Devotional written by Bethany
The other day, thoughts were playing through my mind of how I would feel and what people would say if I was the best at something. I wanted to be noticed and have attention. I wanted to hear the praise of man. I wanted to be thought of as special and awesome, even more special and awesome than everyone else. And then, thankfully, the Holy Spirit interrupted me like a PBS commercial: “We interrupt your thoughts to bring you this important warning!” A warning that I was heading down a path of pride that I should take immediate action to bring under subjection before I ended up in a fall.
Pride is just like every other sin in the sense that it feels good in the moment, but afterwards, there are repercussions. Even if the repercussions are guilt and condemnation, those things weigh heavy on the heart and lead us to even more wrong doing. And we have to ask ourselves, “Was that act or thought really worth it?”
If anyone had the right to exalt Himself because He’s awesome, Jesus did. He could have said, You don’t know what you’re talking about. I was THERE when the earth was created. I have all power and authority over all things and you should just bow down to Me.” And He would have been right. Every word He spoke had power to change lives. He had, and still has the power to heal anyone, anywhere at any time. He could have walked up to someone and told them every thought they were thinking and what their future would be. He most certainly could have paraded Himself around like the King of Kings that He is and not have any reason to apologize for it.
But, He didn’t. Wow! What self-control He had to submit His authority over all things into the will of His Father. For what? Why would He DO that?! For you. For me. For the Father. Love was the reason He left His throne. Love was the reason He chose humility. Love was the reason He gave His life. Love was the reason He obeyed and only did what the Father willed for Him to do. And love was the reason He returned to the throne and is preparing a place for us who believe.
1 Corinthians 13:1- Love is not proud, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking…..”
So is love the antidote for pride? Perhaps love is the antidote for all sins. If we love God, we hate sin. If we love our neighbor or even our enemy, we walk with humility preferring them above ourselves and boy does that hurt our pride. For sure it doesn’t come naturally to love like Jesus does, nor to obey, nor to humble ourselves when everything in us is screaming for attention and glory. But boy is it worth it when, by the grace of God, we make that choice to let go and let God take the throne of our hearts. He says that He exalts the humble but the proud will be brought low. (1 Peter 5:6, Matthew 23:12). When He is the One exalting us, we don’t feel the shame, guilt and condemnation that often comes when we exalt ourselves.
So how then do we overcome? By first agreeing with God. “If we confess our sins, He is Faithful and Just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. -1 John 1:9. If we recognize the sin, and confess it AS sin before God our Father, we agree with God that what we thought, said or did is wrong and that we are in need of His forgiveness. That is certainly the first step in the opposite direction of pride. Then, if we agree with God that we are in need of and are willing to receive His forgiveness, we can be healed, get up, and keep going forward. Because, ‘ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”. We are not alone in our struggle with sin. Like a worldwide plague, everyone has it. But we are not supposed to set up camp in our sin. We are called to be victorious through Jesus our Messiah and in turn, help rescue those who are struggling in their sin and can’t find their way out.
So if you find yourself riddled with guilt from sin or the feeling of, “I can’t – It’s too hard to get out – I’ve tried and failed too many times,” STAND UP. You are not the exception to the rule. Jesus did not make a way for everyone else except you to be healed. His blood is powerful over ALL the works of the enemy. He bore your sin and mine on Himself and by His stripes, we are healed. He gave us His Holy Spirit and His word to overcome every sin and every weapon formed against us by our enemy. Remember who sits on the throne: Jesus. Today is a new day. You and I have another opportunity to get up and go forward because of all that He is and all that He’s done.
If you would like prayer from a trained and trusted believer for any sin that you are struggling to overcome, you can contact the CBN call center. You don’t have to hide and face your struggle alone. Today is the day for freedom.
May God bless you with His Holy Spirit who convicts us of sin and leads us into the truth that sets us free. Hallelujah!