This week Steve Smith was dismissed from the captaincy of the Australian Cricket team. He confessed to condoning the tampering of the ball by one of the other players during the third test against South Africa. The whole of Australia couldn’t believe we would cheat to win a sporting game. At his first interview, Steve admitted his mistake but expected to retain his position. He had not weighed up the consequences of his actions. He hadn’t considered that all Australians would be appalled and disheartened. That his young fans would be offended and disapprove in unbelief. That he would go from hero to villain. That the South Africans would boo him onto the field. That the media companies would withdraw their financial support. That the fans would boycott the future matches. That he would forever be remembered for his error of judgment. That he would lose his captaincy and be banned from playing for 12 months.
Pride blocks you seeing the consequences. It can’t appreciate what it’s got, it can only see what it wants and what it isn’t getting. Pride doesn’t think it’s doing anything that bad. It questions any correction by an authority. It blames and TELLS you how to behave for its own benefit. It won’t really accept that it’s done anything that bad. It hates anyone higher or more successful than itself. It thinks it’s right. It refuses to lower its position.
Pride thinks there’ll be no consequences; only good thigs will happen to me. Pride thinks God loves me, so He’ll look after me and never let anything bad to happen to me. It doesn’t serve Christ for Christ’s sake, it expects Christ to serve them.
The old demonic trick of make them look bad so we don’t
Pride is designed to trap you into reacting against its stubborn resistance so that it spiritually controls you. Once you play ball with someone’s pride you are trapped in your own pride. I suspect the demonic spirit behind South Africa goaded the Australian vice-captain to retaliate to mocking taunts, so that he tempted the captain to coerce with his plan of ball-tampering so that the team would get caught in its own pride. I’ve seen and experienced many times where a demonic power working through someone, goads the person to react against it’s unfair injustice and once the person has reacted to the bait it then has the power to point the finger at your weakness and divert the attention off themselves. Demons take control over you by tempting you to fall to your pride.
The Pastor and the Painter
Journalist, Cindy Wockner, has written a book titled, the Pastor and the Painter. It tells the biography of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran from the moment they were arrested for drug smuggling in Indonesia, to the moment they were executed for the crime some 10 years later. In a television interview, Cindy describes the initial character of the two offenders as arrogant and insolent and disrespectful, without any remorse for their behaviour and offence, and without any agreement that they’d done wrong. She then goes on to say that after being in jail for over 6 years they both came to accept they that had done wrong. It was that decision that changed them from within to become responsible and remorseful for what they had done. They both changed and became genuinely Christ-like in their behaviour.
The key was accepting that they were wrong instead of being flippant about their deeds. Even so, they paid the ultimate consequence for their insolence.
2 thieves on the cross
In Luke 23:39 we read the reactions of the malefactors on the crosses next to Christ. One thief was only concerned about getting out of his problem and TOLD Jesus how to behave and fix it for him. He objected to the consequences. Demonic spirits always TELL you and blame you for their problem even though it’s obvious they, themselves, created the problem. Notice that Jesus didn’t play ball with this thief. He wouldn’t let His Spirit get trapped into His pride by demonic temptation. The enemy was still working his temptations right up to the end.
The other thief stood up for Jesus and rebuked the arrogant thief. He lowered his pride, accepted that he deserved the punishment, opened his heart to Christ, and was immediately saved for eternity. Most people lie or say sorry to avoid the consequences. They’ll never find Christ. It’s lowering your pride that saves you; you’re not saved by being good.
How do you know whether your pride has been put in its place?
You’ll have your pride in its place when you take full responsibility for it as evidenced by not blaming someone else or defending your position. When you’re willing to take the consequences and punishment. Steve Smith humbled himself. The consequences opened up his eyes to his sin and caused him to lower his position and give up his pride. On the other hand, Barnaby Joyce (Australia’s ex-deputy Prime minister) refuses to accept the consequences. Mr. Joyce doesn’t think his private life is anyone else’s business. He’s wrong. When you’re in public office, everything is the public’s business. Let me ask … did Mr. Joyce deceive his wife by having an adulterous affair behind her back? The answer is obviously, yes. That means that Mr. Joyce is a deceiver. Now, if you are going to deceive your wife, then you are going to be deceptive in your parliamentary position and to the public in general. If you treat your marriage vows with deceit, then that’s how you’ll treat your parliamentary vows.
What you practice is who you are
Why are most people afraid to kill someone? I suggest, because they are afraid of the consequences. If God considers that envy and hatred is murder (1 John 3:15), then why are Christians casual about practicing it? I suggest, because they are not afraid of the consequences. They don’t think it can been seen so they deduce they can get away with it; besides everyone else is doing it. If you have little concern of God’s punishment, then you’ll be flippant about your pride.
Casual about the consequences, casual about Christ.
Modern society has banished corporal punishment. The problem with this philosophy is that when you remove discipline you teach the child that there are no serious consequences for doing wrong. Eventually, you breed defiance, rebellion and anarchy. Young people today won’t be told, and laws are changed to suit the casual wants.
One of the fruits of our modern society is casual divorce. The law gives you the legal right to disrespect your vows. These vows are made before God, for better for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, till death us do part. There’s only two grounds for righteous divorce, and that’s adultery or death. Now if the country gives you the right to divorce because you don’t like your spouse anymore, then that country is defying the Word of God and encouraging you to be a vow-breaker. Therefore, that parliament itself, is a vow-breaker. No wonder no one trusts a politician; they just don’t realise that you vote into power what you are yourself.
Christians make a vow to God
You show what character of person you really are by how much you honour your marriage vows to Christ. If you’re casual about your marriage vows you’ll walk away from your relationship based on your moodiness and pride, and Satan wins. If you’re prepared to walk away from your marriage and defy your vows to God, then you’ll do the same with your vow to God to serve him as a Christian. A Christian makes a vow to God, his husband, for better for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part; but fake Christians object when things are worse or poor or sick. They’re not really committed to the vows; they’re truce-breakers; they’re liars, easily deceived by the enemy and deserters of the army, and unfortunately, our modern churches breed them in multiple numbers, by pretence and the prosperity lies.
The Ten Commandments stand behind your marriage vows to Christ
The fake modern church is casual about the ten commandments. They casually practice envy, hate and coveting; they lie to protect themselves; they shop, restaurant and sport on God’s sabbath; they merchandise their music; they practice immoral sex; they practice divorce; they practice adultery; they disrespect authority; they think themselves, special; they worship God and love the things of the world at the same time.
If you’re casual about His commandments, you’re casual about your vows and casual about your love for Christ. You can act committed like Mr. Joyce, but it’s all a lie. What you fail to realise is that the consequence of this casualness is hell, not heaven. If you’re casual about your vows then you’re not married to Christ. The relationship was never consummated.
I keep His commandments because I love Him, not because I fear Him; but I fear Him because I love Him.
Pastor Nick Clarence