2 Corinthians 10:17-18 “But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.”
One of his characteristics is subtilty.
He is known as a liar, and the accuser of the brethren. Yes, we know him as Lucifer; that fallen angel now known as Satan. But one of the most defining characteristics about our enemy is pride.
It is what caused him to rise up against the God Heaven and defy Him boldly.
Isaiah 14:12-15 “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”
He is a master at pride and knows just how to draw us into that hideous sin.
As I began to grow as a Christian, I found that I was able to do things I felt I could never do. I found a boldness that wasn’t there before. I found love – true love that took away the meanness and selfishness and replaced it with a perspective that only God could give. I had ability to talk to people I used to fear and it felt good!
But pride lurked in the shadows. When the good things that God would do through me were shown to me as MY work, I thought well of myself for what I did. Standing in the light of glory that only God deserved, pride was born in my heart. God showed me how foolish it was to think that I had just become something I did not possess prior to salvation.
At that moment, I had a decision to make; accept the praise of others or give God the glory He rightfully deserved.
When our desire for acceptance allows for us to take the praise and glory for what people see in us and say we are, we stand in danger for pride to take its root in us. The one factor I saw that showed me pride was present was the manifestation of its fruit.
Proverbs 13:10 “Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.”
Contention in our life means that there are two prides colliding – mine and the other person. We are quick to blame the other person instead accepting our part in the matter. But there are other fruit that reveal pride.
When a person cannot accept praise, but seemingly invites more praise to prove they are worthy of it reveals pride at its root.
When we think others cannot live up to our level of expectation or professionalism. While it is good to have standards for how things should be run, or how things should look; our expectations should not go beyond people’s ability to fulfill them. That inequity in our view allows Satan to whisper in our ear how we are superior and how everyone else is inferior.
I am just a vessel that God has given certain gifts and talents. Some of those talents puts me on a grand stage for many to see. But it wasn’t always that way. I learned through failure that I cannot prosper when I do not give God the proper praise for what is done in and through me. When I handle the praise of men properly, God increases the amount of influence.
What may start out as a sanctified desire, could lead to selfish pride if not given the proper attention. I can mask a righteous cause or need with my ability to fill it, but I must remind myself – God used a donkey to rebuke His prophet Baalim when he drifted from where he was supposed to be.
If, in our God-appointed positions as ministers of the most wonderful gift, think for one moment I possess the ability, the knowledge or the talent; I need only go back to the beginning – Who created me? Every fiber of my being, every ounce of gray matter in my brain that possesses wisdom or knowledge or talent or creative genius belongs to Him – not me.
My soul abides in this vessel for such a short period of time, I cannot think that my outward beauty, hands the can create wonderful things or a voice that can cause hearts to be swayed has anything to do with something I made or created. It is my God that deserves the credit. He did it for you – through a human vessel.
We are His workmanship – a work of art if you will… each of us cannot weigh our worth against what anyone else possesses; it would be unwise to do so.
2 Corinthians 10:12 “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”
There are so many ways that Satan influences us to succumb to pride. Sadly, we often do not see it until seeds are planted, grown and fruit manifests itself.
Practicing praise that gives God the credit for all things done in and through us is a start. Daily Manna is God’s work. How He influences; its reach and depth of that reach is Him working in and through his servant.
I think if donkeys could type, he may very well use them to show me that He can get this done through any means He chooses. I just choose to give all that has been done and all that will ever be done is His work – not mine.