“I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another …” (Is. 42:8)
In the words of Beth Moore, “He will not share His glory with another, not even with His own children.”
We were “created for God’s glory” (Is. 43:6-7) and He desires to show His glory through our lives. He is most readily seen in those whose heart’s desire is His name and renown (Is. 26:8).
God calls us to seek His glory alone, not because He’s egotistical, but because He truly is the only One worthy of all glory and, when He is glorified, we are safe and satisfied in Him.
Jeremiah 13:15-17 reveals God’s heart for us, and the reasons why He longs for us to give Him glory:
Hear and pay attention,
do not be arrogant,
for the Lord has spoken.
Give glory to the Lord your God
before he brings the darkness,
before your feet stumble
on the darkening hills.
You hope for light,
but he will turn it to utter darkness
and change it to deep gloom.
If you do not listen,
I will weep in secret
because of your pride;
my eyes will weep bitterly,
overflowing with tears,
because the Lord’s flock will be taken captive.
In this passage, we see God reminding us that we need hear and pay attention to His spoken word, because our natural inclination towards pride often makes us feel that we already know what we need to know and that we are already obeying Him in all the necessary ways.
He then reveals the remedy for our arrogance: giving glory to the Lord our God. Choosing to glorify Him (rather than ourselves) is a wise move, because darkness and stumbling often follow closely behind pride.
Yet, what touched me most in this passage was God’s heart-response to our pride: bitter weeping and overflowing tears. How gracious a God we serve, that He should WEEP when we flaunt ourselves before Him in arrogance! And what is the primary cause of God’s weeping? What will ultimately happen if God’s people, due to pride, do not listen to Him? Verse 17 says that the Lord’s flock will be taken captive. There will be thick darkness and deep gloom, and the church of Christ will fail to fully know and live in the freedom He purchased for them by His blood. This is what breaks God’s heart.
As I pondered the apparent connection between pride and captivity today, I came up with 3 reasons why we need to cast down pride in order to break free from bondage in our lives as Christians.
Reason # 1: Pride is blinding
Pride stops us from seeing areas of captivity in our lives.
Obadiah 1:3 says, “The pride of your heart has deceived you.”
Truly, we are deceived and blinded by pride.
“God wants to get to our hearts. Pride covers the heart.
God wants to set us completely free. Pride says we’re free enough.
God wants to free us from any hindrances of the past. Pride refuses to take a fresh look back.”
– Beth Moore –
The first step on the road to freedom is first seeing and acknowledging that we are captives!
Reason #2 : Pride stops us from admitting we need help
Even when we see that we need freedom, pride won’t let us admit weakness. Pride causes us to live in denial, avoiding the reality of our failures. When we are driven by pride, we are too busy boasting in our strengths to realize that real power comes from boasting in our weaknesses!
Paul says in 1 Cor. 12:9-10, “I will boast al the more gladly ABOUT MY WEAKNESSES, so that CHRIST’S POWER may rest on me…I delight in weaknesses…For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
True strength, life and freedom comes in admitting that we’re weak in ourselves.
Reason #3: Pride makes us big in our own eyes, while simultaneously making Christ small.
We need to SEE JESUS to be transformed and set free. 2 Cor. 3:17-18 says:
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
Then, in Isaiah 57:15 we read where God says,
“I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
So there is freedom where God is, and He lives with those who are humble in spirit. We also see that, when we behold His glory, we are changed from one degree of glory to another! How amazing!
But how can we behold His glory when we are prideful and consumed with ourselves and our own glory?
Today I see more clearly than ever that pride is a vicious enemy. It only breeds quarrels (Prov. 13:10), brings disgrace (Prov. 11:2) and leads to destruction (Prov. 16:18).
On the other hand, I see that humility is a friend. With humility comes wisdom (Prov. 11:2) and God gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).
So today I humble myself, as 1 Peter 5:6 commands, by dwelling on God’s greatness and submitting to Him. Today I have seen God, and I say with Job:
“I know that you can do all things;
no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’
Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me to know.
“You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.’
My ears had heard of you
but now my eyes have seen you.
Therefore I despise myself
and repent in dust and ashes.”
May the Spirit of Christ help me daily to avoid the pitfall of pride, which keeps me from glorifying Him.