SPIRITUAL  PRIDE

What Causes It?

I believe that spiritual pride comes from a heart of ungratefulness. A wicked heart that forgets the goodness of God and others. A heart that secretly want to make it seems or appears like they were always that way. Such person at their core is an inferiority complex and extremely low self esteem; so low that they think if they should acknowledge God or others then it takes away from them. Such person are also full of greed and an insatiable need for recognition and attention from others. Such insatiable need causes such person to be unthankful to God and others as they believe that where they are is because of their own effort. Consequently, a pride walks hand in hand with ingratitude and humility walk hand in had with thankfulness. Therefore, spiritual pride enters the heart of the man or the woman who forgets that it is not their ability but it is God’s. That is why, it is very important for us to always  remember where God took us from and also whom He placed in our lives along the way to get us to the place where we are now. Once we remember that where we are is because of God and those He used to help us we will never be in danger of spiritual pride. There is a very tragic account of a man in the bible, called goodly at the beginning and because of pride his life ended tragically. That is why it is very dangerous for us to have inordinate and unreasonable beliefs of our own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, which manifests itself in deceitful pride and ungratefulness. 

The Awful Sin of Pride ~ David Wilkerson, February 8, 1988 

What Is Pride? Pride is independence – humility is dependence. Pride is an unwillingness to wait for God to act in His own time and in His own way. Pride rushes in to take matters into its own hands. One of the greatest temptations true Christians face is getting ahead of God. It is acting without a clear mandate from God. It is taking things into our own hands when it appears that God is not working fast enough. It is impatience. God sees pride in an entirely different way than we do. He showed me that there is also a pride that is spiritual in nature. It is committed by those who have walked closely with God and it can be seen in the holiest among us. The more spiritual you are, the more revelation you have had, the closer to Him that you have been, the more hideous this sin is when it is committed. It is not a way of life, although it could become so. It is a sin that is often committed even on our knees, while seeking God. 

Implication of Not waiting For God To Work~David Wilkerson 

We are commanded, like Saul, to wait on the Lord, to stand still and see His salvation, to trust in Him at all times so He can direct our paths. But when the deadline we set has passed, and there is an anger against God and we can’t wait, we run off and make things happen. We are saying, “God doesn’t really care about me. God has let me down. Prayer and waiting doesn’t work. Things just get worse. I can’t just sit here being walked on.” We really don’t trust His Word. He charge God with deception. By impatiently acting on his own, Saul was saying “God sent me out to do His work, but left me to figure out how to get it done. He told me to do this, but now He’s making me sit and wait. If God won’t answer, He can’t judge me for what I have to do.” Playing god is terrible pride. It is charging God with neglect. 

Samuel’s command was, “Go to Gilgal and wait… I will come, you will get directions,” Before God, all Saul was responsible to do was to wait for the word! God wanted to hear Saul say, “God keeps His word: never once has a word from Samuel’s lips fallen to the ground. God said wait for directions and I will wait. Let the whole army desert. Let every Israelite be a coward. Let every man be called a liar. If God has to, He will send me an army of angels. This isn’t my war. I don’t have the slightest idea of how to go after this great enemy. It’s all in His hands. All I have been commanded to do is wait for the word’

But pride reasons, “God must not have meant it. Maybe I heard it wrong. The problem is in my seeing and hearing. Instead of standing on God’s word, we start to figuring things out. In bed in the late hours we say “Lord, here’s how I see it can be done.” It is wicked to do something very logical and reasonable when it is not God’s clear word of direction. It may be the conclusion of wise men and logical minds, the only option open. But it is sin if it is not the word that comes from waiting only on God. We need to take the pressure off to perform, to do something. You don’t have to do anything but stand on God’s Word. If you want to prove anything to God, prove you will patiently wait for Him to act. Do you really believe God means what He says? It is dangerous to get ahead of God! It is independence.

“And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves at Michmash; therefore said I, the Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the Lord; I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering. And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel forever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee” (1 Samuel 13:11-14).

Saul waited seven days – but that wait was unholy. He was impatient, angry, fearful and pouting. We must wait with faith, believing that God cares for us and loves us, that He will be there on His time. This matter of waiting is so important that I must show you some Scriptures to prove it.“And is shall be said in that day, Lo this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us; this is the Lord, we have waited for him we will be glad and rejoice in his Salvation…” (Isaiah 25:9).“For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him… (Isaiah 64:4).

Compare the impatient pride of Saul to David’s waiting on God for direction. How beautiful! And how clear! “And the Philistines came up yet again, and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim. And when David enquired of the Lord, he said, Thou shalt not go up; but fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees. And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the Lord go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines. And David did so, as the Lord had commanded him; and smote the Philistines from Geba until thou come to Gazer” (2 Samuel 5:22-25). The enemy was spread out before him, but David must have the word of God! Only then will he bestir himself.

Jonathan Edwards ~ Undiscerned Spiritual Pride

Pride is much more difficult to discern than any other corruption because, by nature, pride is a person having too high a thought of himself. Is it any surprise, then, that a person who has too high a thought of himself is unaware of it? He thinks the opinion he has of himself has just grounds and therefore is not too high. As a result, there is no other matter in which the heart is more deceitful and unsearchable. The very nature of it is to work self-confidence and drive away any suspicion of evil respecting itself. The first and worst cause of error that prevails in our day is spiritual pride. This is the main door by which the devil comes into the hearts of those who are zealous for the advancement of Christ. It is the chief inlet of smoke from the bottomless pit to darken the mind and mislead the judgment, and the main handle by which Satan takes hold of Christians to hinder a work of God. Until this disease is cured, medicines are applied in vain to heal all other diseases. Pride takes many forms and shapes and encompasses the heart like the layers of an onion- when you pull off one layer, there is another underneath. Therefore, we need to have the greatest watch imaginable over our hearts with respect to this matter and to cry most earnestly to the great searcher of hearts for His help. He who trusts his own heart is a fool.

Since spiritual pride in its own nature is secretive, it cannot be well discerned by immediate intuition of the thing itself. It is best identified by its fruits and effects, some of which I will mention together with the contrary fruits of Christian humility.The spiritually proud person is full of light already and feels that he does not need instruction, so he is ready to despise the offer of it. On the other hand, the humble person is like a little child who easily receives instruction. He is cautious in his estimate of himself, sensitive as to how liable he is to go astray. If it is suggested to him that he does go astray, he is most ready to inquire into the matter. Proud people tend to speak of other’s sins–the miserable delusion of hypocrites, the deadness of some saints with bitterness, or the opposition to holiness of many believers. Pure Christian humility, however, is silent about the sins of others or speaks of them with grief and pity. The spiritually proud person finds fault with other saints for their lack of progress in grace, while the humble Christian sees so much evil in his own heart, and is so concerned about it, that he is not apt to be very busy with other hearts. He complains most of himself and his own spiritual coldness and readily hopes that most everybody has more love and thankfulness to God than he does.

Spiritually proud people often speak of almost everything they see in others in the harshest, most severe language. They frequently say of an other’s opinion, conduct, or coldness that it is from the devil or from hell. Commonly, their criticism is directed against not only wicked men but also toward true children of God and those who are their superiors. The humble, however, even when they have extraordinary discoveries of God’s glory, are overwhelmed with their own vileness and sinfulness. Their exhortations to fellow Christians are given in a loving and humble manner, and they treat others with as much humility and gentleness as Christ, who is infinitely above them, treats them. Spiritual pride often disposes persons to act different in external appearance, to assume a different way of speaking, countenance, or behavior. However, the humble Christian, though he will be firm in his duty–going the way of heaven alone even if all the world forsake him- yet he does not delight in being different for difference’s sake. He does not try to set himself up to be viewed and observed as one distinguished, but on the contrary, is disposed to become all things to all men, to yield to others, to conform to them, and to please them in all but sin.

Proud people take great notice of opposition and injuries, and are prone to speak often about them with an air of bitterness or contempt. Christian humility, on the other hand, disposes a person to be more like his blessed Lord, who when reviled did not open His mouth but committed Himself in silence to Him who judges righteously. For the humble Christian, the more clamorous and furious the world is against him, the more silent and still he will be, unless it is in his prayer closet, and there he will not be still. Another pattern of spiritually proud people is to behave in ways that make them the focus of others. It is natural for a person under the influence of pride to take all the respect that is paid to him. If others show a disposition to submit to him and yield in deference to him, he is open to it and freely receives it. In fact, they come to expect such treatment and to form an ill opinion of those who do not give them what they feel they deserve. One under the influence of spiritual pride is more apt to instruct others than to ask questions. Such a person naturally puts on the airs of a master. The eminently humble Christian thinks he needs help from everybody, whereas the spiritually proud person thinks everybody needs his help. Christian humility, under a sense of others’ misery, entreats and beseeches, but spiritual pride commands and warns with authority.

The Sin of Pride ~ Got Questions

Why is pride so sinful? Pride is giving ourselves the credit for something that God has accomplished. Pride is taking the glory that belongs to God alone and keeping it for ourselves. Pride is essentially self-worship. Anything we accomplish in this world would not have been possible were it not for God enabling and sustaining us. “What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” (1 Corinthians 4:7). That is why we give God the glory—He alone deserves it.Throughout Scripture we are told about the consequences of pride. Proverbs 16:18-19 tells us that “pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.” Satan was cast out of heaven because of pride (Isaiah 14:12-15). He had the selfish audacity to attempt to replace God Himself as the rightful ruler of the universe. But Satan will be cast down to hell in the final judgment of God. For those who rise up in defiance against God, there is nothing ahead but disaster (Isaiah 14:22).Pride has kept many people from accepting Jesus Christ as Savior. Admitting sin and acknowledging that in our own strength we can do nothing to inherit eternal life is a constant stumbling block for prideful people. We are not to boast about ourselves; if we want to boast, then we are to proclaim the glories of God. What we say about ourselves means nothing in God’s work. It is what God says about us that makes the difference (2 Corinthians 10:18).

The Sin of Spiritual Pride ~ by William Gurnall

Count on the strength of your own godly attributes, and you will grow lax in your duties for Christ. Knowing you are weak keeps you from wandering too far from Him. When you see that your own cupboard is bare and everything you need is in His, you will go often to Him for supplies. But a soul who thinks he can take care of himself will say, “I have plenty and to spare for a long time. Let the doubting soul pray; my faith is strong. Let the weak go to God for help; I can manage fine on my own.” What a sad state of affairs, to suppose that we no longer need the moment-by-moment sustaining grace of God.Not only does overestimating the strength of our own goodness make us shun God’s help, but it also makes us foolhardy and venturesome. You who boast about your spirituality are likely to put yourselves in all kinds of dangerous situations, then brag that you can handle them. 

At bottom, pride in your own abilities is what keeps you working for righteousness. You keep trying to pray harder, working to be a better Christian, laboring to have more faith. You keep telling yourself, “I can do it!” But you will soon find your own grace insufficient for even the smallest task, and your joy will run out at the crannies of your imperfect duties and weak graces. The language of pride hankers after the covenant of works. The only way out of this trap is to let the new covenant cut the cord of the old one, and acknowledge that the grace of Christ supersedes the works of the law. Satan uses two types of pride to keep us trusting in the worth of our own grace. One I call a mannerly pride; the other, a self-applauding pride. Mannerly pride tiptoes in, disguised as humility. This is the soul that weeps and mourns for its vile condition, yet refuses to be comforted. It is true – not one of us can paint our sins black enough to do them justice. But think how you discredit God’s mercy and Christ’s merit when you say they are not enough to buy your pardon! Can you find no better way to show your sense of sin than to malign the Savior? Are you unwilling to be in Christ’s debt for your salvation, or too proud to beg His forgiveness?

Why is God so insistent that we use His grace instead of our own? Because He knows our grace is inadequate for the task. The truth is this: trusting in your own grace only brings trouble and heartache; trusting in God’s grace brings lasting peace and joy. In the first place, trusting in your own goodness will eventually destroy it. Inherent grace is weak. Force it to endure the yoke of the law, and sooner or later it will faint by the wayside, unequal to the task of pulling the heavy load of your old nature. What you need is Christ’s yoke, but you cannot take it until you shed the one that harnesses you to works.This is done by renouncing every expectation from yourself. If you are one of those who have claimed for years to be a Christian, but you see little fruit in your life, perhaps you should dig down to the root of your profession and find out whether the seed you planted was cultivated in the barren soil of legalism. If so, pull it up at once, and replant your soul in a fertile field – God’s mercy. David gave an account of how he came to prosper when some who were rich and famous suddenly withered and died: “Lo,” he said, “this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches…but I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever” (Psa. 52:7-8).

Pride Is The Worst of All Sins

Those who have spiritual pride very rarely are aware of it. They deceive themselves as it hinders them from seeing the spiritual pride which is working that others can readily see. Whenever you feel that your attendance at meetings, your reading of so many pages of SCRIPTURE STUDIES per day, your serving in whatever capacity in ministry causes you to look down on others and view yourself so important and must be recognized as such; then spiritual pride already took root. That disposition to boast and feel good within oneself is an indication that you would be in danger. Any thought to feel prideful about something demands careful self-examination of thought—of the motives lying behind what we do in the Lord’s service. This does not mean that we  cannot give a testimony in encouragement to others or as a proof that we love the Lord and are anxious to serve Him. The warning however is the need to boast of anything that we might be or do as the Lord’s children. We have nothing whereof to boast. 

“Be Not Many Of You Teachers” 

That’s why James cautions us, “Be not many of you teachers, my brethren, knowing that a man shall receive the severer trial” (James 3;1). While, all human beings saved or unsaved are susceptible to being prideful, there seems to be a special danger surrounding all who become in any manner identified with Knowing of His Truth. It is a special privilege, indeed, to tell out the Message of God’s grace to all who have ears to hear. It is a privilege to be God’s ambassadors,The proper attitude, as all will agree, is that the Lord’s people should feel greatly humbled instead of greatly exalted and heady in respect to these opportunities for telling the Truth to others. We should feel our unworthiness. We should realize that the Plan is not ours; that we have merely heard of it ourselves; that it is really God’s Plan; that we are honoured as His servants to tell it out. But if we allow any impression to go out that it is by any wisdom on our part, or any skill, that the beauty is seen in the Message, then to that extent we are taking glory to ourselves which belongs to the Lord, and doing injury to ourselves proportionately by failing to demonstrate our worthiness to be used by the Lord in the present and in the future. The wonderful privilege of speaking as ambassadors for the Lord, to tell of His greatness and Plan should humble us with the thought that He has privileged us, whereas He could use anyone else. The safer place is not to be a teacher, knowing that such shall have the severer Judgment and trial from the Lord. Only a sense of responsibility to the Lord and to the brethren should make anyone of us willing to serve in such capacity.

Self-Examination

How shall we safeguard ourselves against spiritual pride, knowing as we do its deceitful character and evil influence? How may we know that we are straying away toward spiritual pride? We must ask God to help us to walk and live according to His words in the following scriptures. “Clothe ourselves with humility” (1 Peter 5:5).  “Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else” (galatians 6:4). “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (James 4:6). Therefore, we must, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” (James 4:10). “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). “Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2). “The Lord detests the proud; they will surely be punished” (Proverbs 16:5). “Pride goes before destruction,  and haughtiness before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). “Pride ends in humiliation,  while humility brings honor” (Proverbs 29:23). “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:3). Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself” (Galatians 6:1-3)

At the beginning of each day we must ask God that through His holy Spirit to help us to: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.Instead,  In all (our) ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” We must refuse and resist the temptation to: “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil”(Proverbs 3:5-7) At the break of each day if we ask God through His divine supervision and wisdom to help us throughout the day to seek to live in accordance with His words remembering that He give grace to the humble and that He will resist the proud.Therefore, in viewing the words and deeds of others, we are to scrutinize with all of our might our own hearts, our own intentions. We are to inquire why we did this thing or left undone the other thing; why we did this thing this way; why we spoke in such a tone, etc. Such a careful examination, weighing of thoughts, words and deeds, would be very unsatisfactory to a person who was not wishing to be in accord with God. As noted above, one of the serious things connected with spiritual pride is that those who have it are rarely aware of it. Another difficulty is that it is almost impossible to correct them and to cause them to know that they have this problem. If you try to tell them; they may become upset and also think that the person may be jealous of them; etc. That’s why spiritual pride is nearly incurable;  expect for God’s intervention.  

Pride: A Danger To All!!!

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