"A Proud Look"
The Lord once showed me a vision of a gathering of large groups of leadership in His Body. All those called to His Five-Fold Ministry were present, sitting on stands resembling bleachers. His eyes panned the crowds and led me to a certain section of believers - to me, a truly impressive bunch - arrayed in white. "These are My Teachers," He softly said, with satisfaction beaming on His face. Being a teacher myself, with God's fabulous call on my life, I welled with the first of the seven deadlies, thinking myself in pretty superior company, until the Lord uttered the next sentence:
"Teachers are the ones who struggle most with pride."
BOOM! CRASH! BANG! went my puffed-up heart and my egoistic assumptions. Just standing there, I had proven the very truth of His words until the moment that pride - dreadful and hideous - caught up with me!
The Lord was trying to teach me what was, perhaps, the most critical and valuable lesson I would ever learn:
"Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall." (Proverbs 16:18)
Hmm... a haughty spirit - that's the "proud look" our Father is talking about. The look of self-absorption and preoccupation - solipsism is a big word for it - but, plainly stated, it's a deceptive, disgusting, inordinate esteem of "self" the Lord cannot stand.
"Me, Me, Me"
Pride is NOT self-sacrificing. Rather, it is hopelessly taken with its own ways and opinions. It is impatient, demanding, and grievously "entitled". The look of a 'proud' man or woman is fearful, angry, and grossly immature. Pride is unyielding in its crusading accusation and self-promotion yet, secretly, unrelenting in self-loathing and self-abasement.
Therefore, the Lord not only hates "a proud look" because of its disturbing effects on others, but also because of how it heinously imprisons all souls embracing it to an endlessly seething chasm of deception.
"The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts." (Psalm 10:4)
"When pride comes, then comes shame..." (Prov. 11:2a)
"In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride..." (Prov. 14:3a)
"A man's pride shall bring him low..." (Prov. 29:23a)
The Lord once told me that love is not love unless it is sacrificial.
Pride and its regretful holdings blocks the flow of God's love. Pride is an enemy of God; it's what the enemy of God embraced and what solely changed his form from one of radiance and benevolent beauty to one of hateful envy and vengeful wickedness.
Pride is a rapist and a robber more deadly to our lives than the strongest poison. It is devious and evil in all its endeavors... well worthy of hatred from Almighty God.
Humility, the Healer
Humility heals the wounds formed by pride's slings and arrows. Many times I have dropped to my knees, asking for its nourishing salve. Friends, if you struggle with pride, please join me in this prayer, placing all of your sins at the feet of Jesus the
Christ and making room in your hearts for His sheltering forgiveness and
deliverance from all pain, bondage, and pretense of pride:
Merciful Father, in the sweet Name of Jesus, I repent of pride in all of its forms and ask You to free me from its strangle-hold on my life. Please wash me clean in the Humility of Your unconditional love, and enable me to turn my back on all demons of self and selfish holdings. I love You, Lord, and in the Name of Christ Jesus I
relinquish all character and meaning and purpose of pride. I ask that You fill all voids in me with the Blood of Jesus and with Your Cloak of Humility that, in wisdom and humbleness of heart, I will grow and serve You, submitting to Your will over me all the days of my life. In Jesus' Name I pray and thank You. Amen.
God bless you, beloved.
Lord willing, next: "A Lying Tongue"