|This article is authored by Dick Leggatt, President of Derek Prince Ministries – USA and comprises his February 12, 2013 Newsletter.|
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Do you sometimes feel powerless over pride in your life? I certainly do.
Pride can be such an oppressive force in our lives that it can seem almost unstoppable and uncontrollable at times. Fortunately, Derek Prince had some great teaching on this topic that can help you to turn defeat into victory in your battle against pride.
I’m going to be very transparent here, making a reference to my relationship with my wife. Even though Cindi and I just recently celebrated 43 years of marriage, we still face occasional times of disagreement and distance from one another. You would think that after 43 years, we would have this marriage thing all figured out. Honestly, we don’t.
Usually, at the base of every disagreement we face, there is one main culprit: PRIDE. And when Cindi and I cling to our pride, the process of reconciling our differences takes a whole lot longer. One helpful tool we have discovered, however, is what we both call “the reach.”
“The reach” is simply a gesture on the part of one or both of us to let go of our pride to bridge the alienation gap. Usually, it’s just a practical step toward one another — maybe the simple touch of a hand, or a kind expression on the face, or a sincere apology. But that step requires one of us to swallow our pride and take a step out of our own sense of hurt and self-justification for the greater good of our relationship. A simple step, right? Don’t kid yourself. Pride is such a dominant force that taking a step away from it seems to require the strength of ten people. It is a difficult but deliberate decision — one that only you can make with great determination.
The Boastful Power of Pride
The Bible is full of verses dealing with the power of pride. However, two verses come rapidly to mind — one from the Old Testament and one from the New. We regularly hear people misquote the first Scripture: Proverbs 16:18. They will say: “Pride goeth before a fall.” What that verse says, however, is much worse. Here’s the true quote from the New King James Version: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” If you wish to tread the path to destruction, simply allow pride to rule over your life.
The second verse, 1 John 2:16, applies to most of us because, unfortunately, we fall prey to the items it mentions: “For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh [sexual temptation], the lust of the eyes [greed], and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world.” The New American Standard amplifies that third item, translating it as “…the boastful pride of life.”
No one would deny that the first two traits in that list are bad. But many give place to “the boastful pride of life.” Some might even argue it’s a good trait. However, clinging to such pride of life often represents our basic urge to be independent of God, to insist upon our own way over His, which puts us on the path to destruction in direct opposition to our Father in heaven. And by any estimation, that is certainly not good.
At this point, you are probably either saying “Amen” or “Oh, me!” All of us have to admit that we struggle with pride. The good news is that getting the victory over pride is a decision and a power that we hold in our hands. Our decision regarding pride rests with us, and how we decide makes all the difference between defeat and victory!
The “Nasty Thing” in Your Chest
As I mentioned at the beginning of this letter, Derek Prince taught regularly on this subject, sharing insights that can help us come to the point of victory over pride. The excerpt below is just one of many examples, and it even includes a testimony of how Derek made the choice to step away from his own pride.
“Both James and Peter quote the same Scripture, Proverbs 3:34. “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). That’s an absolutely unerring principle of the Word of God. So, what is our response? Humble yourself.
I hear people from time to time praying a prayer like, “God, make me humble.” I doubt whether that’s a scriptural prayer. God says this is your responsibility: you humble yourself. It says to humble yourself before God and humble yourself before men. Clothe yourself with humility toward one another.
I remember the awful conflict between pride and need in my life when I realized that in a gospel service somebody was asking me to put my hand up in front of a lot of old ladies. If I’d not been willing to humble myself in front of those old ladies, I could not have humbled myself before God.
God has His ways. You know that, don’t you? When the time comes, God will put you in a situation where there will be a way to humble yourself. You may have to go to your wife and say, “ I’m sorry, I haven’t treated you right.” That’s humbling, isn’t it?
I remember when I got angry with one of my daughters many, many years ago. I spoke to her in a way that was not justified. For 48 hours I had this nasty thing in my chest . I tried every way to get rid of it. I prayed, I read the Bible…but I knew in my heart there was no way to get rid of that but to go back to my daughter and say, “ I’m sorry. Forgive me.” She was only 13 at the time. But when I did that, this nasty thing left my chest, because it says, “Anger rests in the bosom of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7:9). (Did you know that?)
I could have done anything — but nothing would release me from that problem except humbling myself before my own daughter.”
A Step in Prayer
The excerpt we just shared from Derek’s teaching and life experience may have reminded you of an incident in your own life — maybe one that is still unresolved. Maybe you are sensing the Lord prompting you to take action right now. The key to your victory revolves around one question: Will I cling to my pride, or will I humble myself before God and the person I love? The decision is in your hands. To take a positive step, will you join me in the following prayer?
Father, I want to choose humility right now over pride. I confess that I have insisted upon going my own way, and that I regularly cling to my own pride. I want to change that pattern.
Especially in the specific situation You have brought to mind where my pride has become a barrier, I yield my prideful position, and I humble myself before You.
Lord, I choose now to step away from my pride. I also pledge that I will make “a reach” toward the person from whom I have become alienated. I will find a way to humble myself and ask their forgiveness.
Father, I need Your help and grace in all of this. Please open the way before me. First and foremost, with this prayer, I take the step You require of me: I humble myself before You. I deliberately release the pride that has held me captive, and I repent before You. Thank You in advance for the freedom You will bring to me.
Open Doors Ahead?
As a result of that prayer on your part, you have opened doors to the possibility of significant freedom in your life. In addition, when you follow up with appropriate action in any case of alienation facing you, even greater freedom can flood into your life. It would be our privilege to encourage you and stand with you in the process you have begun.
Please feel free to stay in contact with us as you move ahead in that exciting venture.
One really helpful option we can provide is solid teaching on the topic of pride. Please feel free to download our free offer for “Self-Humbling,” an audio message by Derek Prince. Like the excerpt we included, this teaching will give you some keys to conquering pride in your life. We are so glad to make this available to you. It is just one small way for us to express our tremendous gratitude for your faithful prayers and gracious financial support for the work of Derek Prince Ministries. We couldn’t do what we do without your help, and we send our love and thanks for all the ways you are involved with us.
Did you pray the prayer in this letter? I hope so. If you did, you have made a life-changing decision — a major step that will bring you into victory over the power of pride in your life.
Who knows what doors you have just opened to newfound freedom? Who knows how it will affect you and the people whose lives you impact? Congratulations on the wonderful choice you have made!
P.S. Thank you again for standing with us so faithfully in your prayers and financial contributions. Please let us know how your life has been impacted by the decision you have just made. And please make sure to reinforce the step you have taken by downloading our free offer for Derek’s message, “Self-Humbling.” We know it will help in the wonderful process you have begun.