The inspired apostle Paul wrote, "That no advantage may be gained over us by Satan: for we are not ignorant of his devices" (2 Cor. 2:11). The devil has many conning avenues of enticement -- "devices" -- to draw men away from the course of godliness. Yet, I believe there is one lure used by the arch-enemy of our spirits that is, by far, his most effective tool in working against the Lord. It is mentioned in scores of Bible passages. We shall, however, use this one as our pivotal text:
"Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud; for Jehovah hath spoken. Give glory to Jehovah your God, before He cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, He turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness. But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because Jehovah's flock is taken captive" (Jer. 13:15-17).
The prophet is simply telling Judah that pride is the gateway into Babylonian Captivity for them. It is still the best and most complete road to hell! Pride will send millions to perdition. In many ways pride and meekness are the antitheses of each other. The longer I try to live the Christian life and preach the gospel of Christ, the more it seems to me that pride is the number one tool of "the deceiver of the whole world" (Rev. 12:9).
Solomon wrote that "pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall" (Prov. 16:18). Paul warned, "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall" (1 Cor. 10:12). And Jesus taught that those who humbled themselves would be exalted in the Father's sight (Lk. 14:11). Again, the Bible says, "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up" (Jas. 4:10). The apostle John describes the three principle ways that Satan tempts us, "The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life" (1 Jno. 2:16). Yes, pride is certainly a most effective and universal asset for the devil as well as a liability to mankind. Notice what pride will do:
Pride Will Keep Sinners Unsaved: -- There are thousands of individuals who have been taught the truth, who nonetheless have not obeyed it. There are hundreds who know what they should do to please God, and yet they will not do it. Both of these tragic dilemmas have a common source -- pride! The four most difficult words for humanity to utter are these: "I am a sinner." The love of power and position, produced by a lack of humility before God, was the downfall of Felix, Agrippa and Pilate. It will continue to plague mankind as long as pride holds the paramount place in the work of Satan. This very factor led to the rejection of Jesus by the Jewish nation. And it causes many people to "crucify the Son of God afresh" today (Heb. 6:6).
Pride Causes Strife Among Brethren: -- Anyone who has had very much experience among members of the church realizes that old Diotrephes (3 Jno. 9) still has a few relatives with us today. Some brethren still "love to have the preeminence." Striving for position and fame in the kingdom of God was not reserved for James and John alone (Matt. 20:20,21). Some preachers just cannot get along with other preachers because of jealousy and envy. Who would deny that selfishness, jealousy and pride are all wrapped in the same package by the keeper of hell? Too many congregations have been torn asunder by personality clashes and self-appointed leaders. this is due to the vanity of immature people. Human pride dooms many souls!
By Johnny Ramsey in Gospel Minutes, Vol. 55, No. 2, Jan. 13, 2006.
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