Prides & Prejudices
This series with Ps Sam Monk and Ps Jordan Smith explores the Pride and Prejudices in our lives and helps us to find humility.
God’s view on pride
Key thought: This series explores Pride and Prejudices…. We start by looking at how God views pride and what are the signs of pride working in our life.
Watch: Watch ‘Session One’ of the video series.
Deuteronomy 8:2 (NIV)
“Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart…”
Deuteronomy 8:2 (NLT)
“Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character…”
Ps Sam and Ps Jordan talk about how being humbled and tested reveals what is in our heart. How do testing situations and circumstances reveal what is in our heart?
In the second part of the verse it talks about the testing in order to know what is in your heart. If God is all knowing, then why does he need to test us “to know what was in your heart”?
Read Deuteronomy 8:2-3 (NLT)
“Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands. Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
We see that God humbled them, made them hungry, and God fed them. What did God purpose the ‘Wilderness’ time for?
Read Proverbs 16:5 “God detests the Proud”; James 4:6 “God opposes the proud”; Matthew 23:12 “those who exalt themselves will be humbled”
We see that God dislikes intensely the proud. Why?
Could it be because he as a loving father doesn’t want to see His children fall?
Ps Sam and Ps Jordan talk about some of the symptoms and signs of pride. They mention some of them:
- We become withdrawn so others can’t see the things we see in ourselves
- We compare ourselves to and judge others
- We become stubborn and unwilling to change our position
- We are not open about where we are at
What do these things look like in our interactions at work, with friends and family?
How else does pride manifest in people’s lives?
Pride can take on many forms as we have discussed and even those who are quiet can be acting in pride trying to control what others think of themselves. What does pride in your life ’Look like’ and “Sound Like’?
Read Matthew 23:12 “those who humble themselves will be exalted” and James 4:6 “God gives grace to the humble”
God gives his empowering grace the humble. How does that happen? How do the humble access this grace?
Pride says “I am self-sufficient and I know everything I need to know.”
Humility says “I don’t know everything I need to know, but God does and I will seek Him for the answers to questions and truth that I need to know.”
Pray that God will reveal the areas in your life where pride still has a hold and for the wisdom on how to be humble and access God’s grace in that area.
Share with another person one area that each of you feel God is highlighting for you to focus on this week and commit to praying for each other and encouraging each other in this area before you meet again.
Humility and Appetite
Key thought: This series explores Pride and Prejudices…. We continue this week looking at what are we filling ourselves with and how humility can help us fill ourselves with the things of God.
Watch: Watch ‘Session Two’ of the video series.
Key Verse: Proverbs 27:7
(NLT) “A person who is full refuses honey, but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry.”
(TPT) “When your soul is full, you turn down even the sweetest honey. But when your soul is starving, every bitter thing becomes sweet.”
What does pride do to us and our relationship with God?
It places us in opposition to God and blocks us from being able to access His grace. His grace being, God’s empowering presence that helps us to be and chose the things of God over our own fleshly desires.
At Christmas we tend to have these big meals for Christmas lunch where everyone eats until they are full. How does a full person getting seconds act differently to a late comer at the table?
We are lucky in our western culture that we have easy access to food and water. However, in survival situations where there is no food or water, people eat and drink anything. We have seen Bear Grylls eat insects and drink water squeezed out of elephant dung. There is even the true story about the plane crash in the Andes, where cannibalism helped save peoples lives. Have you ever been so hungry or thirsty that you ate or drank something you never though you would?
Read John 4:31-34 (NIV)
“Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”
But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”
Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”
“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
In verse 34 Jesus talks about his food being the act of him doing the will of the Father and to finish that work. How does doing the will or mission of God satisfy us? Have you experienced this before?
We are people sent by God to enact the will of God on earth, we have been sent for a reason. Ps Sam talks about how our food is connected to our mission and asked “Do we have an appetite for the mission of God?” What does having an appetite for the mission of God look like in our lives?
Ps Sam talks about us having an abundance of resource and how it can make us picky about what we do and how we serve. He then puts forward the thought that the call of God is not always convenient and can we move past the things of the world that will fill our lives? What things have you let fill your life that diminish the appetite for the mission of God?
Matthew 6: 2 “So when you give…”, 6:5 “So when you pray…”, 6:16 “When you fast”
These three spiritual disciplines done in private bring us to a place of humility. How do these three disciplines lead us to humility?
Pray that you would be a person that choses to walk in humility, that God will highlight areas where pride is and give you strategies to help you walk in humility, and hunger after the things of God.
We have been challenged to put ourselves in a place of humility and through it develop the hunger for the mission of God. Which of the three disciplines can you build into your life this week. How are you going to implement it?
Humility and the Fear of the Lord
Key thought: This series explores Pride and Prejudices. We continue the series looking at how Humility is linked to the Fear of God.
Watch: Watch ‘Session Three’ of the video series.
Key Verse: Proverbs 22:4
(NIV) Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honour and life.
(TPT) Laying your life down in tender surrender before the Lord will bring life, prosperity, and honour as your reward.
The Fear of God and Pride are opposites, both in the fruit they produce and how they say quite different things about our life. What statements reveal the Fear of God or Pride in our life?
Fear of God says:
- God is God and I am not
- I will agree with what God says
- I will follow God’s leading
- God defines my life purpose
- God makes me successful
- God defines right and wrong
- I am in control
- I have to control my life
- I will determine my future
- I will define my life purpose
- I will make my own success
- I will determine what is right and wrong
Ps Jordon talked about the importance of letting God defining truth in our lives and world, that putting ourselves into a community of faith and looking to the Word of God helps us to understand God’s Truth. Why is it dangerous for us as humans to define what truth is?
2 Tim 3:1-5 outlines the type of fruit we will see if people define what is truth and shut God out. Why does Paul caution Timothy to stay away from people like that?
Read 2 Chronicles 26:4-5, 15-16 (NIV)
“He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Amaziah had done. He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success.”
“…. His fame spread far and wide, for he was greatly helped until he became powerful. But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God…”
We see that Uzziah (whose name means Yah (God) is my strength) learnt to fear through Zechariah’s instruction. Assyrian records suggest he co-reigned for 10 years and in verse 15 “he was greatly helped until he became powerful” What was the trap that Uzziah fell into?
Ps Sam talked about benefits of the Fear of God being many and a quick search online will highlight many more that we have time to go into now.
Get individuals to read the scripture, identify the benefit, and then feedback to the group
We have looked at what the Fear of God is and how humility is linked to it by saying “I am not enough; I need God to be God in my life.” We covered the benefits of the Fear of God and how we can get trapped in to believing we have got our success because of ourselves. Where is pride ruling in your life and what ‘Godly Truth’ do you need to embrace so you live in humility and the Fear of God?
Pray that God will highlight His truths through scripture and others that will bring us to that place of humility and fear of God. Pray that we will be truly wise and never forget in our success who has made us successful.
What is one truth about the ‘Fear of God’ that you want to build into your life? Find a scripture that supports why you should make this change and memorise it.
Jesus’ example of humility and the Path of Humility
Key thought: This series explores Pride and Prejudices. We end the series looking at how Jesus humbled himself and the ‘Path to Humility’.
Watch: Watch ‘Session Four’ of the video series.
Key Verse: Philippians 2:5-7
(NIV) “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
(MSG) Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human!
Jesus had all the rights to be treated as God because he was God. Yet, He gave it all up and humbled himself to the point of death on a cross like a common criminal. Why did he humble Himself that much?
What do you think of when thinking of Jesus humbling himself repeatedly from God to human, to experiencing death, a death of a criminal for God’s mission? In the end God raises Him up Philippians 2:9-11
STUDY – Path of Humility
Read Philippians 2:12-18 (NLT)
Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy.
Vs 12 We are called to work hard to show the result of our salvation through “obeying God with deep reverence and fear”. We see the disciples obeyed Jesus’ call and dropped everything and followed Him. Jesus Himself obeyed the mission of God being faithful to it even unto death! Jesus didn’t want to die. “Not my will but yours be done”.
Why is it hard to obey sometimes? What is the benefit of obeying whole heartedly?
Vs 13 We are told that, “God is working in you, giving you the desire and power to do what pleases him”. How do you feel knowing that God is working in you, giving you the desire and power to do what pleases him?
Vs 14-15 We are told to do everything without complaining and arguing, to live clean and innocent lives so we can be a bright light in a dark world. We all have a purpose and that purpose can be hard work. How is humility shown or exercised through not complaining and arguing?
Vs 16 – 18 We are told to hold firm to the Word of life so that when Christ returns we will be able to rejoice in the work of God in us and through us. What scriptures are you holding onto that help you stay strong and humble?
What are the road blocks in your life, stopping you from living humbly?
What are you not willing to do/ let go of, trust God for or in?
Pray that we will be a people that let go of control and obey God wholeheartedly, allowing Him to empower and change our desires, that go about the purposes of God without grumbling or arguing, and hold firm to His word and promises until He returns.
What is the thing you have not done that God has asked you to do? Chose this week to do it and trust that He will give you the desire and power to do it.