As I promised, here I am with my post on my Bible Study; Breaking Free by Beth Moore, Week 1. PRIDE.
The dictionary defines pride:
The bible says this about pride;
I hate pride and arrogance,
evil behavior and perverse speech.
17 The arrogance of man will be brought low
and human pride humbled;
the Lord alone will be exalted in that day,
“A christian is held captive by anything that hinders the abundant and effective spirit-filled life God planned for her.”
Freedom in Christ
5 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Most of the time I think of pride as flaunting success or accomplishments. Walking with noses in the air around those we may think less of. Thinking we’re better than others.
But do we ever stop to think, that our anxiety over our appearance or our employment, our homes, what people think of us could possibly be pride?
These attitudes and behaviors I try very hard NOT to do. I am human after all and I catch myself on occasion doing those very things.
Luckily, the Lord checks my heart and I repent from my sin. I am grateful for the Holy Spirit for guiding me this way.
The first week of my bible study, Breaking Free is about the pride of certain kings from the Old Testament. Kings that did great things in the eyes of the Lord, but later succumbed to pride because of those great acts.
One of the kings that I learned about this week is Uzziah. He was a mighty king. He won all his battles, he was popular with all the people, and he served the Lord.
But pride entered because he became so powerful and he made a fateful decision. He entered the the temple to burn incense on the alter of incense. A job designed only for Levi priests.
Unfortunately for King Uzziah, God inflicted him with leprosy and he lived and died alone. The people only remembered him for his illness. Such a sad tale about a great and mighty man of God. You can read about his reign in 2 Chronicles 26.
When King Uzziah died, his son Jotham took the throne. He too was a great king. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. He won his battles and fortified the cities, but the people didn’t follow his example.
His power made him prideful. The people were wicked in the eyes of the Lord. Jotham did nothing to fix that. In 2 Kings 15, there’s a little nugget of information regarding the hearts of the people.
2 Kings 15:32-35
Jotham King of Judah
32 In the second year of Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel, Jotham son of Uzziah king of Judah began to reign.33 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. His mother’s name was Jerusha daughter of Zadok.34 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Uzziah had done.35 The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there. Jotham rebuilt the Upper Gate of the temple of the Lord. (bold and italics added by me)
And that’s where Jotham went wrong!
The last king I want to share with you is King Hezekiah. After Jotham came king Ahaz. He was evil and didn’t serve the Lord. But his son Hezekiah became king after him.
Hezekiah was another great leader for the Lord. He was successful and prosperous AND he removed all the alters and high places build to worship idols. The hearts of the people returned to the Lord their God because of this great king. You can read about him in 2 Chronicles 29-31.
One interesting thing about Kind Hezekiah is even though he did was right in the eyes of the Lord, he was attacked by strong kings that struck fear into him. He and the prophet Isaiah cried out to the Lord. The Lord saved them, but their fear was real and powerful.
The other thing about this king that walked humbly with the Lord, is in Isaiah 38.
38 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”
2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord,3 “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Even with his heart toward the Lord in all things, he still became ill. Ill to the point of death.
Now to be honest, God did hear his cry and he was spared another 15 or so years, but doesn’t that sound like so many people? Good, strong believers getting ill and we loose them way to early?
King Hezekiah was young. His whole life was still ahead of him. He was so sad he would not see his fellow man any longer. You can read more about that in Isaiah 38.
The last day of the week in this study was about Christ and His desire to set the captive free.
When we become believers in Jesus as our Lord and savior, we become a temple to the Holy Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:17 says;
2 Corinthians 3:17
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (bold added by me)
If we are temple of the Holy Spirit and the Spirit is the Lord, then of course it stands to reason that we are meant to be free. Free from the bondage and captivity of PRIDE.
18 Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.
With all that I’ve read this week on things kings of old, I find this verse to be quite accurate.
How can we keep ourselves from being captive to pride? We must keep our minds and our hearts focused on Christ. When we see prideful behavior in our lives we immediately pray and seek Jesus and his grace to change.
It won’t be an overnight change, but if we are diligent there will be change. It is up to us.
Lord, open the eyes of my heart. Help me to see any wicked way in me. Show me Lord where I am prideful and help me to walk far from it!
What are some areas in your life where you see you may be prideful? What steps can you take this week to walk far from pride?
I pray you are successful in leaving pride far behind you.