December 14, 2014

The Dangers of Pride

Posted in Humility, Unity tagged , , , , , , at 5:08 pm by tclickenger

In my last post I mentioned four advantages gained through a humble character.  In a near future post I intend to show through scripture the many other benefits this virtue brings.  Today, though, I want to assess the consequences that are brought into our life through living out of a proud heart.  I am only going to list and briefly describe the problems associated with pride for now.  Each problem will be explored in more depth later in this series.

I mentioned how we assume that we already know what humility is and that we (additionally assume) are already a humble person.  That leads me into the first problem associated with pride.

  • Pride is deceptive.  This can also be expressed as blindness, darkness, unable to see or lack of wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

Galatians 6:3 NKJV, “If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he is deceiving his own mind.”

Jeremiah 13:15-16, “Hear and give ear; Do not be proud, for the Lord has spoken.  Give glory to the Lord your God before He causes darkness, and before your feet stumble on the dark mountains, and while you are looking for light, He turns it into the shadow of death and makes it dense darkness.”

Jeremiah 49:16, “‘As for the terror of you, the pride of your heart has deceived you, O you who live in the clefts of the rock, Who occupy the height of the hill.  Though you make your nest as high as an eagle’s, I will bring you down from there.’ says the Lord.”

Proverbs 4:18-19 NKJV, “But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.  The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.”

  • Pride is destructive.  This is probably the most mentioned consequence of pride throughout the scriptures.  Because this principle is true, firm, unyielding, a law of reality, it is in opposition against anyone who ignores it whether intentional or unintentional. By its very nature, this principle worked against either Israel or their enemies, God’s people or the enemies of God’s people.

Proverbs 16:18 NKJV, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

  • Pride is foolishness

Proverbs 14:3 NKJV, “In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, but the lips of the wise will preserve them.”

  • Pride precedes captivity

Jeremiah 13:17 NKJV (God speaking through the prophet Jeremiah), “But if you will not hear it, My soul will weep in secret for your pride; My eyes will weep bitterly and run down with tears, Because the Lord’s flock has been taken captive.”

  • God opposes the proud.  This is quoted verbatim in three different places in our bible and is alluded to in at least 24 other passages.  If you don’t wish to lock horns with the Lord, be a competitor with the Lord or be His adversary then it is sage advice to make yourself humble.

Proverbs 3:34 NKJV, “Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble.”

James 4:6 NKJV (quoting Prov. 3:34), “But He gives more grace.  Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.'”

1 Peter 5:5 GNT (Quoting Prov. 3:34), “In the same way you younger people must submit yourself to your elders.  And all of you must put on the apron of humility, to serve one another; for the scripture says, ‘God resists the proud, but shows favor to the humble.'”

  • Pride separates.

Psalms 138:6 NASB, “For though the Lord is exalted, yet He regards the lowly, But the haughty He knows from afar.”

  • Pride causes strife and contention.

Not only does pride cause separation between God and the prideful individual, it causes separation between other individuals.

Proverbs 13:10 ERV, “By pride cometh only contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.”

Proverbs 30:32-33 ESV, “If you have been foolish, exalting yourselfor if you have been devising evil, put your hand on your mouth.  For pressing milk produces curds, pressing the nose produces blood, and pressing anger produces strife.”

  • Pride causes shame (disgrace, embarrassment, insecurity)

Proverbs 11:2 WEB, “When pride comes, then comes shame, but with humility comes wisdom.”

  • A proud, haughty man is revolting to God

Proverbs 16:5 NIV, “The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.”

Pride should be avoided as diligently as humility should be pursued.  I’m hoping I can present the contrast between pride and humility so well that it compels you to desire humility.  I hope it causes you to desire it so strongly you are willing to endure anything God needs to do to make it apart of your very being.  Do you have any stories to tell that are a good example of any of these principles?  How about times in your own life where you once were proud but found a better life in the brokenness?  Please share your stories and any other comments or insight that you may have.

I pray God blesses you generously, giving you grace as you generously give others grace.  I pray for your heart.  That all traces of pride might be removed from it along with all the harm that it brings.  In the name of Jesus, our most perfect example of humility and selfless love I pray.  Amen

Additional posts in this series: In the wake of humilityIt’s Time to Hurt Your Pride, …but there are times when pride is a good thing, Advantages Of Humility and Humility Fosters Peace & Unity.

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December 4, 2014

In the wake of humility…

Posted in Humility, Unity tagged , , , , , , , at 7:27 pm by tclickenger

I love this phrasing of Proverbs 22:4

“In the wake of humility comes the fear of the Lord, even riches, and honor, and life.”

Humility is such an extraordinary quality. The Word tells us of many wonderful things that come to us as a result of humility. This verse alone tells us of four: fear of the Lord, riches, honor and life; and other scriptures reveal that there are so many more benefits.  On top of that, through practicing humility we avoid all the negative consequences of a prideful life.  Here’s the rub though, we assume that we already know what humility is and that we are already a humble person (or am I the only one who has done that). That is presumption and the ironic thing is that presumption is a symptom of pride in our life.  Humility is by far the most misunderstood and easily compromised virtues a human being can long for.

I’m sure you already know this but the fact is that we don’t have divine thinking. God even reminds us of this when He says through His prophet Isaiah (55:8-9), “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” So maybe our thoughts, insights and perceptions of humility are not quite right compared to the Source of humility.

The only way I know of that brings my understanding in alignment with God’s understanding is through study, prayer, meditation (a.k.a. thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking) and just a seed investment of humility, acknowledging that we don’t have it figured out and would like to be led to a true, deep, connected understanding.

So, in the next few posts I’m going to share some insights I’ve come to through the previously mentioned process; study, meditation, prayer, observations, introspection, reflection and life experiences that bring brokenness. Of course, I still I have a lot to learn, so I would love to hear your insights. Please comment, good or bad, in agreement or disagreement.

God, my father and my king, I pray for you to continue to bring humility and it’s many spiritual blessings into my life. I also pray for the ones who respond to this message in their heart. Hold their hand through the pains as humility is birthed into their being. I pray for their humility because I love them and wish to see honor in the completion of their life. I pray these things in the name of Your first born, the One who is humble and exalted, the name of Jesus, Yeshua, Savior. Amen

Additional posts in this series: The Dangers of PrideIt’s Time to Hurt Your Pride, …but there are times when pride is a good thing, Advantages Of Humility.

February 15, 2012

Can we bless God?

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:24 pm by tclickenger

I recently wrote a post as a guest on the blog Testimony and Tunes.  You are welcome to visit this fine blog and view the post made by Brian and his many guests.

Tim

March 20, 2011

Does God Know What is Everyone’s Heart

Posted in Faithfulness of God tagged , , , , , , , , , at 10:17 pm by tclickenger

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That is one of the many questions that a skeptic poses to point out what they believe are contradictions in the bible.  So let’s look at their view-point.  On the one hand, the Word says He does:

Acts 1:24, “And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men.”  Psalm 44:21, “He knoweth the secrets of the heart.”  Psalm 139:2-3, “Thou knowest my down-sitting and mine up-rising; thou understands my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.”

Then on the other hand they believe His Word says that He doesn’t:

Deuteronomy 8:2, “And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.”  Deuteronomy 13:3, “For the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your soul.”  .2 Chronicles 32:31, “God left him [Hezekiah], to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart.”

The simple answer to this question is, yes, He does know everyone’s heart.  If you will notice, the passages that mention “to know” or “to prove” are all attached to a trial.  God “proves” the hearts of His people in the same way we prove a precious metal.

We place the metal over a fire (trial), the metal becomes molten, we find the impurities within the metal, we draw off the impurities and the essence of that which is precious is made more pure.

May we all thank God for the skeptic.  Who poses hard questions that we cannot answer using our own intellect.  And, thank God for the hard and difficult times.  Through both, we must depend on God to give us His wisdom, His understanding, His strength, His endurance and our humility and trust.  Both our faith and His wisdom are made more pure within us and our essence, our character, is made more precious than before.

God Bless you all, Through Christ I can love you all.

September 26, 2010

His All, His Most, His Best

Posted in Poetry tagged at 7:53 am by tclickenger

One day the world I gazed upon
Were living life as Kings
My heart was set to own anon
A portion of their things.

They seemed to have God’s blessings when
I struggled meagerly
I whispered to my soul within
“How vain my life must be.”

A thus my heart was grieved to tears
My feet were almost gone.
My calculated worth drew fears
That grew very strong.

And then I heard a trumpet sound
The voice of Gospels ring-
My spirit lifted from the ground
My heart began to sing.

My feet were straightened on the path
The light was bright again
Refreshing times replaced the wrath
Like sun replaces rain.

I studied long, I sought God’s face
The Truth I should defend
I went into His Holy place
Then understood their end.

Their ways of lust and calloused greed
And hearts of selfish pride
Will lead their souls to where they feed
And leave unsatisfied.

Destruction lies before their door
Their lives a carousel
The ways of darkness they implore
Will lead to burning hell.

But God’s the strength of heart & soul
When failure looms so near
He’s a faithful guide when in control
He’s patient and so dear.

So now when looking at the world
I’m humbled in my place
For God my Father has unfurled
The wisdom of His grace.

And I can stand so thankfully
With inner peace and rest
And know for sure God’s given me
His all, His most, His best.

………………………Rodney Roberts

September 23, 2010

I Watch the Wind

Posted in Poetry at 9:52 pm by tclickenger

Author’s note: The Greek word “pneuma” is translated in our language to mean “air, wind, breath, spirit”; so when reading this poem remember this for a clearer understanding.

I Watch The Wind

I watch the wind that stirs the cloud
That brushes brows and whispers peace.
I watch the wind that stirs the crowd
And find the moments of release.
Caressing hair of grey or brown-
A tattered shock or lonely crown
I see the ones who sway or bend
To coaxing pressures of the wind.
I feel the aftermath of storms,
I see the rain- the dew that falls
A prayer from in the Holy Halls.
I watch the rush- the wishful climb-
The heated gust in overtime.
The pleading breeze that longed to share
The bashful wind that wouldn’t dare,
The wind of Faith, the wind of Doubt,
The wind of Pain, the wind of shout,
The wind of tear, the wind of song,
the wind of shame, the wind of wrong.
I watch the wind, I feel the wind,
I know the wind is ever near
And as a slave most disciplined
I bow in servitude and hear
The whispered peace or bellowed strain
That lifts a soul or causes pain,
And from inside my silent shroud
I watch the wind that stirs the cloud.

I watch the wind that stirred the cloud-
That killed, destroyed and robbed the crowd-
That filled the minds with fleshly ease-
Who willed to sway within the breeze.
From in my dark and callow shroud
I watched the winds that brushed the crowed
And lifted up to vanity
Their name and true identity.
I watched the sway- emotions stirred-
And longed to touch the minds interred
But held obscure by host and crowd
I lay inept within my shroud.
A woeful soul and helpless slave
held bound inside a callow grave
To see all hope to touch the crowd
Consume away inside a shroud.
Brings much distress and lack of ease,
Invites the grip of vanities,
Lays pain and trouble at the door
Which binds entombment even more.
To find escape and turn the key
We look to faith our victory
And overcome the earthly crowd-
Become a part of heaven’s cloud.
We then can see the righteous norm
Reveals in truth the body’s form
And not alone we stand to fight
Against the forces of the night.
For to us all are gifts bestowed
And hand in hand we share the load.
Then all together, free of shroud,
We reach and touch the raging crowd!

……………………Rodney Roberts

July 25, 2010

Harmony

Posted in Poetry, Unity tagged , , at 9:23 pm by tclickenger

Harmony,
How I long to see the splendor of your face
But from carnal minds you’re hiding
And with fools there’s no confiding
Woe is me,
Shall I never cease, expecting your embrace

Harmony,
In the bounds of understanding you will stay
With your sister Peace beside you
And with Gentleness to hide you
Trinity,
You avoid the mass confusion of our day.

Harmony,
With the signs that time has scattered one should see
That mankind is so uncaring
And his sin is overbearing
Seems to me
That this hope to unify will never be.

Harmony,
Just to know the well of wisdom that you give
With each step in your direction
There could be a resurrection
Instantly!
Then in clouds of sweetest grandeur we could live .

……………………………..Rodney Roberts

June 28, 2010

How Brief the Light, The Flame

Posted in Poetry at 9:47 pm by tclickenger

For shame, For shame;
How brief the light, the flame,
The hope,
The look into the visions scope,

What quick despair
And scenes that overbear;
One word
That quenched the spark, then life interred.

But why, o why,
A soul sends out the cry,
Be born,
Then cast into a state forlorn?

The message here
Rings loud and crystal clear,
Come, come,
My easy yoke’s not wearisome;

But then to find
A load upon the mind,
A tone
That holy spirits won’t condone.

With brothers, bear,
And with fondest care,
Decry
The lips that fail to edify.

With faith, embrace,
Give hope a forward place
And pray
Let love then have it’s perfect way.

……………………..Rodney Roberts

May 21, 2010

Faith to Faith

Posted in Poetry tagged , , , , , , , at 10:41 pm by tclickenger

A faith in God is barren land
Unless upon God’s faith we stand.
A faith will get you to the door
THE Faith will open doors galore.

A faith is hope yet unfulfilled,
THE Faith is hope that’s tried and sealed.
A faith will lay you down to sleep
THE Faith will take your soul to keep.

A faith will cry in times of need
THE Faith is as a mustard seed.
A faith will pray and never stop
THE Faith will move a mountaintop.

A sinner’s knees a faith will bend
THE Faith will save unto the end.
A faith will speak, a voice is heard
THE Faith replies, “It’s in the Word.”

A faith will seeks the savior’s face
THE Faith reveals Amazing Grace.
Where ever then a faith may roam
THE Faith will say “My child you’re home.”

……………………………..Rodney Roberts

May 17, 2010

Is Christ Divided?…Continued

Posted in Unity tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 11:09 pm by tclickenger

As I finished my post on the division of the church (Is Christ Divided?), I asked the questions “So what is the remedy? In all the many voices claiming to have been inspired by the Holy Spirit and has a lock on the truth, how do we recognize God’s wisdom?” What is the way to unity? I have read a number of messages that insist that unity must be based on truth. It seems to me when someone is saying that, they are just trying to insist that their beliefs are “the truth.” I went on in my post to quote James 3:17-18.

17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

To put this in context we need to go back a few passages and read James 3:13

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.

So he is describing the qualities of the character and temperament of someone who has a mature measure of Godly wisdom and understanding. What I feel God is telling me in these passages is that we are to not only consider the message of the speaker but also examine the speaker himself. The verses 14 through 16 explains some attitudes and qualities that indicate the message is not from God. Then 17 and 18 some attitudes and qualities that indicate that it is.

As a disclaimer, note that when examining the speaker you cannot base your discernment from a first impression. You need to get to know the speaker, examine his conduct out of the pulpit as well as in it. Not just when he is speaking about God but in his everyday communication. A red flag should go up if he is talking more about himself than about God. Is he so convinced of his doctrinal views that he wouldn’t even consider hearing something that is in opposition to his current beliefs? In writing this I recognize that I am not exempt from this examination and welcome it.

So lets look at the qualities of one, as James said “Who is wise and understanding among you”

  • He is first of all pure – Pure in motivations. Without a hidden agenda.
  • Peaceable – They are more interested in the relationship they have with you than that your views are in agreement with their own. They don’t become angry or argumentative over a different belief.
  • Willing to yield (submissive) – Willing to yield to good reason. If the view they are presented is more reasonable than their own, they are willing to abandon their previously held belief for a better one.
  • Full of mercy – The individual that is wise with the wisdom of God will be more spiritually mature than those they are teaching. The spiritually immature are always getting offended about something and usually respond with offensive behavior. You will find that the one who has the wisdom of God is always extending mercy to everyone. I have personally received that mercy many a times.
  • Full of good fruits – The fruits this is referring to of course the fruit of the Spirit. Those qualities are pretty self explanatory.
  • Without partiality – Receives all people where ever they are in their development. Knows that truth can come from any of God’s children.
  • Without hypocrisy – You will find this person consistently displaying these characteristics. In the best of circumstances and in the most difficult. With their best friend, with their harshest critic, with their persecutor, with someone who has made themself an enemy to him.
  • Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

    So again, what is the way to unity? Of course, we should all work toward being unified in “faith and knowledge” but from my understanding of the scriptures, unity is established and held together by peace. How is unity established and held together by peace? Is it our job to put peace in our hearts or does Jesus do this without any effort on our part?

    May the peace of God through his Son, Jesus Christ, be with you and may he prepare our hearts to receive his truth.

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