Power of Pride 6

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.”

The power of pride may seem like an odd phrase or title, but when one begins to think though it there is something very descriptive about it. Pride in the heart will run the whole life and drive a person in all that they do. Pride in the heart is so strong that no human power can overcome it and it is also true that no angelic power (think of the devil and the demons) can withstand it as well. Pride in the heart is so strong that the only power that can overcome it is the very power of the living God. Only God, who is omnipotent, can take the heart of unbelief which is a heart full of self and pride and put life in that heart and so the soul now looks to God as all-sufficient and all-wise rather than self and the world.

The creature is born dead in sins and trespasses which has as a major part of it (to say the least) the power of pride. We are born in a state where there is no spiritual life and where we are at enmity with God. It is a proud heart that is at enmity with God and it is pride in the heart which refuses to bow in submission to His sovereignty and it is pride in the heart which will not receive all from Him who is self-sufficient. The proud heart has an exalted view of self and it has quite the deflated view of God. That pride hinders the heart from seeing the true God and it also blinds the heart from seeing the truth of self. With that much effective working in the heart, we can safely say that pride has a lot of power.

Anything that is contrary to God and has such power in the heart will certainly influence prayer. Pride in the heart stands in direct opposition to the Lord’s Prayer and cannot pray that in a true spirit of prayer. Though a person may be very religious, even being a minister or seminary professor, pride has the power (so to speak) to prevent true prayer. Will a proud heart pray with a true motive for God’s name to be hallowed? I would argue that it cannot do so. Instead of that, the true intent of a proud heart is for itself to be hallowed and glorified. However, a proud heart can say the words and perhaps can convince itself that it does desire the name of God to be hallowed, but if it does have a desire for that it is a desire for God’s name be hallowed for the purposes of self. This proud heart can also pray for God’s name to be hallowed so that others who are listening will hallow/glorify the one praying. Oh the deceptive power of pride in the human heart that will take holy things and use them for self and pride!

Can a proud heart pray for His kingdom to come? Again, it can say the words but the proud heart wants its own kingdom to reign and rule over self, others, and God as well. The proud heart is at enmity with the true God and does not want God to reign and rule, so it cannot pray that with a true heart and as such can only say the words. A very religious person, once again, can be blinded by pride and so say the words and desire to some degree and in some way for God’s kingdom to come (be advanced), but that proud heart cannot bow in complete submission to God unless God’s kingdom has truly come in that heart and that proud heart has been broken and humbled. While Scripture speaks of the reign of grace, the proud heart opposes grace and is opposed by the God of grace. The proud heart does not just oppose grace, but it hates grace. The proud heart may accept a little help from grace, but it will never (in reality) bow in submission to a Gospel that is totally of grace. Free-grace is a hateful teaching to the proud heart, though it must be admitted that this proud heart wants acceptance from others and so it will give some lip-service to the doctrine in certain circles. A proud heart will oppose free-grace at every turn and place it sees it, so of course it will oppose prayer which depends on free-grace to be true prayer.

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