Suitcase – Part 5

Matthew 11:28-30 | AMPC (28) Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] (29) Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. [Jer 6:16] (30) For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good–not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.

Jesus is telling us that we do not have to go through this life burdened down with a bunch of baggage. He wants us to take His burden which is light and find rest for our souls.

Pride is the deadliest enemy of the Christian today.

It is a simple truth that our flesh wants to be recognized, exalted and admired. It wants to be looked up to by other people.

We can see through the fall of Lucifer, why pride is called the father of all sin.

If we think about it, we realize the reason that anybody knowingly disobeys God is because he thinks he has a better idea than God does.

Pride is the only reason that division exists in the Body of Christ.

Pride says, “I am right and want to have things my way.”

Religion’s solution to pride is just as dangerous and that is self-abasement.

The truth is self-abasement is another form of pride.

Know that pride is self-exaltation but that true humility is not self-abasement.

Humility is exalting God through the accomplishments He produces in your life. Humility is making sure that God gets all of the glory, and you don’t try and partake in any of it.

Recognize that without God you cannot be or do anything but that in Christ there is absolutely nothing you can’t do.

If you want the presence of God in your life, then see to it that He gets the glory for all the good things that He works through you.

King Saul was a man mightily used by God; however, through pride he lost everything – his anointing, his position and eventually his life.

Saul was completely defeated, and his defeat came through the open door of deception into his life in the form of pride.

Saul wasn’t always full of pride.

1 Samuel 15:17 | NKJV (17) So Samuel said, “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the LORD anoint you king over Israel?

Saul started out little in his own estimation and thus God could use him. As soon as he grew in his estimation of himself, his own pride defeated him.

Humility is the only thing that makes any of us useful in the plan and Kingdom of God.

If we allow pride to grow in our lives – as it did in Saul’s – God’s anointing will decrease. That is the point at which we risk losing the position that God has called us.

Let’s look at some identifying marks of pride in the life of King Saul:

  1. Lies and Exaggerations

1 Samuel 13:3-4 | NKJV (3) And Jonathan attacked the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. Then Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews hear!” (4) Now all Israel heard it said that Saul had attacked a garrison of the Philistines, and that Israel had also become an abomination to the Philistines. And the people were called together to Saul at Gilgal.

We see here that Jonathan smote the Philistines, but Saul wanted all Israel to hear that he himself had defeated them.

We see here that Saul was insecure with his own identity and position with God. As a result, he lied to make himself look better in the eyes of the people.

We all have to deal with the tendency toward insecurity. It makes us want to exaggerate or even lie about ourselves to elevate ourselves in the eyes of others. You can’t treat this lightly – because it will grow. Recognize it and shut the door on it.

  1. Impatience and Arrogance

1 Samuel 13:8-14 | NKJV (8) Then he waited seven days, according to the time set by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him. (9) So Saul said, “Bring a burnt offering and peace offerings here to me.” And he offered the burnt offering. (10) Now it happened, as soon as he had finished presenting the burnt offering, that Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might greet him. (11) And Samuel said, “What have you done?” Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash, (12) then I said, ‘The Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the LORD.’ Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering.” (13) And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you. For now the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. (14) But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.”

We see here that in his impatience, Saul arrogantly tried to assume the office and anointing of another man, the prophet.

Saul became impatient while he was waiting for the plan of God to unfold. He did not want to wait and allow God to bring it to pass.

Don’t try to usurp someone else’s call, responsibility or anointing to attempt to get things moving more quickly for you, simply because you are unhappy with God’s timetable.

  1. A Low Regard for God’s Word

1 Samuel 15:1-3 | NKJV (1) Samuel also said to Saul, “The LORD sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the LORD. (2) Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. (3) Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ “

We see Saul had a low regard for the Word of God.

It may seem harsh what he was commanded to do but it is important to realize we don’t know everything He knows about a given situation. That is why we can’t lean to our own understanding.

We see Saul’s response:

1 Samuel 15:9 | NKJV (9) But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.

Saul felt free to disregard the command of the Lord for the sake of gaining popularity with the people.

He rationalized a way out of doing what God had said to do, doing instead what he thought best.

  1. Blame Shifting

1 Samuel 15:20-21 | NKJV (20) And Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. (21) But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal.”

We see here that Saul began to blame-shift or refused to accept responsibility for his actions by pointing to something or somebody else as the reason for your situation.

We also saw this in the Garden with Adam blaming first his wife and then God..

Genesis 3:12 | NKJV (12) Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”

As we examine our hearts for pride ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Am I so insecure in my own identity in Christ that I tend to lie and exaggerate to make myself look better?
  2. Do I try to operate in other people’s callings or anointing because of impatience or because I think I can stand in someone else’s office?
  3. Am I quick to obey God’s commands or do I make excuses for doing things my way?
  4. When I experience the consequences of my mistakes, do I shift the blame elsewhere?

If you experience any of these tendencies, then pride may be at work in your life. Do something about it and don’t let it destroy your life as it did Saul’s.

1 Peter 5:6 | NKJV (6) Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,

1 Peter 5:5 | NKJV (5) Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “GOD RESISTS THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”

Learn to think of yourself as small, dependent on Him for everything, realizing that without Him we are nothing.

Always be mindful to shift all the credit to the Lord.