unexceptional people just as I have seen pride in exceptional ones, and each time it has the same air and appearance.

Pride has a way of worming itself into the hearts of men, and making itself apparent at the most unusual and inappropriate of times. Pride makes people foolish, it makes people feel superior to others when they have no reason to, and it also makes men think themselves wiser than God. Not only does pride harden the heart, it puts man at enmity with God Himself.

Knowing the dangers of pride, often times I go to extremes in attempting to prevent pride from rearing its ugly head in my life. Even when someone honestly and sincerely complements me, I tend to react in such a way that it takes them aback. It’s not that I don’t appreciate a compliment once in a while, or that I’m not thankful for those who read what I write, and listen to what I preach, but knowing the weakness of flesh, and the propensity of the heart to seek after adulation, I do my utmost in making certain I don’t feed the id.

I’ve known honest, sincere brothers who got derailed because of pride. I’ve also known individuals with great potential, who grew prideful of it, and because pride pollutes everything it comes in contact with, these individuals never lived up to their potential because their heads got too big to fit through a doorway.

If I seem to bristle at compliments, or overreact in a seemingly negative fashion, I apologize, but I have to guard my heart, not only due to the knowledge I possess about the dangers of pride, but also due to having seen its effects firsthand in the lives of friends and fellow ministers.

Job 35:12-13, “There they cry out, but He does not answer, because of the pride of evil men. Surely God will not listen to empty talk, nor will the Almighty regard it.”

Not only does God say He will not answer when certain individuals cry out, in His goodness He even tells us why. Because of the pride of evil men, God will not answer when they cry out, nor will He listen to empty talk or regard it.

Pride is not having pressed suit, nor is humility walking around in rags. Pride is an issue of the heart, it is something that takes root deep inside us, and it can happen to anyone at any time if they are not watchful, and constantly seeking after humility.

I realize it would be much easier to identify the proud among us by what they wear, perhaps anyone wearing a white fedora, or a bowtie, but God alone knows the heart, and it is to God we will all have to answer one day for having allowed pride to fester therein.

The duty of every believer is to know the tactics of the enemy and the snares he employs so we might avoid them, and circumvent them when we see them before us. Pride is a tool of the enemy that has felled many a soul, because it feeds the flesh, and the flesh likes to be fed.

Yes, I would rather be perceived as cranky, bristly, and lacking in social skill and conventions than allow pride to nest in my heart.

One does not wait for a fire to engulf a structure before attempting to put it out. By then it’s already too late, the damage will have been done, and the only reason to put out the fire is so it doesn’t spread to other buildings. One puts out the fire the minute they see the spark, and the smoke and the flame. They do their utmost to contain it, and extinguish it before it can do harm, before it can grow and consume. It is the same with pride. Pride must be stamped out not after it had engulfed a heart, but at the first sight of the first ember.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

1 comment:

Dov said...

One can even take pride in one's humility!