Prepare your Heart
Spend some time reading today’s verses multiple times. Make sure to read them in context of the verses around them, the chapter they are in, and the book they are in. Before beginning today’s devotion, take time to prepare your heart before the Lord in prayer. Ask that God, through His Spirit, would bring to life the truths of today’s verses and help you see how they apply to your life. While this journal is a tool to guide your time with the Lord, nothing can replace the power of personal prayer and preparation.
The pride of life comes not from the Father but from the world.
—1 John 2:16 (NIV)
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.
—Proverbs 11:2; 13:10 (NIV)
The eyes of the arrogant will be humbled and human pride brought low;
the Lord alone will be exalted in that day. The Lord Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled),
The arrogance of man will be brought low and human pride humbled;
the Lord alone will be exalted in that day, and the idols will totally disappear.
—Isaiah 2:11–12, 17–18 (NIV)
God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
—James 4:6,10 (ESV)
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
—Phil 2:3 (ESV)
Let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.
—Jeremiah 9:24 (NIV)
The last idol we will uproot in this time of prayer and fasting is pride, the arrogance we can easily flaunt regarding our possessions, positions, accomplishments, expertise, experiences, religious deeds, and families, to name a few. Pride takes credit for the things God is responsible for! From the verses above, we learn in 1 John 2 that human arrogance does not come from the values of God, but from the values of the world. In Isaiah 2, we see God’s ultimate plan for the proud in this world—to humble them! All those who consider themselves high and mighty will be brought low, and only the Lord and those He chooses to honor will be exalted in the end.
To avoid pride, we look at the next set of verses for guidance. James 4 helps us avoid pride in relation to God. Yes, he opposes the proud and will humble them in the end, but we also can bank on the fact that God favors the humbled and will exalt them one day! To make sure we are in line with God’s values, James instructs us to humble ourselves before God and wait for Him to lift us high one day. Philippians 2 helps us avoid pride in relation to others. Pride and humility can’t be faked. They show themselves in the way we treat others. When we are worshipping the idol of pride, we consider ourselves more significant than other people. When we are worshipping God, we become truly humble like Christ, considering others as more significant than ourselves. This can be seen in all sorts of ways—the way we treat our servers at a restaurant, other drivers in traffic, people in our small groups, neighbors on our street, authority figures in the community, and those in our own home. If we want to know if we are proud, all we have to do is take inventory of how we’ve been treating others! Lastly, the final way we can avoid pride is in our witness, as seen in Jeremiah 9. Instead of boasting in our character or accomplishments, we can boast about the Lord’s character and His accomplishments, especially in His work to allow us to know Him!
Questions for Thought //
1. In what area of your life do you tend to exhibit the most pride? How is this idolatry? How does this detract from focus on the Lord?
2. What people in your life are being robbed of knowing God’s character and accomplishments because of your pride?