Last week we talked about how we can open doors for the adversary to come into our lives and cause problems.
We talked about how the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of the life can give the devil a foothold in our lives. Today I want to take a deeper look at how pride can be destructive in our lives.
Today’s message could be a challenging message for us to accept. The scriptures that we will look at will bring us to these two questions:
Do we ever grant Satan permission to take us into bondage in any area?
Does God ever grant Satan permission to take us into bondage in any area?
We will answer these questions during this message.
Our world is in the situation that it is in because of pride. It started with Lucifer and the other fallen angels. It was pride that caused them to fall from heaven. Pride is destructive in our lives as well. We are going to define pride through three points today.
I. Pride is trusting in your own strength
Luke 22:31-32: “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.”
Notice that Jesus didn’t say that He would keep Peter from being sifted like wheat by Satan. He said that pleaded in prayer that his faith wouldn’t fail. He goes onto say that when you repent, you strengthen your brother. I love the confidence of Jesus in Peter!
Mark 14:27-31: On the way, Jesus told them, “All of you will desert me. For the Scriptures say, ‘God will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I am raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.” Peter said to him, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will.” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.” “No!” Peter declared emphatically. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the others vowed the same.
Jesus quoted a prophesy that they all will be scattered during arrest and crucifixion. Peter boldly says '“not me." I won’t desert you, even if I have to die.”
Jesus tells him that He will deny him three times before the roster crows. We all know what happens. Peter was confident in his own strength.
Matthew 16:21-25: From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead. But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!” Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.
This is a profound verse. Peter was reprimanding Jesus and trying to prevent God’s will from happening. Jesus says to Peter, “Get behind me Satan, you are a dangerous trap to me.”
Jesus makes something clear here about being a follower. Following Jesus means that we do things His way and not how we think things should happen. Pride in our own strength will ultimately cause us to fail. We will only succeed in God’s will through His strength.
1 Corinthians 10:12: If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.
II. Pride is trusting in your own righteousness
Job 1:6-12: One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the Lord, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them. “Where have you come from?” the Lord asked Satan. Satan answered the Lord, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.” Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.” Satan replied to the Lord, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!” “All right, you may test him,” the Lord said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the Lord’s presence.
Satan appears before God in heaven at His throne and asks God for permission to attack Job. God allows Satan to test Job by doing whatever he wanted to his possessions, but he could not hurt him physically.
For the next 31 chapters, we see a man go through many difficult things, and his three friends were not the most encouraging people.
Job 32:1-2 (NKJV): So these three men ceased answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then the wrath of Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, was aroused against Job; his wrath was aroused because he justified himself rather than God.
Job was righteous in His own eyes.
Job justified himself rather than God.
Job 33:8-9 (NKJV): “Surely you have spoken in my hearing, And I have heard the sound of your words, saying, I am pure, without transgression; I am innocent, and there is no iniquity in me.
There has only ever been one perfect man on this earth and that was Jesus.
Job was a man of integrity and was blameless, but pride entered his heart through all of this testing. He was righteous in his own eyes.
Job 36:3 (NKJV): I will fetch my knowledge from afar; I will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.
Elihu, the youngest man in the group, showed the most wisdom when he declared that he would ascribe righteousness to his maker. Job gets put in his place and ultimately sees where he failed.
Job 38:1-6: Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind: “Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them. “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much. Who determined its dimensions and stretched out the surveying line? What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone
Job 40:8: “Will you discredit my justice and condemn me just to prove you are right?
Job’s open door was that he felt righteous because of what he did and not because of who he knew.
III. Pride is trusting in your own wisdom
King Ahab wanted Jehoshaphat to join him in war against Ramoth-gilead. Jehoshaphat wanted to consult the Lord before going in war. Ahab’s 400 hundred prophets declared that it was God’s will to go to war, but Jehoshaphat wanted a second opinion from another prophet.
1 Kings 22:7-8: But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there not also a prophet of the Lord here? We should ask him the same question.” The king of Israel replied to Jehoshaphat, “There is one more man who could consult the Lord for us, but I hate him. He never prophesies anything but trouble for me! His name is Micaiah son of Imlah.”
Michaiah was disliked by King Ahab because He never prophesied what Ahab wanted to hear.
1 Kings 22:15-18: When Micaiah arrived before the king, Ahab asked him, “Micaiah, should we go to war against Ramoth-gilead, or should we hold back?” Micaiah replied sarcastically, “Yes, go up and be victorious, for the Lord will give the king victory!” But the king replied sharply, “How many times must I demand that you speak only the truth to me when you speak for the Lord?” Then Micaiah told him, “In a vision I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, like sheep without a shepherd. And the Lord said, ‘Their master has been killed. Send them home in peace.’ ” “Didn’t I tell you?” the king of Israel exclaimed to Jehoshaphat. “He never prophesies anything but trouble for me.”
Michaiah tells Ahab not to go to war or it will not end well for him.
1 Kings 22:19-22: Then Micaiah continued, “Listen to what the Lord says! I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the armies of heaven around him, on his right and on his left. And the Lord said, ‘Who can entice Ahab to go into battle against Ramoth-gilead so he can be killed?’ There were many suggestions, and finally a spirit approached the Lord and said, ‘I can do it!’ ‘How will you do this?’ the Lord asked. And the spirit replied, ‘I will go out and inspire all of Ahab’s prophets to speak lies.’ ‘You will succeed,’ said the Lord. ‘Go ahead and do it.’
He goes on to share a vision that he sees. He saw God on His throne and he asks who could entice Ahab to go to war. A lying spirit comes forth and says that he can inspire Ahab’s prophets to tell him to go to war. God commands the spirit to do so and declares that he will have success.
This shows that evil spirits can and have been in Gods presence. God will sometimes use the enemy to fulfill His purpose.
1 Kings 22:34-35: An Aramean soldier, however, randomly shot an arrow at the Israelite troops and hit the king of Israel between the joints of his armor. “Turn the horses and get me out of here!” Ahab groaned to the driver of his chariot. “I’m badly wounded!” The battle raged all that day, and the king remained propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans. The blood from his wound ran down to the floor of his chariot, and as evening arrived he died.
Ahab does go into war and tries to outsmart God by having Jehoshaphat wear his kingly robe. He dresses in armor and stays a distance from the rest of the battle. A soldier shoots his bow up in the air at random and hits Ahab between the joints of his armor, and Ahab dies from his wounds.
Ahab trusted in his own wisdom. God was speaking to him through His prophet and he did not listen. He thought that he was smarter than God.
James 3:14-15: But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.
Notice that this kind of wisdom is demonic.
This is the difference between these three men:
Peter repented and became one of the key apostles in the early church
Job repented and had everything that he lost restored to him in double
Ahab did not repent and was killed in battle
Proverbs 16:18: Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.
This verse is often misquoted. Pride does not go before the fall. It goes before destruction. Pride will destroy you if you don’t repent and do things God’s way. God was not being men to these men - He was protecting from destruction.
Pride is the trap that the strong the wise and the righteous can fall into. God wants to save you from destruction. If you are relying on your own strength instead of on His, you need to repent and begin to walk in His strength. If you feel like God owes you something because of your righteousness, you need to repent and walk in His righteousness that comes through faith in Him. If you are leaning on your own wisdom or the wisdom of man, you need to repent and trust in God’s wisdom and do what He says.