A Dangerous Narcotic No One Talks About

We live in an unprecedented time of discovery. Technology has given us the ability to see, hear, and understand our world, and each other in ways no one would’ve predicted. As a result, humanity’s progress soars beyond our past learning by leaping huge chasms in understanding every day, and yet one malady stops us and delays all our progress. This opiate of the heart corrupts and demoralizes forward progress. It sucks the joy out of success and poisons the spirit of peace. What is it?

A Hallucinogenic Drug named Typhoō

Typhoō is translated from the Greek as pride. It is also known as, high-minded, vanity, conceit, arrogance, haughtiness, self-worship, egotism, vain-glory and self-glorification. It is the opposite of humility.

The Bible talks about pride or conceit as being the defeat of Lucifer the Angel of Light and the Second in Command in Heaven. If pride is powerful enough to cause a war in heaven, then I think it’s worth being listed on the “World’s Deadliest Temptations” list, or the “Most Harmful Emotional Abuses” list, or the Guinness Book of World of Record’s, “Most Often Underestimated” list. Wouldn’t you agree? If this is the case and the Bible warns of pride’s hindrances, why don’t we understand it more? Why isn’t it advertised more? If we want to wipe out  bullying in schools, rape, theft, adultery, murder, lying, and anything else evil, let’s start by educating people about the harmful affects of pride.

The bully thinks, I want to be in control. I want  the power.

The rapist thinks, I want to be in control, I want the power.

The murderer thinks, I want to be in control, I want the power.

The Devil thought, I want to be in control, I want all the power.

Pride is all about being a self-made man, but who do they worship? Themselves.

But pride, in all its destructive charm, has an antidote and thank God there is deliverance from pride.

Today’s verse gives us this anecdote in our greatest example Jesus Christ.

“But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:” Philippians 2:7

Jesus Christ could have made a way bigger deal of his birthright. He could have used it to live a very long time and put Israel under his rule. He could have done things differently. He was a man with holy blood and a Holy Father.

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And yet….

Look at the literal translation of that verse.

“But he emptied himself of reputation by taking on the likeness of a slave, by resembling other men, and by having the fashion and manner of a man.”

 I love that turn of phrase. “But he emptied himself.” That is just the opposite of someone filled with them self isn’t it. He shows us how to be humble. Instead of saying, I’m going to do it my way and I will be in control. He said, God you have it your way. I’ll let you be in control. Look at the next two verses.

“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Phil. 2:8 KJV

And the literal:

“He humbled himself becoming obedient unto death, death by the cross.”

Again we must go back to our context. Phil 2:5 says, to think the thoughts that Jesus Christ thought. This is what he thought. He emptied out his pride. He had every right to be proud too. He didn’t use it. He didn’t force himself on people. He loved them and helped them. He confounded their pride with the very essence and being of his humility. If you’re a regular reader here, you’ll remember our definition of humility, which is; being willing to listen to God and put God’s opinion above your own. Jesus did this with every moment of his life including his death.

I need to stop for a second.

You parents out there, would you ever put your child in harm’s way? How about your only child? How much greater of a parent than us is God? He is the ultimate parent. I never understood the strength of a parent’s love until I had my son. Now, I can’t imagine anything that would convince me to do what God did. Ever. Why? Because I…just couldn’t do it. I’m selfish. I couldn’t allow it to happen. For God and mankind, Jesus dying was the only way to save us. God knew this. So I ask you…how humble must God be to give us this opportunity?

We cannot conceive of it. I know I can’t!

The power of salvation and all the power of the gift of Holy Spirit is not embodied by the devil’s torture through the cross. That was the Devil’s crowning and most prideful moment, not Jesus Christ’ or God’s. The deliverance we receive is not from Jesus’s humiliated death on the cross at the hands of a murderer. Many people have died that way. The invincible determination of God and the salvation of all mankind manifested not in death and murder but in life and the RESURRECTION of Jesus Christ!! Yes, Jesus had to die, but who killed him? The devil did. God knew he would do it, Jesus had to die because God had to raise Jesus from the dead. The most humane way to kill someone is quick and easy. Is the devil humane? Finally, Jesus stole the devil’s last pleasure and gave up the ghost. He chose to die on his own. The devil wanted to make it last and rub it in God’s face. The devil thought he was in control and he had the power. And just as the evil dictator he was, he crucified God’s only son. He was the very at the height of pride. He was also at the precipice of his fall.

I’d like to look at the next verse with me.

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:10-11

Wow! Now, that is exaltation and the embodiment of humility. THAT is deliverance. What is humility? Being willing to listen to God’s opinion and put it above your own. It’s as easy as saying God, “If you were me, what would you think about this situation?”

We don’t have to worry about being conceited when we ask God what to do to bless, it’s is the heart of humility and servitude. Not in a religious servitude but in a loving, I want more for God’s cause kind of servitude. The devil just wants us to worship him instead of the One True God. If the devil can’t get you to worship him, he will try to get you to worship yourself. Don’t fall for it. Stay sweet, stay tender and be true to your core to the life and light of God’s love.

God bless you today!

Today’s post was taken from a series of posts I did in 2013 on Philippians. If you’d like to see more in the series click here.

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