These are very tough words in our verse for today, but the ways of God’s Kingdom are always going to be radically different from those of the world. Pride is the desire for promotion of my importance, my ability and my achievements. In contrast, the Bible says that, for believers, everything which we achieve of lasting value in this life depends on Jesus enabling us through the Holy Spirit.
‘I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me - and I in him - bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing’ (John 15:5, NET).
Pride is at the root of the carnal nature of man, in our rejection of the wisdom of God in favour of the wisdom of man. Along with fear and unbelief, pride is a foundational weapon in Satan’s attack on the Body of Christ. It is a primary characteristic of the enemy’s domain. Isaiah clearly sees the arrogant King of Babylon manifesting this proud spirit in the extreme nature of his character.
‘But you said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High’ (Isaiah 14:13-14, NASB).
C. S. Lewis wrote, ‘Pride is spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense’. Man’s corporate pride is the basis of humanism, which believes that human virtue can be achieved by human reason alone. Self-importance, self-promotion, self-sufficiency, self-improvement are not the ways of God’s Kingdom, and it’s important to face the reality of these seductive character traits in all our lives (James 4:6-7).
Prayer: Father, You don’t stand in condemnation, but You merely want us to face the truth that, without Jesus, we can do nothing of true value. Thank You. Amen.