Luke 10:17-24 Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
The seventy had done some amazing things under the authority of Jesus and Jesus is warning them, less they grow prideful, to keep their eyes on what’s important. None of what they had done was because of who they were, rather it was because of Who Jesus was … They had ministered in the name of Jesus. Pride is a sin that leads to more sin … Satan grew prideful and was cast down from heaven … It was his downfall so to speak (see Isaiah 14:13-14). Pride is a sin that Jesus equated with murder, lewdness, and blasphemy … among many others.
Mark 7:20–22 And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.
It is very easy to grow prideful … Even in regards to serving the Lord … Because it’s very easy to say “Look what I did” or “Look what I can do” in seeking or accepting the praise of people. The church (The Body of Christ) cannot exist in pride, but works in it’s fullest potential when we all look to each other, realizing the value of each believer, and start to thank God for them. Pride, more than anything else, is destroying the Church of today. There are Pastors out there that seek to build a name for themselves. There are church leaders that seek to build a ministry for themselves. There are laypeople in the church that want to be served rather than serve others. John the Baptist, who Jesus called the greatest prophet, said:
John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
It is through Jesus that the disciples and the seventy had power and the same holds for you and I. Pride is deceptive … subtle and devious … Lurking about in our attitude, leading you to believe you are sufficient of yourself. Pride is destructive … because pride has led you to believe that you are self sufficient, there is no fear of consequences. Pride is punished … God will not allow His people to continue in pride.
So how do you avoid growing prideful? Well, here’s a few suggestions:
- Maintain a kingdom perspective.
- Rejoice in the Lord.
- Make a habit of turning praise up to the Lord.
You can maintain a Kingdom Perspective by immersing yourself in the things of the Lord … Prayer and Bible Study … Church and Serving Others … Sharing the Gospel. You can rejoice in the Lord by looking to Him for your joy rather than seeking joy in worldly pleasures. You can turn the praise up to God by responding to praise with “Praise the Lord.” When someone says, “Great Job” or “You are so good at …” answer them with “Praise the Lord.” I guess you’ve noticed that all three of these things require self discipline … You have to develop a habit of doing them because what comes naturally is to receive praise … But to redirect praise to the One who truly deserves it … That has to be intentional.
Psalm 150:2 Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!