The journey to the end of ourselves – Pride

Jesus, the Way to the Father

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.  If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.”

“No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.  If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”

Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.  You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.  Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!

John 14:1-13

Each of us is on our own journey – yet we share common potholes. One such pothole is “pride” in our own abilities and direction. You know, the voice that says, “I am going to do this particular thing, in this particular way, at this moment for this reason because I can.   I am able and I am skilled and I know what is best.”

We set out on this journey of our own making and then suddenly, we hit a pothole that causes a slight wheel alignment issue – a change in our plans.

But again, we know our goal and our purpose – what’s a little pothole? We go ahead on our own accord, newly aligned in the manor we see fit and move on down the road. The next pothole we see a bit too late and hit it head on – flattening a tire. We pull off the road –disabled and disconcerted.

But again, we know our goal and our purpose – we can fix a flat tire, right? We arrange for a tire fix and continue on in the same manner knowing what we want and how we are going to do it. We chalk the event up to “fate” and move on as if there is nothing else to think about. However, the next pothole we hit is totally unexpected and we have no idea we even hit it until we are totally disabled. Stranded with no idea how to fix the problem, we sit in our mess.

At this point, we may get a distinct feeling that maybe we have been operating the vehicle on the wrong power. Maybe we need to take some time for reassessment of our plan and purpose. Maybe we “don’t know” what we are doing. Maybe we are headed in the wrong direction and didn’t even realize it because we were focused on ourselves instead of the ONE who is in charge.

“Pride” is a subtle and debilitating state of being. I’m not talking here about “civic pride” or “school pride” or “familial pride” in the accomplishments of a family member. I am talking about the “pride” we take in ourselves – in making our own plans and setting our own agenda without seeking God in the process.   It is living life without the realization that God is in control and we are not.

And pride in ourselves is a “trust” issue. Do we trust God? Do we trust that Jesus was sent by God to be the final sacrifice for the sin of the world and in that sacrifice He conquered death creating a pathway to eternal life? Do we understand that we will not enter eternal life on our own but only through Jesus? Do we comprehend that “our” plans without Him means we don’t trust that His plans are best.

As we grow in our faith, our pride diminishes, but beware of the deeply imbedded areas of our lives where pride still flourishes. These areas will be brought to the forefront as we journey forward on the path set for us. God is not finished with us and He is in the habit of refining us so that we are more and more like Jesus. In this process, it is good to keep our eyes on Jesus and accept with gratitude the refining process.

Remember, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 

So go forth this week with your eyes fixed on Jesus – reassess your own plans in light of His knowing and trusting that His plans are to prosper you and not to harm you but to give you hope and a future.

R.H. Loy

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