by: MILT GREEN
Pride Is Rebellion
If someone comes to God and does not
repent and turn from pride, he is still walking in rebellion. He is really
saying in his heart, “I will not give up pride because I love pride more
than I love God.” In the next illustration, you will see a man who has a
root of pride in his heart. Once established, this root becomes a mighty
fortress for the powers of darkness. We will see later in this book how
Satan uses pride to deceive the body of Christ. We can see in this
illustration how Satan uses pride to build many strongholds of deceit.
Pride is the root and symptom of countless other areas of sin. We are to
know false teachers by their fruit. As you study this illustration, just
picture this man as a spiritual leader. If a person has a root of pride,
his motive will be to build an image for himself. As he builds a name for
Jesus in the strength and works of the flesh, he will deceitfully take
part of the glory which belongs to Jesus to fulfill his love for pride and
reputation. He will show partiality and will exploit all his relationships
in order to control others and advance his selfish ambition. He will
flatter and deceive others in order to look good and receive the approval
of man. Pride always wants to be the center of attention. Pride receives
glory from men. Pride is always concerned with its own image. Pride always
has to be right. Pride loves the approval of men more than the approval of
God. Pride will welcome thoughts and suggestions from Satan to exploit and
use people to build one’s own self-image.
Another fortress that is built by Satan
in the lives of men is the root of greed. Like pride, greed gives strength
to numerous other strongholds, which attach to this root. Greed does not
love his neighbor. Greed loves the things of this world. Greed hoards and
lives his whole life for himself as he builds a fleshly kingdom. Greed
acts as though he is going to live forever. He is deceitful and
manipulates his neighbor to fulfill his selfish ambition. When anyone
loves greed, he is loving the nature of Satan rather than the giving and
loving nature of God. In the next illustration, picture a man who loves
the selfish ways of greed and tries to follow the Lord Jesus Christ at the
Can God control the life of a man whose
heart loves greed? Can anyone who loves greed truly love his neighbor?
Picture a salesman in the world system whose heart loves greed. He will
exaggerate, withhold information, apply pressure, manipulate, and
intimidate his neighbor to make a sale to fulfill his lust and greed. He
exploits and uses his neighbor because he loves greed and selfishness more
than he loves his neighbor. This is why the judgment of God is on the
world today. The god of this world, Satan, has trained the world to love
greed and to make it to the top, regardless of who suffers. This is called
success by the standards of this world.
When anyone does not turn from greed,
he will use the things of God to build opportunities for himself and
fulfill his lust and greed. Lust of the flesh is when one’s heart is
drawn to love something else more than he loves God. This is idolatry.
John warns us: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the
world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the
eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the
will of God abideth forever” (1 John 2:15-17).
The Psalmist described the ones who
love pride and greed: “The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor:
let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined. For the wicked
boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous whom the Lord
abhorreth. The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek
after God: God is not in all his thoughts. His ways are always grievous;
thy judgments are far above our sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth
at them. He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for 1 shall
never be in adversity. His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud:
under his tongue is mischief and vanity. He hath said in his heart, God
hath forgotten: He hideth His face; He will never see it” (Ps. 10:1-7,
When a worldly church still walks after
the flesh and loves pride, greed and selfish ambition, there is no
difference between them and the world. The Psalmist also said, “Help,
Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the
children of men. They speak vanity every one to his neighbor: with
flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. The Lord shall cut
off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: who
have said, with our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is
lord over us? The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are
exalted” (Ps. 12:1-4, 8). Every man in the world walks in the image and
likeness of Satan. He does not love nor honor God; neither does he love
his neighbor. Each one in the world lives for himself. The strong deceive,
manipulate and lord it over the weak. Everyone greedily gathers and hoards
for himself, while all around him his neighbor hurts and suffers in need.
“The whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19). Their hearts
agree with Satan.
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