by Jan Silvious
When was the last time you acknowledged that every material blessing you have is from God? When did you last thank Him for your job? When did you last give Him credit for the work that is being done in your church? Have you recently examined yourself to determine whether or not there is any hidden pride and that you must humble yourself before God takes things into His own hands?
The matter of pride is an issue with which believers must grapple all the time. It is such a subtle thing. In fact, the root for the biblical word for pride means, “wrapped in smoke...having to do with being puffed up with nothing”!
Pride shows itself in the inconsequential things it takes to make us feel important--the right car, the right clothes, the right friends. If these are important to you, then you are in danger of being prideful about nothing. There is a little smoke in your Christian walk, but no real substance, though the puff may allow you to maintain an exalted view of yourself.
Nebuchadnezzar was the greatest ruler who ever lived, but his arrogance in defying God led to his being reduced to the state of an animal. “Seven times will pass by for you,” said Daniel, the prophet, “Until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of man and gives them to anyone He wishes” (Dan. 4:25).
As God had ordained, this mighty king was driven away to live with the wild animals. He ate grass like cattle, his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle, and his nails like the claws of a bird. This condition persisted for seven years, as Daniel had prophesied, until at last Nebuchadnezzar said: “I...raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever” (v. 34).
Fortunately, the ending to Nebuchadnezzar’s story is a happy one. He learned a painful lesson. But pride can ruin everything.
Peter warns: “Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time” (1 Pet. 5:5,6).
When the Scriptures say that God is opposed to the proud, it means He pulls out all the armaments of heaven to bring low the person who disregards His laws or ignores His sovereignty. Nebuchadnezzar felt God’s mighty hand of chastening and finally responded correctly, but not before a humiliating experience.
Check yourself today. Choose to humble yourself...or you will one day find yourself humbled by Him!
From The 5-Minute Devotional, Zondervan, c. 1991by Jan Silvious.
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