“Fire tests the purity of silver and gold,
but a person is tested by being praised.”
How great it feels to get a pat on the back or hear “Well done.” We all long to be appreciated and praised from time to time, but what happens when we like the praise a little too much? This article wants to warn of the dangers of becoming prideful and what we can do to stay right before God.
If there is one characteristic that God truly despises, it’s pride. God is a God of mercy, grace, love, and glory. Glory belongs to the Lord. When we become prideful, it gets difficult for us to surrender to God, or anyone else for that matter. We can get to a state of thinking that we are good, that we don’t need any help, and that we are wise enough to get by.
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God is big on providing for His people, but if a person is dealing with pride in their life, they may not want or ask for help from God for anything. The issue here is that none of us are fully self-sufficient apart from God. We are all vulnerable to sickness, disease, disaster, and especially, spiritual attacks from the enemy.
So, if a person believes that they don’t need anything from anyone, even from God, what does that person do when calamity strikes? Sadly, some will try to endure the situation until it overtakes them. Some will curse God in belief that God is cruel and unjust. However, some will turn to God and surrender.
The latter is exactly what God is hoping for, and with this in mind, God allows bad things to happen sometimes. This is an act to get our attention and to put God and us in the right hierarchical position.
The book of Job is an example of this; Job was a man of God, strong in his faith. The devil wanted to cause a bunch of trouble to test his faithfulness to God, so God agreed. However, when all was stripped away from Job, his wealth, family, and health, he never cursed God. But we can see that he had issues of pride when Elihu confronted Job in Job 33:9-10,
I am innocent; I have no guilt.
God is picking a quarrel with me,
and he considers me his enemy.’”
Pride is a characteristic of Satan
Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14 talk about the fall of Satan. Before he was Satan, the devil, he was Lucifer; a glorious angel created by God. But soon, Lucifer showed that he had pride within him and wanted to ascend to a godly position, or higher. God, however, would not tolerate this. So, He cast the angel out of Heaven and destined him to the eternal pit of Hell.
Now, Satan has many workers who go about doing his work. One of his main works is to cause people to become prideful. He understands more than anyone how pride will separate us from God, and he wants nothing more than to see us perish in Hell alongside himself.
We must be careful to pay attention to our attitudes and our mindsets. Pride, and virtually all characteristics of the devil, come to us subtly. These don’t just overtake us in a moment’s notice. In most cases, someone will have to point it out in us. A person who is too prideful will not generally be fun to be around.
Because pride is so destructive to a person concerning their relationship with God and their eternal existence, we who are led by the Spirit should lovingly mention the issue to a brother or sister in Christ if we see this with them. People who are prideful won’t generally like correction, but it’s possible that they don’t understand the dangers.
God requires full surrender of us
“Then he said to the crowd, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.’”
Giving up our own way means that we basically need to die to self. Pride is a self issue. Focusing on self and wanting to advance self and wanting self to feel good all the time are all things that keep our attention off Jesus.
Jesus calls for anyone and everyone to follow Him, but he requires their undivided attention. Being humble or being in submission to another can be difficult. We never want to feel like someone is above us or better than us, but when it comes to God, He is above us and better than us.
Which of us are omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent? Which of us have unlimited wisdom and knowledge and power? God doesn’t want us to surrender to Him because He has a power complex, but rather, because He is the One who can provide us with eternal Salvation and Life. He wants us to see Him as the Most-High God, and to put Him first in our lives.
God requires worship and submission, but He wants us to come to Him by choice and in love. He is Love. When we are filled with His Spirit, we will be filled with love. Pride is not of His Spirit. If we are filled with pride, we won’t be able to worship God or submit to His authority because we will be acting under the wrong spirit.
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God can undo Satan’s work in us
“After this manner therefore pray ye:
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
Prayer is our lifeline. God can move mountains in our life through prayer. Prayer is what God expects us to do each day, and even many times throughout the day. In this example of the Lord’s Prayer, we can see that everything that is important for our existence and right standing with God is here.
It says to deliver us from evil. Satan is evil and he can enter into our lives through a variety of ways. He doesn’t have the authority to simply overtake us against our will; he comes into us through open doors that we have opened through sin.
God will reveal that sin to us, and He will show us where the open doors are. When we submit to the authority of God and pray to Him in faith, God will help us. If we need to be freed from the bondage of sin, He will set us free. However, this doesn’t mean that we are then exempt from the attacks of the enemy. One minute after being set free from a bondage, we can be tempted again by Satan and we can fall right back into sin.
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Walking with God requires our commitment to Him. We can trust God to keep us safe from the devil, but we have to be willing to deny ourselves certain pleasures and we might have to distance ourselves from certain people, places, or things, which might be temptations for us. But God will give us this strength.
God can and does deliver people from spiritual bondage, spiritual possession, disease and sickness, and addictions. Disease, sickness, depression, addictions, anger, pride, and thoughts of suicide are all works of the devil. If we give the enemy a foothold or open door in our life, these are the kinds of works he will do in us.
If you have accepted Jesus, you have within you, the power and authority of Jesus over Satan
If you are under the bondage of Satan, you aren’t stuck. You might feel stuck, but you are only one prayer away from being set free. You can pray to receive Jesus into your life as Lord and Savior.
Understanding that God is the Highest power and authority above everything is the first step. Understanding that Satan lost power, authority, and dominion over all of us when Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected is the next step.
Understand that when you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior, you also receive all His power and authority over Satan as well. This means, if you are having a spiritual attack from Satan, you only need to recognize the power of God within you and cast the enemy away from you, like this:
“Satan, you have no power over me; I am a child of God bought by the blood of Christ Jesus. I command you to leave me now, In the Name of Jesus.”
At this, he must leave. This doesn’t mean he won’t return, but that you are not his property and that he can’t control you. In this time, full submission to Jesus is essential and steadily seeking His direction and protection is necessary.
At first you may end up needing to tell Satan to leave many times in one day, maybe many times in one hour. But, as you start to get free this will become less frequent.
We can command the enemy to leave, but just like when we send a messy dog outside, if we leave the door open, the dog will run right back in and mess up our house. We must close the door behind him when we send him out. This means, turn away from sinful living and immerse ourselves fully in the presence of God through bible reading, praying, praise and worship, biblical teachings, and obedience to God when He calls on us.
Pride will kill your relationship with God. It might even kill your relationship with other people. It is a characteristic of Satan and it has the power to destroy. If you have pride in your life, God wants you to get rid of it. He wants you to trade it in for love and humility.
Galatians 5:22-23 talks about the Fruit of the Sprit; there are nine mentioned: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are the characteristics of God. When we accept Christ, we get His Spirit in us. This means, we get these characteristics. This doesn’t mean that they will automatically become the dominant characteristics within us, but that they are now a part of us.
We must choose to walk in the Spirit of God, and not that of Satan. We must choose to please God and not our own fleshly desires. But with Jesus’ Spirit in us, we certainly have the power to do so. We just have to be sure not to listen to the lies of the devil when he tells us that we are a certain way and that we must live a certain way and that we are destined to a certain lifestyle.
In Jesus, there is freedom. Don’t get fooled!
If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, you can follow this link (Prayer for Salvation) to find out how. Also, if you need prayer for your life or your family, feel free to fill out a private prayer request in the provided prayer box in this article. My wife and I would love to pray for you.