Pride of Life

Eve saw that the tree was “desirable for gaining wisdom” (Genesis 3:6). The chink in her armor was now a gaping hole, and Satan drove the final stake: “God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (verse 5). Eve’s resolve finally crumpled under the pride of life, and “she took some and ate it.”

Satan’s promise that the couple would become like God was a lie he knew well, as he had believed it once himself. His own pride precipitated his fall from heaven. His objective was to get Adam and Eve to lose their dominion, and when that happened he filled the vacant post and became the prince of this world. Satan tried the same ploy with Jesus when he offered Him the kingdoms of this world if He would bow down and worship him. In other words, “I’ll pay you to praise me.” Such incredible vainglory. Jesus commanded Satan to leave, declaring that He would worship and serve God only (see Matthew 4:10).

By appealing to the pride of life, Satan intends to steer us away from the worship of God and destroy our obedience to Him. Whenever we think that we don’t need God’s help or direction — that we can handle our lives without consulting Him and that we don’t have to bow our knee to anyone — we must be prepared for a fall. When we stop worshiping and serving God, we are serving the god of this world, and that is what he wants more than anything else.

Satan and pride are intricately connected. “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble. Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:6-7). “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. . . . Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” 1 Peter 5:6,8).

From our earliest years we crave for attention. Little boys show off and little girls wear padded bras and paint their faces. Actors and musicians keep adding award shows. A football player makes a great tackle and draws attention to himself. Hey, look at me! Christians have their own award shows and build their own monuments. A proud Christian benefits Satan more than an atheist or pagan. A lot more would be accomplished in the kingdom of God if we didn’t care who received the credit.

Remember that there are three critical issues reflected in the channels of temptation. First, the lust of the flesh will draw us away from the will of God and destroy our dependence on Him. Second, the lust of the eyes will draw us away from the Word of God and destroy our confidence in Him. Third, the boastful pride of life will draw us away from our worship of God and destroy our humble obedience to Him.

The temptation to have power and influence apart from God has destroyed many ministries. We have to build God’s kingdom, not ours. We have to glorify the Lord and not seek glory for ourselves. We have to find our worth in our relationship with God and not in human accomplishments. When we do, the King of kings and the Lord of lords will bless us.

Dr. Neil

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