church life, Leadership

Pride – Public Enemy #1

Pride is the most dangerous weapon of Satan, and worst of all the Adamic “echoes from Eden” that we deal with when “putting off the old man”, as Paul admonished us in Ephesians 4:22-24: “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Those who are young in the Lord are most susceptible this snare of the devil: “not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil” (1 Timothy 3:6).

But even those who are spiritually mature sons of God are still open to the temptations of pride. Jesus was just confirmed as that mature son that was well-pleasing to the Father when Satan came to look for pride in His life. The famous Temptation of Jesus found in Matthew 4:1-14 shows that Satan’s arsenal of most powerful weapons included the “sin of pride.” When the enemy came to Jesus, he didn’t know that Jesus was not the same as all men in Adam – he didn’t understand the Mystery of the Incarnation. So he proceeded to probe (tempt) Jesus for those things that result most commonly in our downfall, including Fleshly Appetite, Foolishness and Pride. He saved the most powerful temptation for last when he probed Jesus for any pride that may have been in his heart: “I’ll make you famous if you just worship me” (my paraphrase). Jesus responded with humility to the temptation to pride, saying, “I am a servant of God, I humble myself to Him only” (my paraphrase). Satan left to regroup for another attack, bewildered and mystified by Jesus’ ability to withstand him in spiritual warfare using the Sword of the Spirit.

Satan wants to take out our spiritual sons as well, and he will come to them with the powerful weapon of pride. If they are susceptible to the illusion of their greatness that he attempts to plant in their minds, they will do down and be mired in shame.

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)

“When prides comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom.” (Proverbs11:2)

Pride will cause a person to walk away from the three most important things God wants for us:

Number One is CHARACTER. In order to walk in pride, we have to walk away from humility; it is a choice that one makes to refuse to “humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God.” Humility is the greatest characteristic of a true spiritual leader, apostle, or spiritual father. Paul always identified himself “first” as a servant (humble) of God before stating his ministry gift (Titus 1:1). Humility is a proper estimation of self while pride is an over estimation of self. Jesus, as a servant, had “lowliness of mind” while pride is manifested as “high-mindedness.”

Number Two is COVERING. When pride has taken over, a person will walk away from their spiritual covering, thinking they “know better” than those God has appointed to guide them (Hebrews 13:17). When a person is in pride, they view their spiritual leadership as a “lid” and not a “covering” that gives them protection through accountability. They feel no more need to be accountable, and trust only their own thinking and reasoning, not realizing that they are now open to severe demonic assault by “being uncovered.”

Number Three is CALLING. When pride has run its course it usually result

s in an unfulfilled destiny, a calling that is not fully realized, and satan has done his job by stopping a God-intended purpose from coming to fruition. All ministry leaders have witnessed these sad casualties of battle, and have grieved deeply for their loss.

It is a hard thing to recover from a fall into pride; not many make it back to their Character, Covering and Calling. With God all things are possible, and that is why Paul instructed Timothy on how to serve those who need to recover from the “snare of the devil” (2 Timothy 2:24-26). In this Restoration of Apostolic Ministry we must be ever conscious of the enemy’s plans to take people out with pride. We must walk in the deepest humility as God’s Servants.
© 2014 Dr. John Polis

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