Godly Principles to Deny Pride and Live a Life for The Great I AM. (Part 1)
Follow me on;
What do you think of when you hear,
“Have it YOUR way?”
“YOU deserve a break today?”
What about the phrase,
“If it feels good, do it?”
Have you ever been told, or possibly spoken this phrase yourself, “Whatever makes YOU happy?”
And finally, the classic, “I don’t care about anyone except, ME, MYSELF, AND I.”
What theme do these ads and phrases have in common? THEY ARE ALL ABOUT YOU!
This kind of mindset is not the thinking a Christian should have. It is, however, a part of another system that wants to destroy you.
What if I was to tell you that God’s number one concern for you is not about your happiness?
If you have thought, believed, or repeated any of these phrases, you have believed the Lie of I.
You may wonder, “What is the Lie of I and how do I stop it?”
Aleister Crowley occultist/satanist (in 1904) who, as the first “rule” of his new religion, wrote, “Do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law”.
The Bible describes pride (self-regarding love and self-satisfaction with one’s person, status, behavior, reputation, and traits) as sin.
Pride goes before destruction (Proverbs 16:18), puts one in an undesirable relationship with God (1 Peter 5:5; James 4:6), and will yield a regrettable end (Proverbs 29:23).
Nebuchadnezzar was judged for his proud spirit (Daniel 4), Haman was beset with pride (Esther 5), and Pharaoh fell because of it. God promises to humble the proud (Matthew. 23:12).
The study of pride has also been the subject of great interest to Christians in monastic traditions and later to the Pietists.
Bernard of Clairvaux in The Steps of Humility said that people can take steps upward if they pursue humility; but if they pursue pride, their steps will lead downward, following the course of Satan.
Bernard suggests that there are 12 steps that could lead one from the beginnings of pride—curiosity—to its most severe expression, habitual sin.
The intervening steps are frivolity, foolish mirth, boastfulness, singularity (going to all ends to prove oneself superior), conceit, audacity, excusing of sins, hypocritical confession, defiance, and freedom to sin.
The first step of pride (curiosity) is the last step of humility (downcast eyes). The last step of pride (habitual sin) should be the first step toward true humility (the fear of the Lord).
The proud person has difficulty functioning interpersonally, since he or she does not receive or process feedback from others in a satisfactory manner. Nor does the proud person fare well in the task of being other-centered. Pride forms a key element in the psychological construct of narcissism.
Pride, psychologically considered, is defensive in nature.
By definition pride is not a fair and true estimate of self; it is an overestimate.
Hence the proud person is motivated to hide a subconscious feeling of inferiority or is motivated to overcompensate for actual inadequacies.
Pride can be part of an ill-formed approach to social interaction; the proud person may genuinely feel his or her pride to be the best approach to dealing with self and others and may be unaware of flaws that preclude the pride.
Pride thrives on deference and praise from others. It may have its roots in parental overindulgence or in a background that created deep personal insecurities for which the pride is compensating.
Beck, J. R. (1999). Pride. In D. G. Benner & P. C. Hill (Eds.), Baker encyclopedia of psychology & counseling (2nd ed., p. 907). Baker Books. (Edited for length and emphasis.)
We Were Dead in Our Disobedience and Sins
Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins.
You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.
All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ephesians 2:1–3).
There are three major influences in spiritual warfare:
- The flesh (Internal pulling by our lusts and desires)
- The World (External pressures by evil, wordly systems and corrupt agendas)
- The Devil (Spiritual influences in which he also influences the other two spheres.)
Lucifer was the greatest and most beautiful angel God created.
“I ordained and anointed you as the mighty angelic guardian.”
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ezekiel 28:14).
It was said of him,
“You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and exquisite in beauty.
You were blameless in all you did from the day you were created until the day evil was found in you.”
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ezekiel 28:12; 15).
Lucifer was perfect in every way until something changed. Evil was found in him.
Lucifer’s sin was one that we all have a tendency to fall into; PRIDE.
Lucifer’s perfection and beauty went to his head and his “heart was lifted up because of [his] beauty” and he “corrupted [his] wisdom by reason of [his] brightness” (Ezekiel 28:17).
Since the devil is the prince of this world (John 12:31) who directs the course of this world (Ephesians 2:2), it is no wonder that one of the three sins which characterize this world is “the pride of life” (1John 2:16).
Just like any proud and conceded sinner (Proverbs 27:20), Lucifer couldn’t appreciate the gifted position God gave him. He wanted more. He desired to be more. He was dissatisfied with being number two. He wanted to be number one.
From the very beginning, the Lie of I, (prIde), began in the heart of Lucifer with his five I wills;
It is also striking to discover that even in the middle of Lucifer’s name is I.
Lucifer was full of wisdom, but his pride and desire to be number one corrupted his wisdom.
The Bible states,
A fool’s proud talk becomes a rod that beats him,
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Proverbs 14:3).
Lucifer believed his freewill was above the sovereignty of God.
Hence, God replied to Lucifer’s “I wills,” with His own;
Since Satan’s fall, he has been in rebellion against God and after His precious creation, US.
One of the dominant influences Satan controls is the world’s system.
The world and its unholy system and influences are one of the three major enemies the Christian must face in warfare.
Indeed, 1 John 2:16 teaches us that the world is full of the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and the pride of life and that the wicked things are not from our Heavenly Father, but the world.
We are not to love the world or the things in it.
The world is actually the sin-distorted social environment of worldly customs, assumptions, attributes, and influences in which we all live.
This worldly system attracts our flesh. It pressures us. It entices our flesh. Our flesh (sin nature) wants the things of the world.
Therefore, we shouldn’t look to the world to get spiritual wisdom, knowledge, or our identity! Satan influences the world, and it is full of lust and pride. It’s all about YOU! What you want, desire, long for, and please the flesh.
The listing of fleshly works and worldly influences can be easily divided into four groupings:
- Works in the sexual realm (sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures)
- Works in the spiritual realm (idolatry, sorcery,)
- Works in the social realm (hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division)
- Works in the realm of self-indulgence (drunkenness, wild parties (letting loose), and other sins like these)~Galatians 5:19-21
Fleshly Man and Spiritual Man
Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.
So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.
For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.
That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)
And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God.
The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.
For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live.
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Romans 8:5–14).
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.
The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires.
These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Galatians 5:16–17).
God does not temp you to sin.
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.
Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.
These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (James1:12–15).
The battle between your sinful nature and the Holy Spirit in you.
But how can that be? Did the law, which is good, cause my death? Of course not!
Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation to death. So we can see how terrible sin really is. It uses God’s good commands for its own evil purposes.
So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin.
I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.
But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good.
So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t.
I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.
But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.
I love God’s law with all my heart.
But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Romans 7:13–23).
Acts of sin are increasing.
You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.
For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.
They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good.
They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.
They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (2 Timothy 3:1–5).
Satan blinds the minds of non-believers. They cannot see and understand the gospel.
Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (2 Corinthians 4:4).
So, now you know what the problem is, and what you are facing. What do you do?
(Part 2 will post next week. Please come back and learn what you can do to defeat the “LIe of I.”)