Words of Faith 7-18-18
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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 An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest.  Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him.  Then he said to them, "Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all he is the greatest."
The mountaintop experience is always followed by a valley experience. The mountaintop is the place of inspiration; the valley is the place of perspiration. The valley is vital. It is the place where ministry happens and it is also where attacks come.
There are four specific attacks that Luke recorded in the valley as Jesus began to move toward Jerusalem. The first attack came when, for the very first time, the nine disciples could not cast out a demon. The attack was the sense of failure. The Enemy will accuse us of failure in order to undermine our faith and attack our confidence in God. The second attack is even closer to home.
The second attack came on the heels of the first. An argument broke out among the disciples about which of them were the greatest. It is something we will see again on the way to Jerusalem. We are not told what was at the root of the argument. It may have had something to do with the mountaintop experience the three had while the other nine had failed.
Luke does not even tell us who made claims for greatness. But it is hard to imagine that it was not Peter, or James or John. They were not part of the failure of the nine. They were, after all, chosen to be with Jesus on top of the mountain. They had an inside experience. They may have thought that they were special and more spiritual because of this.
It is not hard to imagine that these three may have even suggested to the other nine that if the three had been there, they would have been able to perform the needed exorcism. It may have been a matter of blaming among the nine as to the cause of the previous failure. Whatever the case, the attack was there. It was in the form of a snare.
The snare is called pride. Truth be told, pride is at the heart of most sin. What do we know about pride? We know that pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18). We know that nations that become prideful can fall. An unsinkable ship built with great pride sits at bottom of the North Atlantic. Corporations filled with pride miss the market changes and end up in bankruptcy.
We also know that pride is the fundamental barrier that blocks people from salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 teaches that it is "by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God  not by works, so that no one can boast." It is pride that keeps a man or woman from bending their knee to the Lord.
Most of the tragedies of Old Testament leadership-- the many Kings who failed-- found their destruction in pride. The prophets pronounced God's Word regarding such pride:
This is what the Lord says: "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the Lord (Jeremiah 9:23-26).
We will talk more about this in the context of Spiritual life. But we must start with the warning that the most vicious attack of the enemy will be based in pride.
Father God, protect my heart from the sin of pride. Protect me from the thoughts that compare, the words that boast, the actions that claim credit. Protect me from that sin which goes before the fall. In Jesus’ Name.