Pride is the most significant hindrance to unity and congregational growth that we and most other congregations suffer. Pride is the root cause of rebellion against God, Congregational Splits, self-righteousness, arrogance, and un-forgiveness.
Deuteronomy 8:11-18 “Be careful not to forget ADONAI your God by not obeying his mitzvot, rulings and regulations that I am giving you today. 12 Otherwise, after you have eaten and are satisfied, built fine houses and lived in them, 13 and increased your herds, flocks, silver, gold and everything else you own, 14 you will become proud-hearted. Forgetting ADONAI your God – who brought you out of the land of Egypt, where you lived as slaves; 15 who led you through the vast and fearsome desert, with its poisonous snakes, scorpions and waterless, thirsty ground; who brought water out of flint rock for you; 16 who fed you in the desert with man, unknown to your ancestors; all the while humbling and testing you in order to do you good in the end – 17 you will think to yourself, ‘My own power and the strength of my own hand have gotten me this wealth.’ 18 No, you are to remember ADONAI your God, because it is he who is giving you the power to get wealth, in order to confirm his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as is happening even today.
Pride is an issue that everyone else notices you have but you! A prideful heart lends us to think we do things ourselves and forget about or even worse remove God and His teachings from our Culture, Government, homes, and families. This is where we are at as individuals and as a Nation. We’ve forgotten who got us here and what we’ve been delivered from! Verse 19 is the end result of the Sin of Pride:
Deuteronomy 8:19. If you forget ADONAI your God, follow other gods and serve and worship them, I am warning you in advance today that you will certainly perish.
God hates pride, self-righteousness, and arrogance:
Proverbs 8:13. The fear of ADONAI is hatred of evil. I hate pride and arrogance, evil ways and duplicitous speech
Why does God hate this? For the very same reason He mentioned in Deuteronomy 8; pride is a hindrance in seeking Him, pride separates us from the presence of Adonai.
Psalm 10:4. Every scheme of the wicked in his arrogance [says], “There is no God, [so] it won’t be held against me.”
This arrogant and haughty pride is in opposition to the spirit of humility that God seeks. The “Humble” God blesses with salvation, the “Humble” will inherit the Kingdom of God! We are told to be humble, bearing with one another in love. The prideful are so blinded by their arrogance and pride that they believe they have no need of God. God warns us about this pride, His distaste of it and the consequences of Pride:
Proverbs 16:18-19. Pride goes before destruction, and arrogance before failure. 19 Better to be humble among the poor than share the spoil with the proud.
I do believe we are on the cusp of a Major, Sovereign move of God and because so, there is increased scrutiny in the Kingdom right now by Adonai! He’s cleaning His house! We’ve witnessed many moral failures in the greater body recently! Once a person falls, it’s never the same. Ezekiel l9 decrees that judgment begins in the House of the Lord. Many, Many mega church pastors, psalmists, and worship leaders have stepped down, succumbing to moral failures! We are also swarmed by false prophets.
I want to share a few lines from a well written article published January 20th 2021 by “Christianity Today” regarding the false prophecies:
Unfortunately, social media makes it next to impossible to control the national stage, and consumeristic North American Christians tend to gravitate toward what they’re inclined to hear (2 Tim. 4:3–4. I shared from last Shabbat, tickle the ear). It’s not the fault of true prophets and teachers if false ones often get higher view counts. Times when the prophetic voice is silent in the land are desperate times or even times of judgment (1 Sam. 3:1; Ps. 74:9; Isa. 29:10–12), but times when false prophecy dominates are worse (Jer. 37:19; Zech. 13:1–6).
This means that the law of supply and demand can affect religious media. When people do not want true prophecy, they will get what is false.
Jeremiah 5:31. The prophets prophesy lies, the cohanim obey the prophets, and my people love it that way. But what will you do at the end of it all?
If consumers of a particular political or other bent want to hear prophecies that support their desires, prophets who meet those felt needs will become most popular. Recent history suggests that some of them will maintain most of their audiences even when their prophecies fail.
Especially in difficult times, most prophets tell people what they want to hear (Jer. 6:14; 8:11; 14:13), making things all the harder for true prophets (15:10, 15–18; 20:7–18). But God reveals the burden of proof:
Jeremiah 28:8–9. The prophets who were here before me and before you prophesied in times past against many countries and against great kingdoms about war, disaster and plagues. 9 As for a prophet who prophesies peace – when the word of that prophet is fulfilled, it will be evident concerning that prophet that ADONAI indeed did send him.
At the other extreme from inflexible defenders of prophecies are those who are tempted to throw out prophecy altogether, neglecting the baby in that bath water.
The humblest prophets who were wrong have apologized. Even when we speak initially, we must remain humble and frame our opinions carefully where we lack certainty.
HaSatan was cast out of heaven because of Pride.
Isaiah 14:12-15. “How did you come to fall from the heavens, morning star, son of the dawn? How did you come to be cut to the ground, conqueror of nations? 13 You thought to yourself, ‘I will scale the heavens, I will raise my throne above God’s stars. I will sit on the Mount of Assembly far away in the north. 14 I will rise past the tops of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High.’ 15 “Instead you are brought down to Sh’ol, to the uttermost depths of the pit.
With great arrogance and puffed-up pride HaSatan had the audacity to attempt to make himself equal to God the ruler of the universe. Like HaSatan, those who defiantly rebel against God and rise up against Him will face disaster and death. Yet this same defiant, rebellious, self-righteous pride is not only in the world but is in the body of believers! We see it in those who will not change from their old ways, in those who will not admit wrong doing, and those who will not forgive.
Why is pride so sinful? Because we as individuals receive all the praise glory and honor vice God. God explicitly states that He cannot abide in or leave unpunished those that are prideful because He demands to receive all of the Praise, Honor, and Glory He is due as these references state:
Psalms 101:5. If someone slanders another in secret, I will cut him off. Haughty eyes and proud hearts I cannot abide.
Proverbs 16:5. ADONAI detests all those with proud hearts; be assured that they will not go unpunished.
Isaiah 2:17. The pride of man will be bowed down, the arrogance of men will be humiliated, and when that day comes, ADONAI alone will be exalted.
Ezekiel 28:5. By your great skill in trading you have increased your wealth, and it is because of your wealth that you have become so proud.
Malachi 4:1. For the day is coming, burning like a furnace, when all the proud and evildoers will be stubble; the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says ADONAI-Tzva’ot, “and leave them neither root nor branch
Rulers of Nations are brought down because of Pride, a grave warning to our own leaders today!
Daniel 5:20-21. But when he grew proud and his spirit became hard, he began treating people arrogantly, so he was deposed from his royal throne, and his glory was taken away from him. 21 He was driven from human society, his heart was made like that of an animal, he lived with the wild donkeys, he was fed with grass like an ox, and his body was drenched with dew from the sky; until he learned that the Most High God rules in the human kingdom and sets up over it whomever he pleases.
Pride must be dealt with in order to allow us to prepare as a body for revival and Yeshua’s return.
II Chronicle 7:14. then, if my people, who bear my name, will humble themselves, pray, seek my face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.
To be humble is to have an absence of pride. Are you headed for a downfall through pride? Let’s review the manifestations of Pride and if one or more of these apply to you, repent, for your not humble:
- Pride makes us feel special and unique. This is not referring to the uniqueness of God creating us in His image. It’s the self-esteem which makes you feel more important than others in the Body of Messiah. Does this relate to you?
- Pride leads to concentration on our rights instead of our responsibilities. Are you looking at how your rights have been violated instead of looking at how you can be responsible and accountable to God?
- Pride produces hardness of heart. Are you insensitive to the needs of others? The first sign of pride is when we begin to withhold love from others.
- Pride produces a lack of forgiveness. “Why should I forgive them? They hurt me!” Have you ever said or thought that?
- Pride produces self-pity. Self-pity is a bottomless pit; it’s never satisfied. Many times we fall into self-pity because we violate the scripture that tells us not to compare ourselves with each other.
II Corinthians 10:12. We don’t dare class or compare ourselves with some of the people who advertise themselves. In measuring themselves against each other and comparing themselves with each other, they are simply stupid.
- Pride produces fear of man. Are you more concerned with what people think than what God thinks? There are usually two causes; One, we haven’t seen the greatness of God for the situation; Two, our focus is on ourselves rather than God.
- Pride produces an un-teachable spirit. How long does it take you to repent when conviction has been brought by the Ruach HaKodesh? If it takes a long time there’s more work the Ruach needs to do in your life concerning pride.
- Pride prefers selfish interests over other’s needs. What are your interests or motivations?
- Pride will not admit mistakes. Do you say; “I’m always right?” Do you blame others and excuse yourself!
- Pride leads us to rely on our own wisdom and understanding. It brings about an inability to see clearly, to think things through, and to hear the Word of the Lord. If pride has a place in your heart you will misunderstand what God is saying. Are you having that problem?
- Pride produces an independent or non-submissive spirit that leads us to adhere to the letter of the law, neglecting the spirit of the law. Are you in this category?
- Pride responds with judgment, slander, and criticism – sometimes speaking the truth to someone who doesn’t have a right to or a need to know. Do you do that?
- Pride produces discontentment. Are you discontent with where God led you and the people, He has put you with? Are you always wanting to go somewhere else and doing something else? God has led you to where you’re at until you are content with where He’s led you; stop looking somewhere else. God does not authorize spiritual butterflies or spiritual bumblebees.
- Pride makes excuses before it begins. If the Ruach Elohim (Spirit of God) is going to receive the glory in and through your life, don’t make excuses that rob the Ruach Elohim (Spirit of God) from receiving any glory. Just be quiet and do what you’ve been told to do. Are you making excuses?
- Pride produces insecurity and low self-esteem. The way you can become the center of attention is by concentrating on your insecurity and your low self-esteem. You require validation. When we understand who we are in Him it puts our lives in proper perspective and insecurity is removed. Who are you in God?
- Pride is envious and jealous. Do you not rejoice with others blessings but rather concentrate on why you weren’t blessed. Pride is the heart of selfishness.
- Pride creates disloyalty and undermines authority. It is Absalom meeting people when they come out from David; He hugs and kisses them and says, “Oh, poor David doesn’t understand; If I were king this is how I would have handled your situation.” Have you been guilty of undermining authority because of pride?
- Pride is ungrateful. Are things never quite good enough?
- Pride concentrates on what has not been done. “I’ve never been invited to their home. They’ve never had me for dinner.” Stop concentrating on yourself. Have you ever invited them for a meal? Have you invited them for thirty meals?
There are no easy ways to stop PRIDE from operating in our lives. The influence of Pride is in every level of Society, the world thrives on it. A commitment to change and keeping to the commitment is how we begin.
Habakkuk 2:4. “Look at the proud: he is inwardly not upright; but the righteous will attain life through trusting faithfulness
James 4:6. But the grace he gives is greater, which is why it says, “God opposes the arrogant, but to the humble he gives grace.”
As we are preparing for the Feast Days next month, I pray that we all look inward to rid ourselves of all sin that we may come before the Lord with cleans hands and a pure heart!
Rabbi Eric S Carlson