By Pam Clark
September-October 1996 - Volume XIII, No. 5

The Problem of Pride??? by Pam Clark

The longer I live, the more sermons I hear, because I have a great hunger to hear messages that cause me to know God better and understand what I can about Him. But in the course of all that, sometimes I hear sermons and messages that are not right (by the revelation that I have received by His Spirit) and it grieves me, because I see it as a stumblingblock or hindrance to others in their walk.

Most mean well, and really think they are telling it right, and there have been occasions where I have been wrong; but there are some “themes” which I find prevalent and that would hinder me (because they have in the past) if I did not know better. The problem is pride and the subject is pride!

As Americans, we have been a blessed society--because of our knowledge of the Word of God--and we have been able to walk with authority all over the world because of our understanding. Our understanding is a gift of God and the gifts and callings of God are without repentance.

I believe the Lord feels it is our advantage to know about Him! But some can take this knowledge and advantage and corrupt it, and some do not even know that they are doing it.

And from the very same Scriptures that there is the understanding, are the condemning words of God that say: “I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, Who walk in a way that is not good, according to their own thoughts; a people who provoke Me to anger continually to My face...who say, 'Keep to yourself, Do not come near me, For I am holier than you!' These are smoke in My nostrils, a fire that burns all the day. "Behold, it is written before Me: I will not keep silence, but will repay; even repay into their bosom.”

It’s called pride, and arrogance. Knowledge puffs up. Some get a little more knowledge than they had and they are suddenly experts and better and more all-knowing than others.

Now why did I use the term “all-knowing” there? Because the Scriptures say that we have an unction or anointing by the Spirit and we know all things! By the Spirit, we know all we need to know to get it right! We have not become Sovereign.

And what is the cure for this ail of arrogant thinking that we are now superior and know more than others? I would just ask you to consider the plight of the arch angel who fell, Satan. He was cast out of Heaven.

What is love? “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.”

So when we become perfect, will we have become Sovereign as well? Jesus takes all things and submits before the Father. Are we greater than He? Of course not.

We cannot become perfect without love. And love is not quickly understood.

But if we want to know more of God and be like Him and close to Him, we must begin to understand it, for God is Love. That is His nature, His unchanging character.

For some, knowledge is power. And for a season, one may exhibit this power. But if the root of this power is not love, it will not last. If the root becomes corrupted by drinking from a poison stream instead of the River of God, it will perish.

Like the leaven of the Pharisees who ministered the Word and truths of God, it is doomed and dangerous.

It seems to be paradoxical, but God is a Spirit. They who worship Him must worship Him, believe and serve Him, in a spirit of truth and love. For some, truth may be the “facts,” but without the Spirit of Love, it is not God!

All of you was in Adam in the Garden. All of Eve was in Adam in the Garden. When they were tempted and fell, you went with them because your strength in them could not stand. Adam and Eve are our parents. In that state of perfection, you could not say that if you had been there, you would have done differently. Our problem is not with Adam and Eve but with the Word and Will of God--we each wanted to go our own way.

But even after the Fall, there was a hunger for God. If there had not been, I believe He would have destroyed this Creation. But when God created all that He had, He said, “Behold, it is very good!” God has a Plan. He has a will. And until we know the nature and character of God, we cannot come into this perfect will and Plan.

Adam and Eve are our parents, and we must honor them, whether they are right or wrong. Just as we see in time in the following generations, there are some things that are evil and some things that are good; we must separate the precious from the vile and do God’s will.

If a person or situation is totally corrupt, but the concept is/was a good one, we must honor God, our Parent, and acknowledge the good but reject the evil.

In Isaiah there is a Messianic Scripture that says, “Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.” (Isaiah 7:15) That wisdom of God is, in our modern day terms, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”

I believe that Abraham grew up with a hunger for God. If you study the genealogies out, you will see that he and our Grandpa Noah lived at the same time. I am convinced they met. I can’t prove it, but you can’t disprove it, ha ha!

So many say he worshipped the moon god. I have a hard time with that, because I don’t see that anywhere in Scripture. Maybe he did, and I am sure he was around such things, but God saw something in Abraham that made Him recognize Abraham in a special way and call him out from among his people.

Like the rest of us, Abraham had a hard time doing what God required, yet Abraham is still known as our “father of faith.”

Some people want to paint Bible heroes in the worst light possible. I guess that makes us feel better because “we have a little knowledge.” We have some knowledge beyond them, as we say we have the bigger picture, but do we??? I’ll compare a saint of God with a young Harvard hot shot any day and see who comes out on top.

We must honor our elders in the Lord! One victim of our pride, in my opinion, is Elijah. This man gets maligned big time. “Old stupid Elijah,” some just about come out and say, “why after his great victory, he falls for what a woman says and wants to kill himself.” Have you eaten any angel food lately???

How little they know. Do you know what it took in Elijah for the fire to come down on Mount Carmel? Have you thought about it? The Bible plainly states he was a man like we are, with like passions--yet he won this great victory in the Lord. What made him different? Think about it!

Why would the words of Jezebel so destroy him? How could Elijah walk so close to God and be defeated here? Have you considered it? What did it mean for him to achieve this great victory? Was it a waste of time? I hardly think so. We honor Elijah for it.

Some think so small that they say he fell for a woman. In doing so, they are attempting to put women down as evil. Was it her eyelashes?

The man called down fire from Heaven that licked up water and defied 450 prophets of Baal; I don’t think so. We do stupid things, but I don’t think that a woman is what stumbled Elijah.

Think about it. The clue and the key is Elijah’s prayers. Before the fire fell from Heaven, Elijah was on his knees, before others. He had prayed before and he was praying now. He was calling on the Lord his God, not some magical powers. Think about it!!! In this day of prosperous psychic hotlines, we need to think about it!!!

Elijah was motivated by the Spirit of Love. That is why his prayers had power. When God had done His best work (for that day and time), Jezzy still did not believe. Elijah had spent all that he had of his inner resources for her in prayer.

Spiritually he knew that the demonic forces were operating through her. He gave it his best shot and she still did not believe or receive. Elijah loved her and Ahab in prayer.

He was amazed and distressed but God was not, that she turned away from the Most High God. I am sure God was amazed, but He was not distraught, as He is the Sure One. He made them, but gave them the choice. He knew what He was doing, but gave them every chance. Are we without excuse today?

Oh some think they are smarter than Elijah. They would never fall for “a woman.” It wasn’t a woman thing--it was a God/god thing.

Some have no compassion for Jonah--not that they have preached a whole city into repentance with fastings down to the cows.

I live in Houston. It is getting worse by the day. You can’t drive down the road, read a paper, or turn on the television without being spiritually assaulted.

Jonah had lost heart. God saw that there was hope, because God knows all and sees the heart. It was for Jonah to obey, not call the shots.

When Jonah was convinced, he obeyed and the city was converted. But where Jonah missed it, was that he did not follow through with ministry. In his knowledge, he became puffed up and “sovereign” and 150 years later, Ninevah collapsed.

Jonah was asleep in the storm because of the peace of God that he trusted in. He trusted God so much, that he allowed himself to be thrown overboard because he really did not want to go to Ninevah. But when he saw the repentance, he should have discipled some to carry out the work.

But sometimes people want to believe in “magic” and lying signs and wonders more than the Spirit of God. They will die for that more quickly.

The last persons I want to mention are Job and Joseph who had evil circumstances come into their lives. Oh, some are so quick to look down their short little noses and condemn them, having never lived the righteousness these two have lived.

Job believed God. Joseph had a dream and told it. Well, when you get good news that excites you, do you tell??? Often you do! But was it pride???

We are so quick to judge. The dream came from God. We know, because it came to pass. Did God see something in Joseph? Did God see something in Job? He called him “a blameless man.” If pride is a sin, that is not blameless, yet blamelessness is not sovereignty. (You hear these men preached wrong all the time!)

Jacob (or Israel), Joseph’s father, considered what his son had to say even though he was shocked by it, but the brothers are the ones who had the pride because they sought to destroy him.

It was not “losing his pride” that caused Joseph to become second in command to Pharaoh, but many will preach it that way! It’s so common that you have to grin and bear it and groan inside, as politely as you can.

Joseph was able to receive the vision. It was not pride, it was a destiny from the Spirit of God which is Love. But Joseph was naive, and could not see the evil in others. He didn’t want to! But God had to give him wisdom so he could rule and had to take him to the lower places of the earth to train him.

People lust for power. People con for money. If Joseph had not learned that, he could not have ruled righteously and effectively.

Joseph could see good and discern it. Many can discern evil, but cannot discern good!

Job stood in the strength that he had, and God rewarded him for his integrity. Most can point out the evil in Job, but not the good. The bottom line, the way some people preach it, is the evil and not the good. They don’t know God.

Today, Bibles are everywhere. In Solomon’s time, gold and silver could be found in the streets---today something greater than Solomon can be found in the trash. Who will judge us?

I don’t reverence every scrap of paper that might have a spiritual saying on it, but the true knowledge of God is here. And you can find it everywhere. It’s so common, we don’t have a problem throwing some of it away.

Who will judge us? Does our knowledge puff up or lift up? There is no condemnation if you see it and then get it right!