I’m on campus in Charlotte, North Carolina attending classes at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary this week. One of the things I love about attending classes, particularly on the weekends, is beginning classes with our Friday evening chapel services. Normally, we begin chapel with songs of worship.
Sometimes we sing one of the favorite hymns, “Come Thou Fount of Blessings.” The last stanza reigns true in our lives:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for thy courts above.
We are all prone to wander, aren’t we? We are tempted on every side and around every corner. We are sometimes tempted to think that we are “above” or have grown “beyond” a particular sin. We must remember that this is not the case with pride! On this side of Heaven, we are never beyond pride and we should never to think that pride has no affect on us.
Take a look at this passage:
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it (1 Cor. 10:13 [NIV]).”
The bad news is: Pride is common to all humans.
The good news is: God is faithful and he will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear.
The promise of God is: When (not if) we are tempted to sin (even in the area of pride), God himself will provide a way out (an avoidance) so that we can stand against this scheme of the evil one and bear up under or suffer through the temptation.
The promises from last week reminder us that: God gives us grace to bear up under the temptation of pride. When we denounce the sin of our own pride, we are agreeing with God and taking his way of escape. Additionally, repentance means that we are intentional about going in a different direction which leads to more righteous living.
C. J. Mahaney uses Part III of the book, Humility, to discuss “Our Great Pursuit: The Practice of True Humility.” In Chapter 5, he gives us a reminder and warning:
“Sin—including especially the sin of pride—is active not passive. Sin doesn’t wake up tired, because it hasn’t been sleeping. When you wake up in the morning, sin is right there, fully awake ready to attack. So rather than be attacked by sin in the morning, I’ve chosen to go on the offensive. I’ve chosen to announce to sin, ‘I’m at war with you. I know you’re there, and I’m after you.” From the moment I awake, I’ve learned to make statements to God about my dependence upon God, and in this way I’m humbling myself before God. This is simply a strategy for taking control of the thoughts we allow in our mind (69).”
As a result, he impresses upon us to make a list. “You should be purposeful about this. Each day you should be planning the defeat of your greatest enemy and cultivating your greatest friend (65).” He recommends:
- Reflecting on the Wonder of the Cross (pg 65-68),
- “Begin your day acknowledging Your Need For God (pg 68),”
- “Begin Your Day Expressing Gratitude to God (pg 70),”
- “Practice Spiritual Disciplines (pg 72)” beginning with prayer, Bible study, and worship,
- “Memorize and Meditate on Scripture (pg 73).
Are there ways you intentionally stand to escape the temptation of pride?
© Natasha Sistrunk Robinson 2013