The Man-Eating Power of Pride

Fri, Apr 27, 2012
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The Man-Eating Power of Pride

 
Muhammed Ali had an ego like an elephant. "I should have been a postage stamp, because that is the only way I'm gonna get licked." "
 
Prov 16:18; 29:23
God and life have a way of beating out pride. Pride, by it's very nature, separates man from man. But it also separates man from God. It contests God's right to rule. It has turned pastors into popes and angels into devils. It has sent… countries into war and souls into hell.
2Thess 2:3-12
 
Two things about pride:
  1. Pride was the 1st sin. Ryle, "Sin is the oldest sin in the world." It was pride that made the devil the devil. It was pride that brought the fall. Gen 3:5. They wanted to be like God. Pride was God's first enemy. It is in category all its own. It's not just a sin. In some sense, it is the very definition of sin. It is the dethroning of God.
  2. It is the 1st of many sins. It gives way to many other sins. Pride leads to anger, envy, and many more.
This Friday night I want to remind you to fear it and to fight it.
Martin Luther, "I am more afraid of Pope Self than the Roman Pope and all his cardinals."
 
King Uzziah: His Rise and His Demise
His name appropriately means, "Yahweh is my strength." God made him to prosper. You can see that in the first part of the chapter. He began to reign in 791? B.C. His reign, math tells us, overlaps his father's reign.
But then in verse 16 the text takes a turn for the worst.
2Chr. 26:16   But when  he was strong,  he grew proud, to his destruction.
Uzziah becomes swollen with pride and haughtiness. He saw things as gotten, not given.
Here's a man that started so well, and finished so badly. "Lord, keep my alive until I'm dead."
 
Four things that contributed to Uzziah's fall:
  1. There was a lack of separation towards God. He did not set himself to seek God. Pride is trying to live without God. It is us allowing others to substitute for God, or self to substitute for God. Every day, we must be "shipwrecked on God and stranded on omnipotence." But Uzziah wasn't that. Notice verse 5, He set himself to seek God  in the days of Zechariah. The implication is that in the days after Zechariah, Uzziah did not set himself to seek God. Perhaps his dependence on this man was too great. This reminds us that the true pastor leaves people hanging on God. The real test of a man's ministry is after he's gone.
  2. The was a lack of supplication towards God. He was prayer-less. Again in verse 5, as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper. Pride isn't fostered by prayer. Humility is fostered by prayer. The word translated "seek" is used in the OT for one who seeks God's blessing. Prayer is one of the best means to show our dependence on God. It builds a fence around our heart and protects us from pride. Prayer puts God in His place and puts us in our place. Prayer makes God big and our self small. We must master it, because if we do not, we leave ourselves open to pride and we send a message to God that we can handle life on our own. That is not only ridiculous to God, it is offensive. John 15:5 says, for apart from me you can do nothing. Prayerlessness is the worst of all since, because it shows our lack of dependence on God and says, "I don't need You, God."
  3. There is a lack of submission towards God. This is taking us to the very root of the story and Uzziah's heart. Verse 16, For he was unfaithful to the LORD his God and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. This was a violation of Numbers 18:7. He thinks he can come before God on his own terms. He should have known better, from Saul's life. When the priests confronted him, he came to a point of boiling over, like a 2-year-old at Safeway. "Who are you to tell me what to do?" Perhaps the most dangerous moment when you sin is not when you sin, but when you know you have sinned and you don't do anything about it. Pride often steps in when we overstep the bounds of what we are supposed to do. There are divisions of authority, labor, service, and God doesn't call us to fill every role. It is the proud man that doesn't live within those limitations. He exceeds those boundaries. Do you know what your boundaries are? Where your spheres of service are?
  4. There is a lack of satisfaction towards God. Pride always results in ingratitude and self-satisfaction. Psalm 103, Bless the Lord or my soul. When we fail to recognize God in our successes, they become no better than our failures.
Alex Heely(sp?). Turtle on top of a fence post. When you see a turtle on top of a fence post, you know you didn't get there by itself. Standing behind every one of us is a great and powerful God that upholds us and makes us strong.
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