Deuteronomy 8:1-20; Luke 8:1-3; Psalms 69:19-31; Proverbs 17:22
OT: “Be careful that you don’t forget the Lord your God by failing to keep his commands, ordinances, and statutes that I am giving you today. When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today. If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods to serve them and bow in worship to them, I testify against you today that you will certainly perish.” (Deuteronomy 8:11-19 CSB)
Time and time again throughout history, men and women who start out with very little and rise through the ranks to become successful, end up becoming corrupted by their success and succumb to a proud heart. The pride of life is so deadly. We so much want to take credit for our accomplishments – to say that we did it. It is even more toxic in Western culture where the individual is hallowed higher than a fellowship. That’s probably one of the main reasons why the works and witness of the gospel grows cold in the prosperous first world. Early in the foundations of our nation, our founders trusted in and depended on God for everything. There are countless stories of how the Lord miraculously intervened as early leaders humbled themselves and sought the Lord for guidance. Not to mention the waves of revival that spread through the land in key moments of history to shift our collective focus back to the Lord. Yet, how quick we are to turn away from the Lord once we have everything we need – when our prosperity and possessions blind us to our inability to create and sustain the life that produced our blessedness. That is why the Apostle John wrote, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (I John 2:15-17 NKJV) Lord, help me, by your Holy Spirit, to not forget that all good things come from You… that it was and is You who causes me to truly prosper in eternal things… that apart from You, I can do nothing of lasting and eternal value. Help me to not succumb to the pride of life, but to always foster a humble heart completely yielded and dependent on You.