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Understanding and Overcoming Temptation Part 5

The Pride of Life

Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. Prov. 16:18 (NKJV)

We are looking at a series of devotionals on understanding and overcoming temptation. We are looking at the three categories listed in 1 John 2:15-16 in which “All” temptation will be introduced to us. The first two are:

1. The lust of the flesh

2. The lust of the eyes

So, let’s take a look at the third and final category in which temptation will be introduced to us.

3. The pride of life

The pride of life is at the base of every other temptation including the lust of the flesh,and the lust of the eyesThis is because the boastful pride of human nature cares primarily about “Self,” and it attempts to promote itself above everyone else.  

Such was the case with King Nebuchadnezzar. He was arrogant and prideful—he had been warned, but he continued to walk in his pride. The Book of Daniel records how God dealt with this. One day the King was walking about the royal palace of Babylon.  The king spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?”  While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.”

That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws (Daniel 4:29-33).

Nebuchadnezzar believed everything he possessed was achieved by his own might, and power. It is the same for many people today with their possessions — they too believe it is by their hand — by their power, by their wisdom, or by their skill, they have been blessed. It is this same type of pride that caused a 9’6” tall giant named Goliath to be slain by a young shepherd boy named David (1 Samuel 17).  

Pride continues to be the main reason we fall in sin as well—it can be the refusal to give God His rightful place of honor, or an unwillingness to abide in His will for our life. The Book of Romans captures what will happen if we continue to walk in this type of disobedience and pride.

Q: How can we guard ourselves against the pride of life?

By choosing to be humble.

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. James 4:10 (NKJV)

We need to be alert, knowing that Satan is seeking whom he may devour. We can be confident in knowing that with God’s protection—His continuous presence and his constant regard for His children — Satan can be beaten.  We must remember that Jesus already beat Satan and He is on the throne overseeing our wellbeing.   

We must be prepared to meet the temptations of the enemy by first putting on the Protective Armor of God each day (Eph. 6:10-18), and then by submitting to God and resisting the devil (James 4:7). Resisting the devil goes hand in hand with “submitting” to God. This means we’re willingly placing ourselves under the authority of God, to show our respect and to obey him (John 15:1-10).  If we abide in God and in His Word, then we will be submitting to Him.  As we do this, we can easily resist the devil.  And as we do this, he must flee.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn about pride and its affect from the Scriptures contained within this devotional?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you submitting to God and His Lordship in your life, or are you seeking to exalt yourself and fulfill the desires of the flesh?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Come humbly to the Lord today and seek forgiveness of any pride you may have.  Turn from it and choose to be humble.  Allow God to lift you up in due time, and when He does choose to defer the glory to Him.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:  Father, thank You for being so merciful to me.  Thank You for teaching me the things I need to know, and for transforming me into the image of Your Son.  Help me to see those areas in my life I need to lay down in humility.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…


May the Lord bless your day abundantly, Scott




Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000