07 Nov God€™s Great Competitors
Lots of times we think that Satan is Gods great competitors. We gave too much credit to Satan. He has lost all his power at the Cross and therefore he doesn€™t have power over us the believer. The Bible said that we are created in the image of God, which means we are higher than the angel. Thus God€™s great competitor is us, man. Humility is not a popular human trait. It can only survive in the presence of God. It follows God like a shadow. When God is neglected, the runner up god takes His place – man -pride. To battle the unbelief of pride, is by faith in future grace.
The biblical faith in Jesus is coming to Him for the satisfaction of all that God is for us in Him. John 6:35 – I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. Belief is about coming to Him for satisfaction while unbelief is seeking satisfaction in other things. Belief is not merely an agreement with facts in the head, but its also appetite for God in the heart. Faith is coming to Jesus and drinking the water and eating the food so that we find our hearts satisfied in Him.
Pride is turning away from God to take satisfaction in self. Pride is the deepest form of unbelief because self determination and self exaltation lies behind other sinful dispositions. Turning from God assumes that one knows better than God. Pride is the root of every act of distrust toward God.
Jeremiah 9:23 – Gods great competitor – wisdom, might, riches – satisfaction in ourselves.
1 Cor 8:1 – knowledge makes arrogant but love edifies. Paul doesn€™t promote ignorant. Jesus said to be wise as serpent and harmless as dove. It is essential to have knowledge but often times what we know, or we think we know, can lure us from resting in God€™s wisdom and lead us toward boasting in our own. God does not have a success equation. Coz if He does, then all we need is the equation and the method in order to live life. But God wants a personal relationship. He is the X factor that cannot be found in any equation and method. The world called it €˜luck€™. We called it “favor and blessing”.
The organ of knowledge was given to us that we might know God and how the world relates to God. All true knowing depends on God. Matt 16:17 – we know because the Father revealed it to us. God gave us minds not only to know, but to know how we ought to know – God – so we can only boast in Him, the source! When we boast in our wisdom, we have turned from trusting God to ourselves.
Deut 8:11-17 – we are prone to boast in our might. When God graciously blesses us, we leap to take the credit for the gift. But when we live by future grace, we know that all the products of our living are the products of grace. God will not share His glory with the proud. Eg: King of Assyria – “by power of my hand” – “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of King of Assyria (Isaiah 10:12-13). Nebuchadnezzar – Daniel 4:35-37. When he realizes the sovereignty of God and acknowledge it in his heart, God restored him and add even more than before! The antidote to Nebuchadnezzar€™s pride was not merely knowledge in the head, but a new exultation in the heart.
Alongside wisdom and might, the greatest tempter to pride is money. It is the most dangerous one as with money we can purchase the resources of intelligence and power that we may not have in ourselves. Wealth can be a great symbol of self-sufficiency. Hosea 13:6 – As they had their pasture, they become satisfied, and being satisfied, their heart become proud; therefore they forgot Me! Pride is an issue of where your satisfaction is. Israel becomes satisfied in the gifts of God, rather than God!
1 Cor 4:7 – What do you have that you did not receive? But if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? Everything we have, we received from God!
Psalm 33:16-21. We can buy might armies and the strongest horses with wealth. But unless the Lord gives you victory, they will be useless in the day of battle. Future grace is our and only final hope.
Even though we might say that we are self sufficient, we are truly not. There is emptiness that cannot be filled. That€™s why we crave for other people€™s approval. We have the itch of self regard and in need of scratch of approval. It never can be sufficient. But Jesus said “but those who drink the water I give them will never thirst” – John 4:13.
Jeremiah 9:24 – rock bottom biblical answer on how to fight pride. Be stunned and satisfied that we know God – and that He knows us!