Even the Proud Knee Can Bend

We are told at an early age to believe in ourselves. While having confidence in ourselves and our abilities is a good thing, when we begin to think of ourselves more highly than we ought that confidence becomes pride. Having pride is a huge hindrance for coming to God because when we think of ourselves as being the center of the universe there is not enough room for both God and our ego. Pride truly becomes a sin when we begin to worship ourselves and our achievements instead of giving thanks to God for what He’s done in our lives.

When I think of pride in the Bible King Nebuchadnezzar comes immediately to my mind. He was the ruler of Babylon when the people of Israel were taken captive there. King Nebuchadnezzar is an example of a man at the height of pride. He was the ruler of the most powerful nation in the world at that time and his people regarded him as a god. At a snap of his fingers every wish and desire of King Nebuchadnezzar would be granted in an instant. One night, the king has a strange dream and no one can interpret it for him except for Daniel. Daniel had already proven to the king in his ability to interpret dreams. Daniel interprets the dream of the king and pointing to how God wants to humble him. Daniel conceals the king to forsake his sinful pride and practice righteousness. If the king can do that God may have mercy upon him.

It’s clear that 12 months later King Nebuchadnezzar has completely ignored Daniel’s words when he declares, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” By his own words it’s like Nebuchadnezzar considered himself to be a god, as I know people considered their kings to be in those days. Pride makes us God in our own eyes and makes us think we need not rely on anything but ourselves.

I was in a similar place before I became a Christian. I never thought I was a god or a mighty king, but I remember thinking I didn’t need God. I saw my good friend Casey whose parents brought him out to be a good Christian man, and I felt if I became a Christian like them I wouldn’t be me anymore. That God would take away everything that make me who I was and make me into this perfect holy Christian man. I didn’t want that! I wanted to stay the way I was and I didn’t want to change. I relied on myself and my own goodness.

Why is it that to make proud men like Nebuchadnezzar and myself realize who He is that he has to first humble them? Is it because it’s only when we are humbled we can finally realize our need for Him. King Nebuchadnezzar was humbled even as he spoke his prideful words. In Daniel 4:33 it says, “He was driven from men and ate grass like an ox and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers, and his nails were like birds’ claws.” He became more beast than man until God’s allotted time past and the King’s reason was restored. The first thing Nebuchadnezzar does after he regains his right mind is to praise God. “Now I Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all of his works are right and his ways are just: and those who walk in pride he is able to humble, {Daniel 4:37}.

I was also humbled when my teenage world came crumbling down. This girl I fantasized about for years made it clear to me that she had no interest in me. I had obsessed over this girl for years and I had convinced myself that the greatest thing I could ever achieve in life would be to win her love. When I saw I couldn’t do that I felt utterly crushed. It was only then that I reached out to God. He showed me that everything in my life was part of a tapestry woven together for His glory.

God did change me but not the way I feared. He didn’t turn me into anything against my will. I realized God cared for and loved me personally, and he was not the far off unknowable God I had thought he was. God took the place in the center of my life. Sometimes I lose that focus and then I remind myself that when God is in the center of my life everything else falls into place. Pride separates us from God, but God can tear down our walls of pride and cause us to realize our need for Him. Pride is a lie that we are good enough on our own. The truth is we need God in every area of our lives. Pride holds us back from knowing God on a deeper level. So, let us throw off the shackles of pride and run to our creator with arms open wide!



Daniel 4:26-37


Discussion Questions

1) Has pride ever separated you from God in the past and in what ways did God break through that pride?

2) In what ways do you still struggle with pride?

3) There is a fine line between having confidence and pride. How can we let our confidence not grown into pride?


Prayer focus

My prayer for GT comes from the lyrics of a Kutless song that I think appropriate. “We bow our hearts. We bend our knees. O Spirit come make us humble. We turn our eyes from evil things. O Lord we cast down our idols. So, give us clean hands, give us pure hearts. Let us not lift our souls to another. That is my prayer for everyone at GT. That our hearts remain humble to God. That we as a church turn from evil things, and that we cast down any idols in our lives. That we never turn our souls to another but remain completely devoted to only you God.