Pride Will Take us Down
A few years ago God called me to plant a new church. Starting a new church from the ground up was a great challenge, but I knew this was God’s plan for my life. Unfortunately, I knew nothing about starting a new church, so I started seeking some advice from some experts, people who were leaders in the field. I did get some great and valuable advice from many of them. However, I could not believe some of the things I was hearing from some. They started talking about having the right worship team that would give pleasing performances, and saying that I needed to preach ear-pleasing sermons that wouldn’t make lost people feel uncomfortable; that we needed to look only for people who looked like us, acted like us, and talked like us; and that our building needed to be appealing to the eye whereas to draw people in. We needed to do all of these things that are appealing to the senses. They told me that those things would draw the crowd in. And, I was under the impression that it was God who added to the number of the church. I wonder where I came up with that silly idea? Maybe in Acts 2:47?
This may buck everything we have ever been taught about church growth, but I’m not interested in drawing crowds. A good concert promoter can draw in a big crowd to almost any venue, but what has he done for their souls? I’m not interested in drawing in the crowd for performances. I’m interested in the power of God poured out for the purpose of our being sent out, just as it was on the day of Pentecost. Yet, we have become so prideful in our performances that we have not made room for the power of God to move in our midst. Sure, I desire to see our buildings full of people every Sunday because I know every soul represented is a soul that God loved enough to send His Son to die for. However, if they come in for our performance, their ears will be temporarily tickled. But if they come because of the power of God, their lives will be transformed for eternity. Acts 2:43 says of the first church, “everyone kept feeling a sense of awe.” Their sense of awe was over the power of God, not the performance of man.
Regardless of how talented or persuading we may be, God will not bless the efforts of man that are centered around glorifying man. God will only bless submission to His lordship that brings honor and glory unto Him. Just as Joshua stood before the “Captain of the host of the Lord” Joshua asked in Joshua 5:13, “Are you for us or for our advisories.” His simple response in the next verse was “No.” God is not for men; man is to be for God. The only way to be used of God is when we humble ourselves before Him.
James 4:6 tells us that “God opposes the proud.” If therefore, I am being prideful, arrogant, or self sufficient, I am in conflict with God. In Luke 18 Jesus was telling parables on the subject of prayer. In verse 11 & 12 He said “The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ The Pharisee was basically telling God, “Hey, God You ought to be proud to have someone like me on Your side.” Notice however, that Jesus said he “was praying this to himself.” God wasn’t about to receive such an arrogant, self-centered, and self-serving prayer. He opposes the proud.
Proverbs 16:18 tells us, “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.” Satan is the greatest example of this. When we think of Satan, we think of him as a gruesome, demonic being that has nothing beautiful or glorious within his being. That is a true picture of who he is today. However, before the fall he was beautiful. Before the fall his name was Lucifer, which means “brilliant one” or “shining one.” He was spectacular to look at. However, that is not who he is today. We view him in distaste today because of his pride. Ezekiel 28:17 says, “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, that they may see you.” Isaiah 14 tells of how Satan tried to dethrone God and exalt himself above God. Due to the devil’s pride, God humbled him.
The beauty that God gave to Satan caused pride and rebellion to come into his life. Instead of giving glory to the creator, Satan tried to find glory within himself. As a result, he was cast out of heaven, and eventually he will be eternally humbled. I Corinthians 10:12 says, “therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.” If we are standing on the rock of our salvation, Jesus Christ, we are standing firm. However, if we are standing in our own strength, we will fall. God has given us all gifts and talents of many sorts. However, those are to be used to bring Him glory and not to bring ourselves glory. When they produce pride in our lives to glorify and magnify ourselves, we too will fall.
Day 20 Prayer Guide
- Ask God to reveal any sin or mindset that would prevent Him from hearing your prayers.
- Repent of any such hindrance and ask for God’s forgiveness.
- Ask God to remove any doubts and keep you focused on Him.
- Seek the Holy Spirit to consume you during this time to lead you. Be obedient to Him.
- Spend some time praising God for the fact that He is able. Quote some scriptures or some of His characteristics to Him in praise.
- Pray that the people of God will repent of sins and mindsets that dishonor and hinder Him.
- Pray that God would reveal prideful attitudes of self-sufficiency and bring about repentance.
- Pray that the church would never put their hope in man and their hope would be in God alone.
- Pray that the people of God will stand in faith knowing God can reclaim this land.
- Pray that our churches would be devoted to, and peruse the things that honor God.
- Pray that the people of God would see the need for revival and begin to seek God for it.
- Pray specifically for revival in your church. Pray for your pastor and church leaders.
- Pray for humility upon the people of God that leads to total obedience.
- Pray for humility upon the people of God that leads to total dependency on Him.
- Pray that the people of God will be broken hearted over the lost.
- Pray that the church will be a gospel centered church with a heart to evangelize the world while starting in their own back yard.
- Pray that the power of God would fall on the church moving them to prayer and sowing the gospel seed.
- Pray for a great awakening in your community. Name off streets and neighborhoods.
- Do not be judgmental in this, but pray that if there is any within the church who do not have a genuine relationship with Jesus that God would convict their heart and save them.
- Make a list of individuals who are not saved and begin petitioning God for their salvation.
- Pray for repentance of sin and a great awakening in our nation.