`As a speaker in citywide and regional prayer conferences, I am often asked to unmask the `spiritual power` opposing the body of Christ in the conference region`, says Francis Frangipane. `City leaders and intercessors have even asked if I knew the `name` of the principle spirit that is resisting the church in their area`. He goes on to reply, `Do you want to know the name of the most powerful spirit opposing most Christians? It`s Yahweh!`
When I read this I was stunned. How could that be true? The answer is found in our Bible verse today: `God opposes the proud`.
I found a very helpful definition of pride in the New Bible Dictionary – `Rebellious pride, which refuses to depend on God and be subject to Him, but attributes to self the honour due to Him, figures as the very root and essence of sin`. In the Bible pride is seen as a good thing in some aspects, for example when the Apostle Paul says that he`s proud of the spiritual growth of his beloved children in the Lord (See 2 Corinthians 7:4), or when we boast of what God has done ( 1 Corinthians 1:31).
However, in the majority of references pride (referred to as insolence, arrogance, boastful, haughty, prideful) is regarded as a negative and harmful attribute. In essence it is idolatry! No wonder God opposes it!
Why do I often feel irritable – dare I say angry – when my wife politely suggests I have taken the wrong turn off the motorway? Pride. Or worse, when she suggests we stop and ask someone for directions! Pride. Why do we think that our theology is the best? Pride. What prevents us from fellowshipping with other Christians in our town? Pride. What makes me reluctant to trust God but rather try to make the impossible happen all by myself? Pride.
Why does the church seem to be losing ground in so many places in the world? Why perhaps do I find the going so tough at times? God opposes the proud.
As Peter writes in 1 Peter 5:6 `Humble yourselves, therefore, under God`s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time`. If I don`t humble myself, God will do it for me, and I may not like how He does it!
Prayer: Please, Jesus, show me where there is pride in me, and help me to humble myself. Amen.
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