December 17, 2013

Placement Without Pride Is Protection

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
—Matthew 14:29–30 (NIV)

A wrong place is any place where you know your Christian walk is compromised. When you stay out of the wrong places, you protect your integrity. Any place that Christ Himself would not go is the wrong environment. A good rule to follow is, “If Christ wouldn’t, you shouldn’t!”

In the cool of the day, Adam and Eve would walk with God in the garden of Eden. When they were with God, Satan never showed up. He approached Eve when she was absent from God’s presence. As long as Peter stayed near Jesus’ side, he was strong in faith; but when he was alone—absent from the presence of Jesus—he warmed his hands by the wrong fire and denied Christ three times. (See John 18:17–18, 25–27.) There is protection in His presence. Don’t stray too far from the body of Christ, which is the church, or you’ll become easy prey for the enemy.

In order to be completely safe, however, proper placement also demands the death of pride. This is a tough one! Pride is one of the main obstacles blocking your move to the right place. When we are puffed up with pride, we say things like, “Well, I’m not going to work there. I’m better than they are.”

Elijah was a great and mighty man of God. He was a big, strong prophet who killed four hundred fifty prophets of Baal and called down fire from heaven. But in 1 Kings, God instructed him to seek help at the home of a widow: “I have commanded a widow there to provide for you” (1 Kings 17:9). This would have been a perfect time for pride to swell within Elijah. He could have said, “I’m not going to lower myself by asking for help from that woman.” But he didn’t allow pride to keep him from the right place.

Men can learn a lot from their wives, but pride won’t let them say, “I was wrong; you were right.” Often, finding your proper placement demands the death of personal pride.

Lord Jesus, thank You that Your placement offers me protection as I walk in Your perfect will. Keep me alert and give me the spiritual strength to avoid the sin of pride, which compromises this protection. Keep me close to You, Father. Amen.