Good morning Friends,
I trust you had an exciting weekend. By God’s Grace, we shall continue on the series on the Book of Daniel which we started since August 13, some 3 months ago. It’s been a great one I believe. The Book of Daniel has been particularly instructive with respect to developing the kind of excellent spirit that was upon Daniel and being able to remain relevant even in the most ungodly environment.
What we will be sharing on today is a lesson taught us by the King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 3. It is the popular story of Shedrack, Meshack and Abednego and how they defied the King in bowing to the graven image he had set up for the people’s worship. He had commanded everyone to bow before it and pay obeisance, failure to do so automatically guaranteed death by barbeque… I’m sure you understand.
There are a few ways we could glean from this very interesting passage of scriptures, but today we will be focusing on the villain in all of these… King Nebuchadnezzar. It’s a really long chapter so I encourage us to read through for a refresh. The King as I mentioned in one of the previous posts made an image of himself and not of some god. He attached his identity to that image and that was why he was livid at anyone who failed to bow the knee to it. He took it much more personal that he would have taken it had it been a god’s image.
The King exhibited exactly what the devil demonstrated in the beginning that got him out of heaven; PRIDE. So, in the next few points, I will be explaining pride using its letters and I do hope it blesses your heart indeed;
1. Performance Pressure: Pride puts the pressure of performance on its host/victim. If you’re gifted, you’re gifted, simply wait for the opportunity to demonstrate God’s grace without necessarily jostling for it. Pride keeps putting the pressure of performance on its host. King Nebuchadnezzar was already the most powerful King in the world, he really didn’t have to do what he did, but again, like earlier stated, pride keeps putting its host under the pressure of performance. That is what humility will never do. Jesus came quietly to a peasant couple, was visited by a few shepherds and wise men at birth and even when He resurrected and was about to ascend, He selected those He would show Himself to, they were people who already believed in Him before His death. A proud person would have thought of making a point to Pilate or tormenting the soldier who teased him to prophesy while He was on the cross. Humility does not put that pressure of performance like pride does. Once you begin to feel like “I must do this so that people will know …” then watch it, pride is around the corner.
2. Robust Ego: When pride is active in a person, he/she develops a robust ego. An over bloated estimation of his/her capacity and relative importance compared to others. Your ego is revealed in your echo. What that means simply is that ultimately, your ego will show up in your speech and attitude. You will begin to talk unadvisedly to elders, begin to heighten your own importance and relevance with your own mouth and begin to literally say what you would never have been caught saying some seasons back. This pushed Saul to carry out a sacrifice he had no business with, the pride in him thought, ‘But I’m also an anointed King, I should also be able to make this sacrifice” Pride just begins to smother your ego and makes it inflated until it begins to wonder into prohibited regions and high-risk areas. “You’re better than your president you know? What does he know that you don’t know? What is that lady doing as Music Director when you’re here? Haven’t you noticed you quote scriptures better than your Pastor? Can’t you see how people respect you more than your Coordinator? You should be the leader around here, not him…” These are some of the kinds of thoughts that pride begins to suggest to your heart to enlarge your ego and sense of worth which is ultimately false. This then leads to;
3. Internal Delusion: You actually begin to believe that you’re indeed better than everybody else and you literally deserve some high level of attention, reverence and fear… in some cases like that of King Nebu, you begin to desire worship. People were already subject to him, they did all he asked them to do, but he wanted to have something beyond their actions and obedience, he wanted their hearts. That was because he was already self-deluded by the false suggestions the enemy posed to him. The enemy must have told him things like “You’re the greatest human to have ever lived, see all you have done, there is no-one like you” he believed it and got deluded in his own mind. Then he was so compelled to project an image of himself, high, wide and big enough for everyone to see. The image was to be a representation of his might, power and authority. That project was the end product of an Internal Delusion that had taken place.
4. Dangerous Terrains: This delusion then begins to make you veer into very dangerous terrains where God does not joke with. If you want to be proud, be proud with things that don’t have much to do with God and you’d be safe but once you begin to walk around the supernatural current of God without care or caution, you may get roasted. He indeed is a consuming fire. The makers of Titanic said things like “Even God cannot sink it…” they crossed the line right there and eventually, the tiniest of icebergs was responsible for its wreckage. Once Herod got into this zone and began to arrogate credit which belonged to God to himself, he got eaten up by worms immediately. You don’t joke with God’s glory and stay cute. Stay in the safe zones through humility and meekness.
5. Extermination: The end of all extended periods of stubborn pride is extermination. There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Pride is such a subtle sin that we need to constantly pray for Grace to detect and immediately repent of and overcome. We sometimes don’t even notice when it creeps in. Absalom is a classic example of these progression. Death was his ultimate end. Hamman is another example. He was so completely overcome by the belief that he was superior to the Jews and demanded their reverence. Modecai would not even as much as bath an eye lid when Haman passed by. Hamman continued his conspiracy and continued until he ended up in the gallows he prepared for Modecai.
Proverbs 16:25 (KJV) There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Friends, there is nothing attractive about pride because in the end, it is full of regrets.
Eliminate pride from your life today by the help of the Holy Spirit and let Him replace it with Humility, Meekness, a Gentle and a Quiet spirit which the Bible says is of a great price to the Lord.
1 Peter 3:4 (KJV) But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
God bless your heart. Have a fruitful week ahead.