Remember the maxim:
He who excuses himself accuses himself”! But when the Lord is given mastery in our lives He leads us into (His) Light, Life, Liberty and Love for there was no pride found in Him.
Unless we are acutely aware of the ever-present presence of PRIDE in our own lives, ever ready to express itself, we have gravely hindered any spiritual development we need to make. Thus we have hobbled any true spiritual progress. If we are unaware of pride’s presence we are blinded by it! This is a master stroke of the one who fell from eternal light to eternal darkness, even Satan himself (consider the “law of double reference” in Isaiah 14: 12-17; Ezek.28: 11-17).
Though the twelve Apostles spent three blessed years under the tutelage of the greatest of all teachers, hearing His words and witnessing His deeds, His disciples (learners) succumbed to the influence of PRIDE even at the time of His last Supper with them. Be warned for our “self” nature is always ready to assert itself (Luke 22: 24-30).
What is the answer to this (spiritual) disease – this unhealthy condition affecting our body, soul and spirit?
- First, admit it of yourself – not of others!
- Second, recognise the claims of the One Who said, “Learn of Me for I am meek and lowly of heart and you will find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11:28-30). Note: Jesus said we are to recognise our need; we are to come; we are to establish the closest possible relationship with Him (yoked together), and to spend the rest of our days learning and ever-learning of the One Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14: 5-21). To what degree are we responding?
- Third, build yourself up in daily and constant prayer (Luke 11:1-13; 18: 1-14: “Watch and pray lest you fall into temptation” is the warning of Jesus to us all – 22: 40,46).
- Fourth, recognising that there is pride of PLACE, and of RACE, and of FACE and, worst of all, PRIDE OF GRACE (!) so in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path” (Proverbs 3: 6).
- Fifth, recognise the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Christ’s Successor and our indwelling Illuminator) for Jesus assures us that He (the Holy Spirit) will dwell with us forever and guide us into all truth with the focus on Jesus – only.
No doubt you are familiar with Isaac Watts’ hymn, “When I survey the Wondrous Cross” inspired by Galatians 6:14. This most insightful hymn is considered the finest in English Church hymnology. In keeping with our topic we quote the last verse:
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were an offering far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my life, my soul, my all.
Can we, like Watts, further say:
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
WE EITHER HUMBLE OURSELVES BEFORE GOD OR BE HUMBLED BY GOD!
To quote C.H. Spurgeon:
There is nothing into which the heart of man so easily falls as into pride. Yet it is the vice most frequently and emphatically condemned in Scripture.
Men leave the gentle yoke of Jesus and go toiling wearily along the way of life seeking to find life without humbling their heart before their Creator.
Pride is like the flies of Egypt; all Pharaoh’s soldiers could not keep them out.
If any man tells me he is humble, I know him to be profoundly proud. His denial of this truth is the best proof of it.
Ever remember that self delusion is the most fatal of all delusions.