Ever feel assertive? Aggressive? Demanding or insistent? Watch out! A proud heart makes everyone an opponent-even God!
12 Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.
Most people think of wickedness as really evil stuff. In reality, it is anything that is not godly. Selfish thoughts are wicked because they are not godly thoughts, and in the same way, selfish deeds are wicked deeds because they are not Spirit-led. Now we can see why we DON’T want to be judged according to our deeds (and thoughts), but rather by the blood of Jesus (see Rev. 20:12-15).
The problem with wicked (selfish, aggressive, sinful) thoughts is that they lead to a contemptible attitude, which has two meanings: the first is that we hold everything and everyone in contempt, the other is that we make ourselves contemptible to those around us. Thus:
3 When wickedness comes, so does contempt, and with shame comes disgrace.
What do we do when these thoughts come unbidden to our minds? Let’s remind ourselves of a few realities:
- As Christians (Christ followers), we have the indwelling Holy Spirit, so we have access to the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16).
- Recognizing our true position in Christ enables us to step back and see from God’s perspective. What is that position? Humility-He is God and we are not! Usurping God’s position in our lives is serious business. James, Jesus’s brother, says, 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. Jas 4:6-10
- We have what we need to combat our flesh and our enemy. His Spirit equips us with spiritual armor (Eph. 6:10-18) and with His power.
A memory passage of mine (because I NEED it) is,
3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 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. 2Co 10:3-5
God loves us and wants the best for us (that which makes us more like Christ). He is faithful and will fulfill that goal in our lives. We can trust Him to walk with us through each day as we do battle. BE ENCOURAGED!