The ‘I’ In Pride Part Two

Yesterday as I continued my reading in Luke, the Holy Spirit dropped another book into my heart. DeFlating Pride: being led by the Holy Spirit. It came as I was stopped at this verse.


Luke 12:15 says, “…Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”


What is the sin of pride? Acting independent of God because we think we know. The truth is that we know nothing. The Lord is All Knowing, therefore what He imparts to us we can know experientially. Here is the insight He showed me yesterday.


Galatians 5:16 says, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.” This is our KEY. I would like you to picture this:


In your left hand is a magnet that represents your flesh. In your right hand is a magnet that represents the Holy Spirit. When these two repel each other there is a magnetic force that does not allow them to connect.

Now slowly turn your left hand magnet around and it instantly is pulled into submission to the right hand magnet. The magnetic force is broken.


When we SUBMIT our flesh to the Holy Spirit, we walk in Him unhindered. Luke 12:21 followed the parable of the rich man who thought his life was secure because of the things he had laid up for himself. It says, “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

Our riches in God are eternal. What are you laying up that is imperishable? Certainly nothing in this world system! We are saved by the riches of His grace, and we walk in those riches as we follow the Holy Spirit.

The ‘I’ In PrIde

PrIde is subtle. It sneaks in to assert its influence on our flesh. PrIde blocks the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:16 says that our flesh opposes the Holy Spirit.


The Amplified aptly describes it. It says, “But I say, walk and live (habitually) in the (Holy) Spirit (responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit); then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).”


I would like you to picture two magnets repelling each other. You cannot bring them together. That is how our flesh and the Holy Spirit are–opposing one another.


Paul asked the Galatians several questions. Galatians 3:1 says, “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?”


Verse 3 says, “Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?”


Our flesh is our old nature. Romans 6:6 says, “Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sIn might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sIn.”


Notice that the ‘I’ is in the middle of sIn. PrIde is sIn. In other words, self is the center of attention. IF we are not open and sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, then prIde will drag us around in the fleshly dumps to tarnish our reflection of Jesus.

DeFlating Pride Part Two

We know from 1 Corinthians 8:1 that knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. Verse 2 says, “And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.”


Philippians 2:3 says, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”


When pride rises up within us, we need to bow low. Pride is a mindset that is poured into the mould of SELF. The world system is geared to self. Romans 12:2 J B Phillips says, “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within…”


Spiritual freedom is a mind-set-on-Christ that overcomes all temptation to rise up in pride. Philippians 2:5 says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Verse 8 says, “…He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”


Disobedience is rooted in pride. We obey the Lord through a heart of submission in a posture of humility. Ephesians 4:1-2 says, “…walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love.”

In summary, here are words that describe humility from the above verses: edify, esteem, obedience, submission, lowliness, gentleness, longsuffering, and love.


Consider these when you are tempted to answer someone or act out in pride. They all exhibit the character of Christ.

DeFlating Pride

Years ago I used to stop once in a while to visit an aquarium store. One of my favorites was the puffer fish. It looked normal until I put my hand near the glass. It would instantly puff up.


Hidden pride is like that. When someone gets near our hidden emotional pain, we puff up in pride to ward them off. It is all an unconscious reaction.


God’s way is the truth. Therefore any lie opposes His way. James 4:6 says that God resists the proud. Believing that our emotional pain is buried is a lie based in pride. We think we know when we don’t. It may be hidden in our unconscious, but it expresses itself in prideful ways.


Any over reaction is a tell tale sign that someone just exposed your hidden emotional pain. Actually that is great news! In that moment the Lord is giving you a glimpse into what He always sees.


Picture an inflated balloon. Now stick a pin in it and watch it instantly deflate. That is what happens when we confess our sin of pride. It deflates and His grace is there to help us release what He has just exposed. The last part of verse 6 says, “…but gives grace to the humble.”

Proverbs 8:13 says, “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.” Do you hate your pride? Pride leans on its own understanding. Trust leans on the Lord.

Pressing Through Emotional Pain Part Two

Paul is a great example for us. Philippians 3:12-14 used the word ‘press’ two times. Here is his forward stance. Verse 13-14 says, “…this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I PRESS toward the goal…”


The wording is like a trapeze artist. The motion is fluid from the first bar to the oncoming bar. They don’t even think of looking back. Their focus is always forward.


The forgetting is the empowerment to reach. Emotional pain, even if it happened yesterday, is now the past. You have passed from it and are in the present.


Our past is only in our mind. We cannot go back to it. It is like the first bar. In order to grasp the oncoming bar, the trapeze artist has to let go of the first.


Holding onto the past is the old wineskin. Luke 5:37 says, “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined.”


Verse 38 says that new wine, or revelational insight, must be put into new wineskins, or the good works the Lord has called you to walk in now, so they are both preserved.


What are you holding onto from your past that is impeding your forward motion? Pressing through requires a new mindset. It is a total recognition that the old is passed. There is no room for the past in the present.

Pressing Through Emotional Pain

I have always loved this story in Luke 7:36-50. The woman was characterized as a sinner. Commentators say that she was a prostitute. I cannot imagine her emotional pain. Yet, when she knew that Jesus was in the house, she didn’t let her shameful past stop her from serving Him.


Verse 37-38 says, “…she…brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.”


Verse 47 says, “Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”


We are to forgive AS we have been forgiven. A non-forgiving heart reveals one that is deficient in love, and wholehearted worship. We are forgiven all of our sins because Jesus loves us much. He laid down His life for us. He bore the wrath of His Father because of our sins.


I encourage you to live in the present truth that you are so loved. It doesn’t matter what has happened to you. You can still worship from a wounded heart. Hebrews 13:15 says, “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” May our lives be characterized by a worshipping heart.

Emotional Clutter Part Two

Here is another verse to consider. Psalm 141:7 says, “Our bones are scattered at the mouth of the grave, as when one plows and breaks up the earth.” Plowing reveals the hidden.


Luke 9:61-62 says, “…Lord, I will follow You, but…Jesus said to him, No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”


Emotional clutter gives us a ‘but’ of reluctance. There is always an excuse of why we don’t do something to break free and move forward. Here are two examples. Buried emotional pain from abuse may have these characteristics: fear of man, lack of trust, self-rejection, pretense, or a victim mentality.


Buried emotional pain from pronouncements spoken over you may have these characteristics. You see yourself as a failure, no initiative, afraid, procrastinate, or you observe but don’t participate.


Whatever is buried will surface unexpectedly. It unknowingly feeds into your thought processes. You only see yourself through the eyes of your past. Let’s look at Elisha as a great example of casting off his past.


The Lord told Elijah to anoint Elisha as a prophet in his place. 1 Kings 19:19-21 is the account. Elisha was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen. Watch what he does. Verse 21 says, “So Elisha turned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen and slaughtered them and boiled their flesh, using the oxen’s equipment, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and followed Elijah, and became his servant.”

Elisha burned everything that represented his past and followed Elijah into the ministry the Lord had prepared for him. Let us acknowledge our sinful characteristics and forsake them. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know exactly what you have buried. The Lord does. He will reveal it in His timing. Be intentional in the present.

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Defining Emotional Clutter

I like to visit the book of Haggai often. It helps hone my perspective. Haggai 1:7 says, “…Consider your ways!” Verse 9 says, “…I blew it away. Why?…Because My house that is in ruins…” Verse 14 says that the Spirit of the Lord stirred up the people. May these posts ‘stir you up’ to consider your emotional clutter.

I like to ask myself the same question as Haggai 2:19. It says, “Is the seed still in the barn?…” Am I doing all that the Lord has preordained for me to do? Am I holding back because of something buried in my unconscious?


When we use the words like ‘big clods’ in reference to emotional pain, then the seed is blocked from maturing. Though it was sown, it cannot bear fruit. Mark 4:26-29 is the parable of growing seed. The farmer plants the seed. It says, “…the seed should sprout and grow…first the blade, then the head, then the full grain in the head.”


When we bury our emotional pain, it is sin. James 4:17 says, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” Romans 14:23 says, “…whatever is not of faith is sin.”


Faith is trust in One who is trustworthy. Buried emotional pain is sin when we don’t trust the Lord, we stay bound though He offers freedom, and we use it to define our lives.


I would encourage you to take your emotional pain before the Lord. Acknowledge that you have sinned against Him, embrace His way through release, and walk daily in your freedom by continually renewing your mind.

3 D’s Of Clutter

Distracting

Disturbing

Disorganized

I like to remember where I put things. I was shocked one time when I found my keys sitting on the top shelf on my refrigerator! How did they get THERE?


It was a very stressful time in my life. I was taking care of my dad. He had entered the part of dementia where he lost his ability to reason. Being an only child, and no children of my own, it was uncharted territory.


All three of the ‘D’s’ kept me from clear mental focus. Here are three unchanging truths:


We are made in the image of God

We have the mind of Christ

He has all wisdom and knowledge


Mental clutter blocks our ability to focus. It also disrupts creative wisdom. Proverbs 3:19 says, “The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens.”


Mental clutter blocks our sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Isaiah 30:21 says, “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it, whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.”


Mental clutter is noisy and blocks His still small voice. 1 Kings 19:11-12 is the account of Elijah on the mountain. The Lord passed by but He was not in the powerful rock breaking wind, earthquake, or fire. Verse 12 says it was a still small voice.

Job 26:14 says, “Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways, and how small a whisper we hear of Him! But the thunder of His power who can understand?”


It is time to put away our cluttered minds, and walk in His daily provision for us. All we need is found in His word which will bring order to our thoughts. It is full of wisdom and insights to help us navigate through our mental clutter to freedom.