We don’t really know what is in us until the light shines and exposes us. The Lord sovereignly arranges people and situations around us to help us grow in life, and one major part of our growth comes from the shining of the light! He shines on us in the Word, He shines on us through the other saints, and He also speaks to us through situations and people / through the environment! I was recently impressed, from the story of the king Hezekiah, regarding pride - Hezekiah was so proud! He trusted in God, but he trusted much more in himself, and he was even “blinded with pride”. We are so much the same: in our heart we are lifted up, we have a higher opinion about ourselves than about others, and we consider ourselves as being better than the others. And even if we don’t say anything about this outwardly, or maybe even our attitude doesn’t show it, there’s a “fox” inside of us eating us up…. unless the Lord in His mercy shines on us to expose us and purify us continually of our pride and our ambition, we are just like everyone else, living in ourselves and for ourselves all the time! We need to be rescued from the ambition to be someone in the church, or to be a leading one among the believers. Never love to be the first in any work for the Lord.
I was impressed specifically with the following exposing points regarding pride:
- Pride is an attribute of the fallen nature – it is in us, in each one of us, and it grows, develops… unless the Lord exposes us, we may never know how proud we are…
- Even with Paul, the Lord gave him a thorn in the flesh, so that he would not be proud because of his revelations and understanding of the Word – even in spiritual things we can be proud, so the Lord does His best to “keep us in check” by giving us situations, people, environments, or a “thorn in the flesh” to limit us in our being lifted us – to rather humble us and save us from pride;
- A new convert should not be an overseer, lest he will be blinded with pride – Paul’s word in 1 Tim. 3:6 is so true, a new one / a new beliver should never be put in positions of great responsibility in the church, lest he thinks it’s all because of him and he gets proud. Rather, we need to help the new ones grow and mature in the divine life;
- Humility saves you from all kinds of destructions and invites God’s grace. Once you become proud, your family life, your job, and even your life, is destroyed! When you humble yourself, you invite God’s blessing, but the proud man destroys and damages everyone around him. God gives grace to the humble, but He resists the proud(James 4:6) – He “resists with all His might as if in a war” a person who is proud!
- Pride makes you a top fool! You think you’re better, that you’re the best, but you’re uplifted only in your own eyes! No one else sees you as being the best, they just see that you think you’re better – you become a “fool”, “dreaming” about yourself being the best.
- Rivalry in the Lord’s work is a sign of pride – there is no rivalry in the Lord’s work, and there is no competition here! There is no work you can do for the Lord that is so much better than someone else’s: you function organically in your measure, and the others do the same! If you’re in rivalry or you compete with others even while doing something for the Lord, this exposes your pride…
- Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, but be afraid of losing the Lord’s blessing! When you are proud, you lose the Lord’s blessing; when you make mistakes(which is not something you should desire to do), you are being humbled and being brought down…
- Caring for your prestige and exposing others – is a sign of subtle pride. Christ humbled Himself in His humanity to wash the feet of His disciples – we shouldn’t “care too much for our face”, but rather care for the believers and for people, to humble ourselves to where they are and wash their feet in the Word…
- Who is greater among us? Which one of us is greater? – this is an ugly form of pride. To this the Lord Himself answered – look at the children, and become like one of them! O, Lord…, to be humbled to be like one who doesn’t know too much but is willing to learn and take in new things!
- Wanting to be great and not a servant. Lording it over the members of the church where we’re in – other signs of pride.
- Even restoring a brother who commits a sin can make you proud, and then in a short period of time you may also be tempted to fall into the same sin.
- Self-boasting, self-exaltation, self-glorification, and lusting after vain glory are ugly expressions of pride.
O Lord Jesus…. do shine on us, expose us, and even humble us again and again! In ourselves, we are just proud…. – Only at the end of his life was the king Hezekiah manifested to be proud! We may start well and run well, but what about our ending? Lord Jesus…. may we pay attention to the Lord’s exposing of us, to the negative examples we may see around us, and to all the positive outcomes of the experiences others have when being dealt with by the Lord. And I speak to myself most of all, may we humble ourselves and learn all the time. Even think of ourselves as being others’ slaves and not better than others. [enjoyment from the message 11 in the Crystallization-study of Isaiah(1)]
Lord, have mercy on us, and make our path be brighter and brighter, from glory to glory, until the light of the full day! Save us from remaining the same or from becoming more proud as we go on in You! O, Lord…. we just humble ourselves before You… give us more grace today….