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The Bible does more than help us identify the working of pride in our lives. It also shows us how to eliminate it. I want to share some things from God's Word with you - things you can do to prevent pride from encroaching on your life or to remove it if it is already there.

Lucifer, of course, is our prime example of pride. You would have thought he had everything he could possibly want. In Ezekiel 28:12-15, God says he was full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. He was the anointed cherub that covered—meaning God had given him rulership over His creation. God also said of Lucifer: "Thou was perfect in thy ways from the day thou was created."

Yet even with all God had given him, Lucifer came to a place when he said, "I will exalt my throne above the stars of God" (Is. 14:13). The root of his rebellion was his dissatisfaction with what he had. He just wanted more.

The fallen Lucifer—now called Satan or the Serpent—then tempted Adam and Eve with the very same thing that caused his fall—pride. At that time every living thing on this earth was subject to Adam's authority. He was made in the image and likeness of the God who proclaimed that man could partake of every tree in the Garden but one. Yet Adam chose to partake of the only thing that was forbidden to him, because Satan told him it would elevate his status to that of God.

Here is the lesson. If you are acting out of carnal dissatisfaction, then any efforts—even for good things—to promote change in your life will not produce the blessing of God's will, because your motive is to promote yourself. The antidote to this spirit of dissatisfaction is developing an attitude of contentment.

Develop an Attitude of Contentment
Let's examine what the Bible says about this tendency to be dissatisfied with what we have. Hebrews 13:5 (AMP) says: "Be satisfied with your present circumstances." Now, we can be sure that God is not telling us to be content with any of Satan's work in our lives. That would be contradictory to much of what we find in other parts of the Word.

In understanding this, it might help to realize that contentment is a spiritual force just as faith is. Just as fear and faith are opposites, so are dissatisfaction and contentment. The root of dissatisfaction is pride, and if it is left to operate in your life, it will lead you to make decisions that ultimately bring destruction into your life.

Paul sheds a little more light on the subject of contentment in Chapter 4 of Philippians when he says: "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content" (Phil. 4:11).

You can easily see that being content is something you must learn to do. Also notice that Paul said he practices contentment in whatever state. You see, you are not to maintain an attitude of contentment just when things are going well. Your spirit of contentment should remain intact through sickness, lack, or any other sort of attack. This, however, does not mean you lie back and do nothing about negative circumstances in your life.

No matter what situation you find yourself in, no matter what dire circumstances you face, you are to remain content to the point of not being disturbed or disquieted. If you don't, you actually limit God's ability to lift you out of that situation or those circumstances.

Why is this? Because dissatisfaction comes from thoughts like, I don't deserve this. Why is this happening to me? I attend church every week and pray every day. I am confessing the right Scriptures. This shouldn't be happening to me.
Do you see how this is an overly self-concerned attitude?

The root of that is pride. Even if you are confessing, praying and believing correctly, God has difficulty in responding because your motive is wrong. When you operate in pride, your desires are self-centered.

It is also extremely important that your desire for more of God's presence and power doesn't turn into dissatisfaction with the blessings He has already given you. This is why, in another part of this same chapter in Philippians, Paul encourages us along these lines: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6-7).

Pressing Toward the Mark
How do you keep from becoming disturbed or disquieted? First, you do what Paul did. You choose to press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. If you are making progress toward your divinely appointed destiny in Jesus, you will automatically leave behind the disturbing and disquieting things Satan tries to do in your life.

What is the prize Paul talks about here? Ultimately, of course, it is eternity with God in Heaven. But it also refers to the abundant life in Christ that is available to you now. You may not yet know what your high calling is. The dream God has placed in your heart may not be defined well enough for you to know what to do next. But, praise God, His Word has given us a mark to press toward. Head for that mark, and ultimately God's dream, or high calling, for you will come into view.

There is an interesting thing about this mark - it is the same for all of us, no matter how widely our individual callings may vary. It is a universal signpost that will put all who follow it on the winning pathway. What is this mark we must press toward? In a word, it is servanthood.

Jesus established the importance of servanthood with His words and by His example. Remember when the disciples were arguing about who among them was the greatest? Jesus told them "the greatest among them was he who would be the servant of all" (Luke 22:24-27). Later He demonstrated that principle by washing their feet.

Service is the key to maintaining the outward focus that keeps you from becoming disquieted or dissatisfied. It is the mark by which we should measure every decision, every action and every thought. The problem is, many of us have a negative, stereotypical image of what a servant is. We equate servanthood with slavery and forced servitude. We think that the role of the servant is a degrading one. That is certainly not something we equate with winning.

When you begin serving with your money - in other words, giving - you will soon find yourself winning in the area of finances. Start serving in the area of relationships - loving - and you will soon reap a winning harvest of love in your own life. The same principle applies to any and every area of your existence.

As we wait upon God's needs and purposes in the earth, as we serve Him, expecting Him to empower us, He will release the might we need to be winners in every circumstance. Yes, I said every circumstance! Pressing toward the mark of servanthood can turn even the bleakest of situations around one hundred and eighty degrees.

Source: Doorways to Deception by Mac Hammond.
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Mac Hammond
Web site: Mac Hammond
 
Mac Hammond is senior pastor of Living Word Christian Center, a large and growing church in Brooklyn Park (a suburb of Minneapolis), Minnesota. He is the host of the Winner’s Minute, which is seen locally in the Minneapolis area and can also be viewed at winnersminute.com. He is also the host of the Winner’s Way broadcast and author of several internationally distributed books. Mac is broadly acclaimed for his ability to apply the principles of the Bible to practical situations and the challenges of daily living.
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