Stories From A Pastor, Side Effects of Pride – Subtitled Prideful Free Agents

Posted on April 19, 2015

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Seems like the pulpit messages about pride are few these days compared to what used to be heard years ago. In times past you might get questioned if you used the word “pride or proud” even about one of your children but not today, no risk at all. As the devil is described in Ezekiel chapter 28 it is common knowledge that Satan fell as he elevated his personal image, even to the point of being above God.  This pride of Satan and the pattern of behavior is so common and yet goes almost un-address in the modern church.  Within this behavior are degrees from very subtle and minor actions all the way up to helping out God with what we may think is a better way to do things.

How Did Satan Behave?

Not Recognizing the Roots of Your Gifting

Obviously Satan still behaves the same, but let’s look at how pride and self-exaltation is shared in the Bible. Ezekiel chapter 28 is the best place to begin.  Ezekiel begins addressing the Prince of Tyrus, which sounds like a man but as the details come forth through the next couple paragraphs it could only be speaking of Satan himself. One of the first things we learn about Satan is he is very gifted in wisdom and very pleasant to look at both in features and the items he was dressed in.  Satan had a very powerful position to serve in that was very close to God, the anointed cherub that covered.  As the precious stones are described and tabrets you can see that Satan was dressed very similar to the high priest in Moses’ time with a breast plate of precious stones and bells on the hem of his robe.  In the modern church today some of the most gifted people both in pulpit and lay positions demonstrate this same behavior of not remembering where their gifting and blessing comes from.

Letting the Blessing Cloud His Vision

The gifting and blessings of Satan were his down fall, Satan forgot who created him.  With all the blessing Satan had he began to elevate his image of himself to the level of his creator.

Ezekiel 28:2     …Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:

We have to stop and reflect on every aspect of who we are and every bit of it came from God. Satan is gifted like no other and with that blessing the pride began to bloom. One of the inspirations of this post is about a person that I would say is a great intercessor with good discernment but maybe just the level of gifting or the limits due to their behavior, not many recognize the gifting or its value to the local church. So this person has a tendency to not submit to any authority with what appears to be the attitude of why submit and be trapped in a place where I am superior to everyone else. Now this person would never say any of this but knowing them for more than a decade, their actions speak louder than their lack of words.  This pattern is all too common and why our churches moving in the gifts are in many cases on the decline, the people that should be serving have become prideful free agents. Few any of these people challenge God but other Christians and especially Christian leaders are open game!

Taking Others Down

One of Satan’s greatest tasks is to take others down with him.  On first thought you may be thinking that Satan wishes all to be with him for a final eternal position in hell but that is not all.  He is looking to trip up believers any way he can to make fools of them and he wants to recruit every wounded and prideful person he can find.  We first find Satan doing this in the garden.

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

Satan and people today that have this character are looking to see others fail to justify themselves. This is more than a generality of Satan wanting to destroy the things of God but Satan gets personally involved and is watching every step closely. Those with these tendencies do the same.

Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

Satan in the book of Job comes to God with his personal study of Job and accuses Job in the presence of God. Satan saw all the blessing on Job that came from God and was there to pick it apart and destroy if he could.  If we are not careful we can find ourselves doing the same, critiquing other anointed and gifted believers because we think we are better and feel neglected.   In the Bible and in real life this pattern is very common.  We see this pattern with Haman in the book of Esther and with Judas in the Gospels.

Rebellion in the Roots

King Saul had every opportunity to do as well as David but he chose to do things his way on occasion.

I Samuel 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

As King Saul did things his way and the Lord rejected him as he did with Satan. Not doing what God ask us to do is rebellion.  Rebellion is saying my own personal opinion has greater power in my life than the Bible or now personal prophetic word of the Lord.  No matter how simple what God says to us or how great, not doing it is the pattern that lead King Saul into all kinds of bad behaviors.

Jealousy

King Saul had already let God down and showed no signs of true repentance and David was anointed to be the future king. Instead of doing what God had place Saul in position to do, deliver the nation from the bondage of the Philistines, Saul began a campaign of discrediting David and eventually attempting to murder him on several occasions.  Jealous and prideful believers today often spend more time in character assassination than sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. This character assassination is for the local church leaders, media figures, and the person they set next to at the last “Glory Conference.”

Broken Promises and Payola

King Saul and prideful believers never quite do anything without expecting something in return. The sad thing about this is everything they have was a blessing from God that they could never do anything to repay yet they want recognition, power, and position for almost everything they do.

I Samuel 18:25 And Saul said, Thus shall ye say to David, The king desireth not any dowry, but an hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king’s enemies. But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines.

David fell in love with Saul’s younger daughter and King Saul put an extravagant price on his daughter and great risk for David’s life. In this story is so much is we look; disregard for his own daughter because of his pride, disregard of the benefit of David to the kingdom, and most of all no regard for God’s will. Saul had already promised his older daughter to David and broke that promise and now he makes an offer of his younger daughter with great risk for David. In time King Saul takes Michal away and most likely barters with her again to another man.  In the church world today I have seen people poke hundred dollar bills in the prophet’s pocket in hopes of a word. Donations given or service provided if “I” can be in charge.  Supporting a ministry only if I can sway it to do things the way I see it.

Bigger the Promise the Shorter the Stay

As a pastor I saw this over and over again people that truly wish to serve God but have a problem submitting to leadership. They or you can say what you want but in most cases pride is the issue when it comes to lack of a servants heart and even fear of leadership.  Sure there are bad leaders but there is always a great God.  Who was worse leader than King Saul or greater than David, yet David honored Saul to the end.  Most pastors aren’t Sauls and most of us aren’t quite Davids. The bigger the promise the faster they are out the door to never be seen again.  I remember one person in the early days of The Father’s House that said “I just love this church and what you are doing and would die for you.” In about a week this person gave me a ridiculous prophetic word that I had to gracefully reject and that person was left almost immediately. This person’s pride would not let them be teachable or receive correction and so they bounce around from church to church always hurt and wounded and the victim. Another family from the pulpit vowed their commitment to the church as we were in the midst of big move and within ninety days had moved on.  When pride is engaged rational behavior, honor, forgiveness, explanation, and even the Word of God means nothing.

Insanity?

Can pride make you do things that only an insane person would do? YES!!!!!  If I told you I was so distraught in my Christian walk I quit my job and spent most of my time trying to figure out how to get even with a Christian brother I didn’t like and then I went to the local fortune teller disguised as someone else to have her call up Bob Jones to get a prophetic word you would say flat out, I was crazy. King Saul did all these things, including almost killing and using family members as pawns to get his way. So what if you only did a few of these things and it was in a kinder and gentler way, you still would be acting insane!  Pride and jealously are so poisonous that we are blinded by how bad our actions are to others.  During a prayer meeting a great intercessor was offended at others in the prayer meeting that were talking and stormed out of the prayer meeting yelling and in discuss.  Who was less spiritual or more like Jesus?  I know more of the details than to put down here but pride put this person to be more holy than what they perceived was going own and they had a temper flair up similar to one that has mental issues.  Again pride and having things your way, even you being right, is a poison that causes even great people, very anointed to do seemly insane things.

Personal Punishment

Judas was prideful, the son of Simon the Pharisee and most likely raised under strict laws and rules of the Pharisees. Rules and standards give us things to judge others by. People get caught up in Messianic worship with Jewish traditions and often use this to exalt themselves above others, more than likely Judas was one of these.  Judas wanted Jesus to be king and overthrow the Romans and we he saw that he was not going to get his way he forced the issue and sold Jesus out.  Judas’ pride was seated in his family history and training.  All of Judas’ life he was told that the Messiah would come and overthrow the Romans and Jesus seemed to fit the Messiah but was not operating according to the rest of the tradition.  So Judas saw after it was over that he was wrong and punished himself in suicide.  Today we have these so called Christian martyrs punishing themselves knowing they did some things that were very wrong in their past and commit suicide to their ministry and use in the church by giving up on God or living the life of a monk, neither pleasing to God.

Casualties of Pride

In families, the church, the community, and the work place is filled with casualties of pride.  If you have made this mistake or know of one that is in this place, humility is the answer, coupled with repentance.  Obviously we can’t repent for others but we can love them and pray for them.  Just like other sinners, love the sinner not the sin, whether the sin is heroin addiction or prideful behavior.

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