What Is More Dangerous Than Success!
"Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths, lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; on you I wait all the day." Psalm 25:4-5 These words were written by King David, the greatest of the kings of Israel. God said of him: "I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will do all my will." Acts 13:22 But David had a history. David was guilty of grievous sin - yet he was esteemed in the eyes of God. So why was he so highly esteemed? What was it about him that would prompt God to say that David was a man after his own heart? It's very difficult to find a man in power who is not consumed with pride. As it is said, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." I heard a man on a broadcast recently, the pastor of a large church, a man with a doctorate who recently wrote a book. He was being interviewed on a Christian radio program. Throughout the broadcast the man continuously brought attention to himself and to his book. Throughout the interview he kept repeating, "As I said in my book," which he named over and over again ad nauseam. Then he referred to which tv programs he had been featured on. This whole interview was not conducted on the topic he was invited to speak on, as much as it was about himself ...and it was disgusting, a real turn-off. This is what happens when a man gets a doctorate, leads a large church, writes a book, or rises to a high position. He cannot resist pride. Instead of serving the Lord with his knowledge, he brings the attention to himself. Not so King David. David speaks, refusing to abide in the pride of his position or to follow his own reasoning. "Show me," he prayed, "teach me," "lead me," "on you I wait." A rare man who had every reason, as a king, to be puffed up with pride - but was not. Pride is the most grievous trait of corrupt man. If you do a study on how many times it is spoken of in the Scriptures, you will come to the conclusion that of all human failings, pride is the most deadly. Satan started out as Lucifer, a shining angel of highest position in heaven. It was pride that brought him down. Count the "I will's:" “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’" Isaiah 14:12-14 He was created the most beautiful of all the angels. He was the leader of worship. And ...it went to his head. He was consumed with pride, and that is what doomed him: vs 15: "Yet you shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit." His pride sealed his fate ...in hell. What is more dangerous than success? What is more dangerous than setting goals for oneself and attaining them? When we start to "feel good about ourselves," we enter a very dangerous place, because pride stands at the door of our hearts waiting, and usually succeeds in taking over a "successful" person's heart. “The man whom God delights to bless,
he never curses with success.”
-Charles Wesley To follow Christ necessitates a surrendered heart. To follow Christ is to have a heart of obedience, not a heart of "I will's." The "I will's" of man prophesy his own doom. On the other hand, the obedience of man puts him in a place where God will say of him, he is "a man after my own heart." Dying to pride is probably the most difficult thing anyone can do, especially if he's successful or if he's in a position of authority or power. Flee from pride. And pray intensely that you never fall into this trap ...for once you do, you lose your favor with God. "He must increase, but I must decrease." John 3:30