Chapter 18: The Curtain Rod of Love
In 1 John 2:18-19 which closed chapter seventeen, many professed to be of Christ, yet they were liars. Remember I John 3:11-12: “For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous.” Also, recall I John 4:8 which proclaims emphatically, “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
Let me try to explain this simply. Many profess Christ, yet do not love. We witness this often, but not exclusively or in every case, in people who can quote Scripture, go knocking on doors, preach, pray, teach, and proclaim loudly they are followers of Christ. In these scenarios, their actions do not back their testimony. This ilk is contradictory in nature as they are quickly angered when someone disagrees with them, they walk away from people who don’t align the moment they believe they should and they are impatient, unkind, mocking of others they deem “less than” themselves, gossips, slanderers, faithless and even murders.
I mention murderers because clearly the Word reads that he who hates his brother is a murderer. All these are characteristics of a person lacking God’s supernatural love. Every good thing of God hangs on love, just as curtains hang from a rod: without the rod, the curtains cannot stand. With the rod, on the other hand, the curtains, shades and attachments hang effortlessly in harmony. Without love, peace, patience, kindness, and so on, we have no base of operation; no stabilizing rod which manages its offshoots. Without the rod of love, all else falls to the ground as waste.
When a person is in Christ, love will manifest; it’s inevitable. If it does not, God is not present (I John 4:9). “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another,” I John 4:11 states with great assurance. I remember having a conversation with my husband years ago where I made the comment, “I am so in love with people.” He laughed and replied, “How ironic since you used to hate people!” He was so right. Even when I began to really walk with God, I still had disdain for the human race, namely Christians who thought themselves better than everyone else.
For example, at the time of that conversation, I had been in prison ministry quite some time; I loved those women and was very patient with them. Then I had the opportunity to teach in a Sunday school class. The people who had been Christians a long time didn’t seem to want to grow. I, to my surprise, became very impatient with them. In my heart, I wanted them to be set free from the baggage of life, but I displayed impatience and a ‘holier than thou’ attitude.
Holy Spirit revealed to me that, though I had come a long way in love, I still had prejudice (hatred) of which I needed to shed myself. And so I did. Because of love, when sin is revealed to me, I immediately deal with the issue. I don’t ever want to be like Satan; I want to be like Christ. That may sound extreme but, when we get down to the brass tacks, this is what is ‘of God’ and what is ‘of Satan.’ With that insight, life is simplified and it becomes much easier to rid self of the things not of God. By “things,” I am referring to attitudes of the heart as well as physical items which distract from a Kingdom mindset.
The more I mature in Christ, and it is an endless process, the more I see humans as does Christ. I see them as someone who has been hurt and damaged somewhere, someway, by someone or something. By seeing them through God’s eye (single vision), I now find it difficult to criticize or ignore them. Where there was a time when my flesh would thoroughly enjoy criticizing someone in my mind, now I can’t even begin to do it. Even with fellow Christians who reject this way of thinking, I still love them. Because of the love of Christ, I find it strangely simple to disagree with my fellow brethren and still be unified. That’s what all of this is about: learning to be unified despite our differences. The love of God exclusively can accomplish this otherwise daunting task.
It should go without needing to be said, but we do not unify with those of the world; rather we are still to love them. I cannot stress enough that it is the love factor which will change a heart, not how many Scriptures we quote or by walking away from them in condemnation. Shaming someone does not draw them to Christ; it merely pushes them further and further into darkness.
My mom has a friend who read my first book, What was God Thinking: Why Adam had to Die. The woman, a professing Christian, told my mom that she so disagreed with my thinking that, if she knew me, she would stop speaking to me. Oddly, this same woman’s life is in shambles. It’s devastating to the body of Christ as well as the lost how the most staunch, religious people seem to have the most problems absent of resolve or peace. Again, it was the devoutly religious that hung Jesus to the cross. Be wary of the religious; they generally do not have an ear or heart for truth.
Chapter 14: It’s All About Refinement
If I have heard once, I have heard a thousand times, “They were such a good person until thus and so happened; then they really changed for the worse.” With all my being, I believe trials and tests do not change a person, they simply bring to light who the person is at their center. It was definitely true in Job’s case as well as my own. Neither of us knew what was wicked within until the disasters came.
Adam lived in utopia and it was true for him. The worst comes out of people in dyer situations because the love of Christ is not in effect. Sure, they may be saved from hell but a person led by Holy Spirit would be able to recognize what God was allowing to happen and even why, instead of tail-spinning out of control and losing sight of God’s reality. Just because one is led by Holy Spirit for a long time does not mean that, in an instant, they can’t revert back to the flesh. Satan is crouching at the door waiting for an opportunity to stumble you. You and I must daily die, which is merely a result of having been transformed into the image of God.
When my first husband left with a note on the coffee table, I fell apart. I began cursing, ranting and raving. Why? It was because I had no grounding in an intimate relationship with God. I had never once said, “Father, show me everything that is wrong within me. Lead me into righteousness.” I had received salvation at the age of six and went on my way “getting people saved” as I was taught. I didn’t drink, curse, sleep around or do drugs. I was basically a “good” kid. However, in reality, it was all a lie because there is no one good but God.
I failed to hear from God, receive warnings, admonition, or anything of the kind. If I had, I would not have married two wrong men. I knew nothing of God except being able to quote a few Scriptures. In my mind, making a profession of faith was equated to “an intimate relationship” when it was nothing more than the beginning of what should have developed into an intimate relationship. I was weak in Christ on my best days and was so because I thought myself spiritually strong and mature.
A terrible weakness in God’s people is the feeling of unworthiness, yet we call it humility. When you focus on your own unworthiness, you are focused on self. Although it certainly appears humble and righteous on the surface, contrary to popular belief, this is another lie from Satan. It is actually false humility, self-abasement, and self-righteousness.
False Humility: “I am unworthy to walk in the shoes of Jesus, so I won’t. I’ll sit here quietly in my recliner of do-nothing. Praise God, one day I’m going up yonder in the sweet by and by. I’ll wait here ‘til I get to Heaven to throw my crowns at His precious feet. Who am I to walk in authority and speak with boldness? I’m too humble to do that.”
True Humility: “I am unworthy and I know it. However, with that knowledge, I (the unworthy one) choose to surrender and live only unto Christ (the worthy One). I choose His worth and allow Him to speak, think and operate through my mortal body. I choose to walk boldly and courageously in the authority and power He projects through me. I give God all praise, honor and glory for all accomplished.”
I pray every believer will get this imbedded in their spirit, heart, and mind. God is not asking for your perfection or power since you have none to offer. He is asking for your willingness to allow Him to move through your weak mortal body as you are merged with Him as one entity. Allow refinement when the hard times hit let you be overtaken by the evil one through despair. God is the perfection in the weakest places of life. Yoked together Christ is the only hope for strength and a sound mind.
“so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (I Peter 1:7, NAS).”
“If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it (Genesis 4:7, NAS).”
Chapter 6: Becoming Base and Foolish, part I
“but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. (I Corinthians 1:27-29).”
Most view weakness as foolishness, as if it’s the worst thing that can happen to someone. Adversely, it’s when we weaken ourselves completely before the Father we are able to go beyond human ability. God purposes to nullify the things that are (anything of human ability) so that we have nothing left from which to boast or pull strength.
God has graciously granted mankind His image which includes a great many assets, gifts, attributes, talents, brains, brawn, and so on. His directive for such assets is so we may glorify the King and flourish in the Earth, subduing it as was intended in the Garden of Eden. We are to bring Heaven down to Earth. Unfortunately, mankind, in all its pride, has become more dependent upon such gifts from God in lieu of God. Instead of leaning upon Christ, we use them when we should submit them allowing God to utilize them for the good of all mankind. For instance, if you have a gift of prophecy, you may speak something out of your great intellect instead of waiting upon the Spirit to lead. This is using human power instead of Holy Spirit revelation. Furthermore, if you have a talent of painting, you may for the sake of a huge paycheck paint something not approved of God because you can. You did it with the mindset, “God must be blessing me” when it had nothing to do with God at all.
People who do subject everything to God are considered foolish, childish, silly, and worse. People say, “You can accomplish____________ in your own strength. Why do you call upon God?” These same people, in due season, become humbled by the same God on whom they spit. We who are hidden in Christ recognize we are nothing and no one outside the perfect will of God. We are to become as dust and ash as did Job at the end of his trials. He once leaned heavily on his abilities to accomplish all he did pre-trials. He stirred God’s wrath by justifying himself. Unlike the norm, Job finally saw the error of his ways, humbled himself and was then positioned before the Almighty to be doubly blessed.
When will we see from the perspective of Heaven? When will God’s people humble themselves, make themselves as nothing so that God may intervene? We’re so busy being angry with God for not stepping in or having allowed our predicament in the first place. We are remiss simply because we do not understand He’s attempting to bring us to foolishness so that He may be our wisdom, our solace, our Savior, our everything.
When All My Strength Has Failed
Chapter 6, part I of III
Alexys V. Wolf
Ephesians 5:21 (KJV), 22-28 (NAS): Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God…Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself.
Submission: the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person.
Adam’s place was not only to say “no” to Eve, but also to lovingly direct her to say “no” to the enemy. This is the very reason that women (generally speaking) set the standard in a relationship with a man whether it is spiritual, sexual, financial, or other. Adam allowed the woman to set the standard, therefore, so it naturally is today. God gave the authority to Adam to set a standard and this is the one he chose. This cycle must be broken from homes. Of necessity, the rightful role of authority needs to be handed back to the husband by the wife, and the husband needs to hand authority back to Christ. In this, both the husband and the wife are in proper alignment with Holy Spirit and peace will rule.
When done properly, the woman will no longer have to run things. She will become her husband’s helper – neither will have to dominate the other as they will operate in their God-ordained role – they will live harmoniously instead of nearly killing one another with poor attitudes, harsh words or devastating silence. They will better handle difficulties and disagreements.
The Body of Christ is instructed that the wife is to submit to her husband, but equally the husband is to submit to God. We are also instructed to “submit one to another” so that the greater good of the Kingdom of God will manifest in the earth. Because of the rebellion of both Adam and Eve, the power struggle continues this day. No one seems to want to humble themselves one to another; wife to husband, husband to wife, both to God. Imagine a world where both people in a marriage were so set on pleasing Yahweh that humility reigned. Wow! Neither would ever have to beg, whine, or use controlling manipulation. When you can get to the root of any problem, it can be resolved.
There is a looming curse over women dating all the way back to Eve as we see in Genesis 3:6. Eve was led by the lust of her flesh. Just as Adam gave up authority to Eve, Eve sought to possess authority hot and heavy; so much so that she didn’t just want Adam’s authority, but God’s! Thusly, she brought a controlling, manipulative evil spirit upon women. Women all over the world nag their husbands to step up to the proverbial plate, but often, when he does finally decide to do so, most of the time the wife resists.
Women have an innate desire to control, coerce and manipulate. Many women say with their lips, “You need to be a man and take charge,” yet actions speak a very different message. Wives need to allow husbands to make decisions even if it means letting them make mistakes along the way. Women with sons, teach them how to be men of God. It’s time to relinquish headship over to the husbands and husbands give headship to Christ.
Women are to submit, not control. Men are to love their wives as Christ loves the Church, not control. This will lead both to submit one to another because they are submitting first to Christ. By understanding the lack of Holy Spirit leading in Adam, Eve and the modern day Christ-follower, it’s easy to recognize how the problem has escalated over time. Since Jesus bore the curse of the nature of the flesh for all mankind, by properly applying His blood, there’s no reason for you to continue in Adam and Eve’s footsteps.
Once you begin to seek first the Kingdom of God, you’ll begin to delve into the Kingdom Constitution (Bible) and desire most earnestly to pledge your allegiance to the King, His Kingdom and His edicts. Submission will not longer be an impossibility, but altogether supernaturally natural.
“But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When He was hung on the cross, He took upon Himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree (Galatians 3:13, NLT).’”
We’ll pick up here next week as we continue with The Root of the Problem. If you are interested in reading more, check out my website to order my books, or go to my Facebook ministry page where I post regularly. Blessings!
Alexys V. Wolf
“You have put gladness in my heart, more than when their grain and new wine abound” (Psalm 4:7, NAS).
“Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones; and shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart” (Psalm 32:11, NAS).
“You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of joy above your fellows” (Psalm 45:7, NAS).
Strength and power in Christ come from your confidence being completely placed in Christ. With this, you can then walk in absolute power, authority, joy, peace, patience, boldness, courage, humility, love, contentment and so much more in every circumstance.
The world pushes confidence, but it is always in the flesh and the things of this world. God pushes confidence, but in Him and in your identity that comes only from being hidden in Christ. The world’s confidence comes from stature, money, looks, education, etc.—anything other than God and the blood of Christ. It is false and leads to a life of sure destruction. In fact, it is not confidence at all, but rather insecurity at the root because a secure person needs no prove anything to anyone – they just are, with or without worldly possessions. Furthermore, the world’s confidence incites greed, hatred, every evil lust of the flesh, and provokes one to fight and kill for what they want or want to keep. They must always be more powerful, richer, more beautiful, more successful, more, more, more—never content with anything. They are eating, yet never satisfied (Micah 6:14). They are always fearful that, no matter how much they attain, they will lose it; and if they lose it, they will be worthless.
Paul is one of the greatest examples of an imitator of Christ that I can see. Although the Word states that he was a “defender of the gospel” (Philippians 1:16-17), this does not mean he went around arguing with others about his religious beliefs. He was humble at all times and was genuinely concerned for the well-being of God’s people. He walked in love, compassion, and patience. This could only be as he was keenly aware of his identity in Christ—his confidence in the faithfulness of God’s promises. Real identity in Christ is knowing, not just that you are blood-bought, but that in being blood-bought, all promises are real, true, and trustworthy until death and they belong to YOU. Paul defended the Word by allowing the character of God to be displayed through him.
For I am confident of this very thing…I want you to know…to be sure…for I know…according to my earnest expectation and hope…convinced of this…I hope in the Lord Jesus…trust in the Lord…be anxious for nothing.
Philippians 1:6, 12, 15, 19, 20, 25; 2:19, 23, 24; 4:6 (NAS)
Though many quote Philippians 1:11 where Paul learned to be content in all circumstances, most miss the fact that he could only be this way in confidently knowing that God is faithful to His own. He knew that he would never be without God. It says he learned to be content. He could not learn if there were no trials and tests to stretch him in this area. Also, the first part of that verse says, “Not that I speak from want.” Not only did he need nothing, he wanted for nothing! When all you want is Jesus, the things of this world become to you as nothing – worthless.
In becoming confident in the King’s faithfulness in all situations, all needs were dissolved. This happened through believing, trusting, and placing his full faith in that, if in the natural there were a real need, he knew he need only await the arrival of provision in God’s perfect timing. Faith destroys lack. Faith through confidence in him allows you to call forth the things that are not as though they were until they are!
Love, peace, and blessings!
“For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please (Galatians 5:17, NAS).”
In addition to utilizing our authority to bind away evil spirits and releasing Holy Spirit to be fully active in every area of our lives, we must understand that spiritual warfare isn’t exclusively binding spirits. We must remember to be balanced in everything. Spiritual warfare is also choosing self-discipline. Time and time again we read that self-control is crucial and an attribute of the fruit of the Spirit. Just because we’re tired, angry, sad, mad, stressed, or whatever, does not give us license to sin. In fact, it’s in these tricky situations that God is actually at hand. He allows us to be tested so as to reveal to us our remaining ungodliness – testing is never for condemnation, but for further refinement. God is not punishing us, He is perfecting us.
First, we need to correct an untruth. Many say, “Followers of Christ have two natures,” but this is false. God’s people have ONE NATURE – God’s – Holy Spirit. Though we (the spirit-man, your essence) temporarily dwell in a compartment made of flesh, its nature does not belong to us but the shell itself. It’s like living in your house; you are not the house, you merely dwell there temporarily no matter how long. Eventually you will be separated from it because it isn’t you, the person, the spirit. You must maintain the body, but it isn’t who you are. In the end, your spirit will be physically separated from the body.
Secondly, emotionalism will always dictate “do whatever makes you feel better.” Truth will dictate the exact opposite. When I walk with God, I choose self-control when otherwise I want to use profanities, lash out at someone, or anything of the like. When I give in to emotionalism and conduct myself in a fleshly (evil) manner, I cease walking with God as God cannot stand in the presence of evil. Everyone’s trigger points are different and we need to be aware of what they are and purpose to surrender them to Christ daily. It isn’t a matter of losing salvation, but a matter of temporarily walking away or rather separating ourselves from our oneness with Christ and allowing oneness with the nature of the flesh.
It’s simply being pro-active by knowing who we are in Christ, allowing Christ to overrule the flesh in everything. No one has perfected this, I certainly haven’t, but we need to purpose to strive toward the mark of Christ choosing to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ always and in everything. When we falter, repent, receive forgiveness and begin again. His mercies are new every day!
For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin (Romans 7:14-25, NAS).”
Love, peace, and blessings!
October 8, 2013
Standing in Judgment
““Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions…Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, “AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD.” So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way…(Romans 14:1, 4, 7-13, NAS).”
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged (Matthew 7:1, NAS).”
It is exceedingly difficult, nay, impossible, for the flesh of mankind to not pass judgment on those who offend and/or irritate us. However, it is through the Spirit of God exclusively that we are supernaturally capable of overcoming such judgment against others. Sufficed to say, there is no one who can honestly say that judgment does not cross their mind and heart from time to time – after all, it is human nature and we dwell temporarily is this earthen vessel. In order to be successful in this or any area of God’s commands, we must remember that we are no longer of the human race, but of the heavenly race. We are but strangers and aliens in the earth sent from heaven to bring heaven down to earth. This is so because we are dead and our only life is Christ. In other words, once in Christ, our earthly origin ceases and our heavenly origin begins.
If you’re like I, people irritate you! In our irritation, judgment can easily take hold of our hearts and grow bitter roots. Hebrews 12:15 is clear about bitterness: “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled.” Operating in a judgmental/critical spirit against others no matter how innocent it may seem, causes bitter roots to spring within our hearts like weeks and they taint not only our walk with God with it takes others down with us.
Because of the nature of the flesh in which we remain, it is altogether a necessity to hone in on the Spirit of God within us through our spirit-man. If we do not daily (moment to moment) purposefully tap into Holy Spirit, we will find ourselves in the midst of fleshly judgment. We can defend it all day long, but unless we, one, choose to recognize that we have indeed passed critical judgment in our hearts as well as, two, choose to repent of it and lay it at the foot of the cross, things will not change as we would otherwise hope. Pray though we may for God to remove us or the irritant, nothing will change until we allow God to transform us from the inside out and love and accept others as they are. We are not to regard a brother with contempt. This is why we are urged to go to a brother with whom we have a problem so as to resolve the matter. We are to conclude our conflicts, not simply for our selves, but for the greater good of the Kingdom of God. For this reason, there is to be unity between the brethren and we should seek peace at all times, respecting one another.
One who is rebellious, for instance, will be perpetually faced with people who “force” them to rebel because, from where God stands, He recognizes the need for the weaknesses of rebellion to be exposed so that the individual will choose to deal with it through God’s strength. Otherwise, if they continue in their rebellion, the same old obstacles and irritating people will continuously come in their path; hence, frustration remains.
Likewise, one who is impatient will continually come in contact with people who try their patience. One who is timid in their faith will continuously be put in situations where they need to be bold. One who is confrontational will be put in situations where they need to submit in both humility and silence, and so on. For me personally, the nature of the flesh in which I dwell is exceedingly confrontational! I have to be diligent with my time tapping into Holy Spirit continuously so as to be able to clearly discern when to confront a situation and when to be silent. In everything we say and do, it is a walk of balance that can only come from personal intimacy with Holy Spirit. There should never be a break in our communion with Yahweh.
Until we begin to view everything in everyday life as for the Kingdom of God instead of for or against us personally, not only will circumstances not change, but they will invariably grow worse. Since everything ultimately originates from God whether it comes from Satan’s hand or wicked men, we must say with humility instead of irritation, “What is it You, Yahweh, are trying to show me that I have not yet seen? Reveal my weaknesses to me so that Your strength may prevail in order for Your Kingdom to be advanced through me in the earth. I trust You and submit to You for Your honor and Your glory. Whatever You desire, I desire. Whatever You love, I love. Whatever You hate, I hate.”
There’s always a lesson. There’s always a God-plan. There’s always hope. There’s always growth that He desires to come forth from us, for us and, most importantly, for His great name’s sake. No situation or scenario is in vain or to hurt us. It isn’t even for punishment’s sake; it is always for the Kingdom of God. May we keep our spiritual eye open to see the bigger picture always and remember that you do not belong to yourself, but to the Lord our Great God. I remind myself of this daily so as to stay on heavenly point instead of veering away from the path of God.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Matthew 6:33).”
(Lucifer) You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering; the ruby, the topaz, and the diamond; the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper; the lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald; and the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, was in you. On the day that you were created they were prepared…your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.
Ezekiel 28:12-17 (NAS)
(King Belshazzar) “But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory (Daniel 5:20, NAS).”
See, I will make you small among the nations; you will be utterly despised. The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, ‘Who can bring me down to the ground?’ Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,” declares the Lord. Obadiah 1:2-4 (NAS)
Satan was cast out from heaven by God specifically due to his pride. Pride led him to rebel against Yahweh. When Lucifer stood next to God, His light would shine upon Lucifer’s jewels placed upon him by God. It was God’s beauty reflecting off Lucifer that made him beautiful, yet Lucifer’s beauty was not his own. In like fashion, any beauty you or I may have, it is not ours therefore we are not to be prideful. Lucifer became blinded by the brilliant light reflecting off him. His wisdom became corrupt and ineffective and caused him to determine greater things about himself than what was real.
Everyone wants to be God or like God and to have all of His power, but few want to be like Jesus, lowly and humble. Jesus is the only connection humans have to God the Father, His Kingdom, and His glory.
One can never crush an enemy that is invisible; neither can we crush him if we do not know he is attacking. Satan has strategically tricked mankind into attributing many behavioral patterns in our lives to reasons other than what is true. It is pride that hinders us from seeking the Lord and praying; hence causing us to walk in discord with others.
As David E. Taylor points out in his book, Victory Over Pride, pride also hinders us from receiving correction, blessings, reproof, instruction, wisdom, knowledge, and the fullness of God. It is pride that hinders people from looking at others the way Jesus does which is with single eye. Pride binds and blinds! A sign of a mature Christian is one who can humbly receive correction or rebuke, deserved or undeserved.
“And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The deliverer will come from Zion; He will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is My covenant with them when I take away their sins’ (Romans 11:26-27, NAS).”
If there is a way into a situation, there is a way out. No matter what our weaknesses, if we are humble enough to deal with it through Holy Spirit, when the weaknesses arise, we will grow stronger in Christ instead of weaker. This is what is meant in II Peter 3:18, “grow in grace”. The Father can exalt us as we walk humbly as did Jesus. Many ministries have fallen from the place God ordained because of the division and strife caused by pride. We would all get further in life, relationships, businesses, ministry, etc., if we would humble ourselves to walk as Jesus walked and approach situations as He.
“God has exalted Jesus and gave Him a name above all names,” reads Philippians 2:9. We are to make ourselves of no reputation. We need be ourselves as Yahweh restructures us and let God make our name great. If we humble our name, He will make it great. If we exalt our own name, He cannot. Jesus never got into arguments, contentions or disagreements with people or even with His enemies. He retained peace that surpassed all understanding and knowledge (Philippians 4:7). He has left us that same peace; we need simply to choose to retain it.
“The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor (Proverbs 15:33, NAS).”
“Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud (Proverbs 16:19, NAS).”
Just as pride comes before the fall, humility comes before honor. There is no honor without humility first. Humility dictates that a person demands to be judged and reckoned by others. A pious person finds little difficulty humbling himself to God, but balks at being treated with contempt by their superiors, equals or inferiors in their life. We need to be exceedingly cautious of prideful- humility, or in other words, false humility.
If outward humility is not the result of inward humility, it is very dangerous because it becomes an outward show of deceit. To put it another way: the outward expression of humility must always be a result of inward grace at work. Humility is the direct nature of God. Take advantage of every opportunity of humility.
Jesus is the perfect example of humility. We all know that if we are accused of something for which we are guilty, we must confess, apologize and make it right. However, what if we are wrongfully accused? What then? Do we have the right to jump into a debate with someone, yelling (or calmly stating) how wrong they are about us? Absolutely not! Rather, instead of arguing we should respond by apologizing to them for having given them the impression that we did or said what they think we did or said. Ask how we can make it right. How can they come against you?
We need to get it in our spirit-man that our defender (Christ) is far greater than the offender (Satan). We are never to defend ourselves. Walk away if we must, but don’t get into a showdown of words trying to convince someone they are wrong. When has that ever accomplished anything good? When someone thinks something in their heart, no amount of words we speak can turn them away. Only God can change a heart. Don’t waste time and energy, and for heaven’s sake, don’t jeopardize your personal walk with God because someone thinks something incorrect. It isn’t worth it. God will prove them wrong in time; we needn’t concern ourselves with such petty matters because truth will always surface in due season. Keep integrity intact and it will protect you in the long run.
“Agree quickly with your adversary (Matthew 5:25, NAS).”
“It is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded (II Corinthians 6:7, NAS).”
“We are to clothe ourselves daily in humility (I Peter 5:5, NAS).”
We are thinking only of ourselves when we are more concerned about being wronged rather than what the Lord wants us to learn or see in a situation. Let God work the perfect work of patience and love in us. Daily we must ask God to strip us of any and all pride, bathe us in righteousness and clothe us in humility. Ask God to help increase faith deep within. The stronger the faith, the closer the walk, the easier to recognize pride, the faster we are to allow Him to help remove it and replace it with humility, the more we look like Jesus. This is where the Scripture of pulling down strongholds and imaginations enters:
For though we live in this world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. II Corinthians 10:3-6 (NAS)
When our thoughts become prideful and we begin to think more highly of ourselves than we ought, take the authority Jesus Christ has given His people and pull it down. This text in II Corinthians is written because God understands the frail condition of the flesh. Don’t allow it to stay and fester and manifest in any area of life. Pride is foolishness on any and every level. Be “ready to punish all disobedience” in life.
Pray for Holy Spirit to stir up discernment; if Jesus is in you, discernment is also. Remember, there is a difference between discernment and prejudice; between righteous judgment and being judgmentalism. Commit to being humble and confess daily to Yahweh that you choose to walk humbly in all of your ways. Command the spirits of pride and rebellion to depart from your midst, and replace them with humility and obedience. Holy Spirit within is the only One who has the power to overcome pride. Allow Him to guide you into holiness, humility, and obedience. Excerpt from Holy Spirit Who? by Alexys V. Wolf