Power of Pride 5

The sin of pride is the child of unbelief. Pride springs from a disbelief of God to be what He is, in His immense and essential glory, in His infinite, underived, all-comprehending, incomprehensible self-sufficiency; and from a vain conceit of the creature’s being that which indeed it is not—that the creature is something independent of God. Whereas, without His all-supporting and all-supplying hand, it would soon sink into its first nothing, and be, as in and of itself it is, a mere vacuity, less than nothing, and vanity. (Anne Dutton, Letters on Spiritual Subjects)

Habakkuk 2:4 Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.

Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

James 4:6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”

In thinking through the pride we all have in our hearts, it is always easier to see pride in others as opposed to ourselves. However hard it may be, we should seek the Lord to show us our pride. Pride in the heart takes light shining upon it to see it and it will also take the work of Christ in the heart to accept it and plead with Him to grant us repentance from it. Apart from the work of God in our hearts we will not see pride, will not recognize the pride of the heart, and perhaps will even see it as virtuous rather than a hideous thing to be repented of.

It appears that the Christianity of today as been drinking deeply at the well of humanism. As such, it is being blinded to the truth of pride. We seek outward success in the churches rather than God Himself. We seek to obtain things from God that are ordered by our wisdom rather than seek God for wisdom. We come up with our plans for how the church is to grow and ask God to bless those, but we fail to seek God for growth as He sees fit. We seek all sorts of worldly standards and worldly things and think that we are serving God. Jesus the Christ sought the glory of God and lived a life of poverty, suffering, and then an agonizing death on the cross. Do we really want to be like Christ or has our pride blinded us to what that really means?

We are told in II Chronicles 7:14 that we are to humble ourselves, and pray, and seek the face of God. We may say words that we think of as prayer, but do we really know what it means to be humbled before God? Do we really know what it means to seek the face (presence) of God in prayer? A proud heart has no idea of what true humility is, yet we are told that God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble (James 4:6 above). These basic truths should fall upon our hearts like a ton of bricks falling from a truck. If we think we have been praying and yet we have not been humbled, we are wrong and we do not know what it means to pray. Pride in the heart has an enormous power of blinding us in spiritual things. It will lead us to think that we have prayed when in fact we have not prayed at all. It will lead us to think we have sought the face of God when in fact we have sought no one but ourselves. Pride is a deadly poison in the soul that blinds us, numbs us, and gives us deafness toward God.

Pride kills true prayer and yet it can lead people to a lot of false prayer in the name of religion. This is utterly vital to grasp in terms of walking with God and truly seeking God. A proud person (a Pharisee, for example) can be in a posture of prayer and utter theologically correct words of prayer, but the heart of a proud person cannot pray. The heart must be humbled before it can truly pray, though indeed one must seek a humbled heart before God from the hand of God. Pride and free-grace are opposites, so we can know that since prayer can only happen by free-grace that the heart must be humbled. Either we are free to pray by the power of self or we must have free-grace to pray. Either Christ was right when He said apart from Him we can do nothing (nothing spiritual since all must come from Him) or we can pray as we please.

The point is that the awful power of pride must be taken into consideration and it must be humbled or we cannot truly pray. God alone is sufficient to work in us true prayer which means that we are not sufficient in the slightest to truly pray apart from His sufficient grace found only in Christ. This is incredibly humbling to the proud heart, but this is precisely what we must realize and then seek from His hand. It is nothing but pride in our hearts that make us think that we can pray apart from the grace of God in us since He alone is self-sufficient. The inability of man extends to all spiritual acts and God alone is sufficient to work spiritual things in and through us. He must humble us from our great pride in order for us to pray by grace since our flesh can never do this.

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