Good Friday Morning,
Last week I wrote about our eternal home in Heaven. Well if you’re reading this email, you aren’t there in paradise just yet, so we remain here on earth attempting to live a life pleasing to God with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Last week I quoted scripture where Jesus tells his disciples he is preparing a place for them and where he is going, there they will be also. He says, “you know the way to the place where I am going.” In John 14:5, Thomas was confused and asked Jesus, “Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way.” Jesus responded, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
While we are still here on earth, we should be ambassadors of Christ, in our speech, our actions, and our attitudes so that our lives point “the way”. I have to be honest, the last couple of months, my life has probably not pointed to Christ, but instead to my own pride, discord, and attempts to control. I’m normally a laid back calm individual, but some changes in life and a situation at work really got a hold of me, and it was difficult to let it go. I felt justified in my feelings over the situation and mentally stewed over this for way too long. After seeing my reaction and attitude clearly, I finally came to a place of disgust and brokenness over my own sin and was able to surrender it to Christ.
Circumstances and stressors happen in life that can sometimes cause sin that we think we’ve mastered to bubble to the surface again, and we wonder if we’ve really grown at all. The definition of mastered is “gain control, overcome”. Hence where pride always causes problems; we are trusting in ourselves and think we have control. Pastor David King has been preaching on the roadblocks of life. He correlates our sin with construction roadblocks, places in our lives where we sometimes feel stuck. We try so hard to gain or maintain control instead of allowing God to take the wheel during those hazardous construction zones of our life.
Truth is, we will never truly “master” pride this side of heaven. Pride is at the root of most problems, both individually and collectively as a society. We have to be on guard for this roadblock as it was the very first sin, what we call “The Fall”. Take your focus off eating the forbidden fruit and recall WHY Adam and Eve ate the fruit – they wanted the wisdom to be like God. “Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous” Romans 5:18-19.
Feelings of frustration and anger, unforgiveness and bitterness, even worry and hopelessness – these are merely the blinking warning lights that pride has reared its ugly head again. These feelings are not sin in and of themselves, but how we choose to deal with them might result in sin because it goes back to us wanting to be in control. When you hold a grudge or worry excessively, you may think you’re not sinning because you aren’t “doing” anything to anyone. But God cares not just what we do to others but also what we are doing to ourselves, and He wants us set free. I heard on the radio the other day, “if you are at a place where you feel you have a right to fill in the blank, you are probably already in the pit.”
It’s only when we realize we are in a pit, and subsequently that we can’t make it out of the pit on our own, that we lay down our pride and seek the forgiveness of our Heavenly Father through the only way – the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
A new song by Tenth Avenue North, Control, is a perfect match for this message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFfztu8-bBQ
Heavenly Father, thank you for Your written Word that is a map for life’s journey. Thank you that Your Word became flesh in Your Son, Jesus Christ, and provides a way for us to not just receive salvation and eternal life, but reconciliation every time we confess our sin to You, to be set free and lifted out of the pit. Help us to recognize the sin of pride that likes to wear many masks. Give us a desire to remain in Your Word for directions to navigate the storms and roadblocks of life as we journey on to our final destination in Heaven. Lord, we love you, Amen.
What warning lights are blinking that need to be checked in your life today?