at the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. my counselors and my lords sought me, and i was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. now i, nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble. [daniel 4:36-37]
to praise and extol and honor the King of heaven. this is our purpose in life. this is the reason we were created. to know the glory and joy of an almighty, sovereign God, and share in that glory and joy, being fully satisfied in him, with joy inexpressible in his presence.
so what is pride? pride is taking that praise and honor due to the King of heaven and applying it to ourselves. trying to elevate ourselves with some of the glory that belongs to God. to walk in pride is to gather up pieces of that glory and stack them beneath us, causing us to think we are a little closer to God’s level. sounds a little like the tower of babel, doesn’t it?
then they said, “come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” [genesis 11:1-9]
just like king nebuchadnezzar, these men wanted to make a name for themselves. to take the name of God and lessen it with their own. they wanted to be God. but this is not the earliest example of pride.
but the serpent said to the woman, “you will not surely die. for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” [genesis 3:4-5]
from the very first temptation of man, the lie has been the same. you will be like God. the temptation toward pride is so great because it is our natural inclination. the root of our sin nature is to want to be God. the reason that our enemy knows to lure us in this way is that he wanted the exact same thing. for his desire to be God he was cast out of heaven with a host of followers. pride is no minor offense. it is cosmic treason.
but thanks be to God that by his grace and mercy he does not give us over to our pride. through Jesus Christ, the gift of repentance is ours. just like nebuchadnezzar, our gracious Father humbles us and turns our faces toward him in praise, to give glory where glory is due. returning to satisfaction in his presence, returning to his inexpressible joy. and this is our life. while we have breath in our lungs, we will be lured by our own pride, we will be humbled, we will return to his joy. this is what it means to walk in repentance, for a lifetime, until one day, we will see him as he is, in all of his glory, and we will never doubt again.
~ arwen eastman