Thursday, 21 March 2013

The Tree of Pride - with diagram of tree

Scriptures:  James 4 v 6 - 10: "But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith,God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
 7  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
 8  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify yourhearts, ye double minded.
 9  Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

 10  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up."

Proverbs 16 v 17 - 19:  "The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.
 18  Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
 19  Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud."

One of the fruit of the Holy Spirit that grows in the life of a believer is humility. God works it into our nature to deal with our pride. Pride has many shapes but it is basically arrogant, haughty, superior and egotistical.

Pride sees no wrong in itself. It is difficult to convict the sinner of his sins when he thinks he is perfect. The proud person can never admit that he is wrong and will argue forever to prove he is right. He will project the blame for his sins onto everyone else and never admit his guilt.

Proud people are magnets for deception and are very self-righteous. Jesus resisted the Pharisees calling them hypocrites. People who are rejected have a a strange form of pride that causes them to create an image of themselves which they think is more acceptable. 

Marilyn Monroe is a good example of this. Norma Jean disappeared and Marilyn flaunted. If anyone saw behind the mask she felt betrayed. Many proud people have this kind of mask on and they never want their real selves to be seen. 

Proud parents become pushy parents demanding perfection in dancing classes, in sports, in academics, in lifestyles etc. Only excellent achievements are rewarded anything less is scorned.  This will harm the mental and emotional development of a child who feels loved only when it meets the high demands of its parents.

Proud pastors are unteachable and believe they are infallible. They expect their congregation to be perfect and engage in rivalry with other churches. The hide behind their anointing saying that no one can touch the Lord's anointed. This is sheer arrogance and God resists these proud pastors.

One of the less obvious fruits on this tree of Pride is prayerlessness. You may demand or command things from God but you stop praying in a reverent, respectful and effective way. This breaks down your relationship with your Heavenly Father and weakens your faith. Pride makes you very independent and you can deceive yourself of your effectiveness in ministry. Every purpose of prayer and ministry is to bring people into ever closer fellowship with God so He can save, heal, deliver, bless, teach, comfort and uplift them. Do not let your pride and independence have the opposite effect, which leaves the sheep without a shepherd.

 Pride makes a person hard and unyielding. They are perfectionists and most control freaks are found on this tree. Pride is what caused satan to fall and become the enemy of God and mankind who has sworn our utter destruction.  Don't let him do the same to you! 

Recognize yourself and put your hand on the picture of the tree of Pride and ask the Lord to kill and uproot it out of your life. Let Him fill you with love, peace, joy and patience; humility, faith, truth, and His righteousness. You will be so thankful you did.

Prayer: Heavenly Father how the mighty have fallen! I pray that You in Your grace and mercy will lift up the fallen and restore them to their rightful place. Fill them with the fruits of the tree of Life. In Jesus' name. Amen.