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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

You Gotta Swallow Your Pride If You Want to Eat at God's Table

You've gone to church and heard the preacher say that God loves you. 

"Amen!" is your hearty reply.

He says that God has great plans for you.

"Amen! Amen!" you repeat.

He tells you that God has blessings for you.

"Where's mine?" you ask in anguish.

Many Christians are being attacked by the devil right now. He has asked God for permission to test and try them. They have been faithfully serving the Lord but seem to be forgotten by Him. They live the story of Job in a modern day setting.

However, this is not the reason that the majority of Christians are missing God's blessings. They have something which gets in the way of the life that God wants to pour into them. This obstruction is the same thing that got God's greatest angel thrown out of heaven. It is the same thing that caused Nebuchadnezzar to build a golden statue of himself. He would see himself as more majestic than God and be driven out of his palace by a madness which would cause him to act like an animal.

This nasty trait which hardly anyone recognizes in themselves is pride. It keeps more blessings from God's people than anything else. 

God does not leave the proud alone. He opposes the proud. The proud claim their own greatness. They have an expectation of what life should be which honors them. They believe that they can do things themselves without help. They believe others should recognize who they are. They believe that others should tell them how good they are.  And heaven forbid when anyone doesn't meet these expectations. 

Yet, God remains unimpressed. He does not share His glory with anyone. He is the Almighty and there is none other like Him. His blessings are reserved for the humble.

Some people will respond to God's discipline. (I don't believe He bothers to discipline those who are so obstinate that they will not be changed. I don't believe He saves those who will not receive Him. It takes humility to be saved.) So, out of His great love, He brings those whom He loves to humility. He humbles them so that He can bless them for as long as they are full of themselves, they cannot be full of Him.

You may be in the middle of a humbling time in your life. You may be without a job and worried about your financial future. You may be at the end of your rope in many other areas of your life. You will not receive the blessings that God has for you as long as you hang onto your pride.

Humility says that you need help. It says that you can't do it alone. It says that God is your Lord and you will be obedient. It says that you will trust in Him. Humility takes the pressure off. Pride puts all the pressure on you. 

Wouldn't you rather live in God's blessings rather than your own earnings?

Daniel 4:34-37 (ESV)
34 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;
35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”
36 At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me.
37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

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