“A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.” C.S. Lewis

Pride can get in the way of many things. It gets in the way of relationships, good opportunities, and most of all, help and assistance. We are often too proud to ask for help, and when we receive unsolicited help, pride makes us feel lousy about ourselves and we end up turning away those who are helping us.

Pride stems from an inward looking heart and makes us believe that we are, can or should be better. But it is interesting that pride does necessarily make us think that we should be better than others; instead we often think that we should be better than what we currently are. Pride makes us feel that we should be self-sufficient, that we should be able to get ourselves out of our own mess. But beloved, Jesus wants you to know that when you are down in your pit, He stands waiting, arms outstretched, outside the pit. Don’t look down and look around. Look up and let Him pull you out.

Beloved, the first thing we need to understand about the futility of pride is that we cannot get ourselves out of our own mess.

There was once a rich young man who came to Jesus wanting to know how he might gain eternal life.

“Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”
So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
He said to Him, “Which ones?”
Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?”
Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” Matthew 19:16-22

This guy has done it all, hasn’t he? Never murdered, never unfaithful, always filial and loves everyone. With such a good track record, it is hardly surprising that he feels there’s just that little bit more to do and he can earn his way into Heaven.

But notice how Jesus responds? “If you want to be perfect.” He did, didn’t he? And right at the moment when he was at the pinnacle of his mountain, riding high on his high horse, his perfect little world comes crashing down. Because there was now at least one thing he could not do.

Beloved, none of us are perfect. For it is written,

“Surely there is not a righteous man upon earth who does good and never sins.” Ecclesiastes 7:20 [AMPC]

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23

So no matter how good you have been, you will never, says the Bible, ever not sin.

But beloved child of God, the second futility of pride is that our Father never expected us, does not expect us and never ever will expect us to be perfect and that is why His blessings are not contingent upon our good behavior. Our blessings are only contingent upon our faith in Him who promised.

Contrast Jesus’ response to the rich young ruler with His response to this other group of people.

“Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” John 6:28-29

Wait a minute, the same question, but what a different response! Why? See who these people were, how did they come to Him.

“when the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they also got into boats and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.” John 6:24

These were people who had a heart for Jesus, they were seeking Him. They did not come to Him as a matter of happenstance, just because they passed Him in the street. When they could not find Him, they took to their boats in search of Him. They had earnestness, they had sincerity and in return, not only did Jesus reveal the secret to the kingdom of heaven, He also told them this,

“And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You come here?”
Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” John 6:25-17

To them who were earnestly seeking Him, Jesus unlocks the secrets to both eternal and temporal provision!

This crowd came after Jesus had fed them twice. And they were searching for Him again. They were laboring. But Jesus knew their hearts, just like He knew the heart of the rich young ruler. These people were not there merely because they wanted more food in the natural. They saw something else, something of divine quality in Jesus, and that is what they were seeking. And when Jesus saw that, He told them, hey, relax; do not labor for the food that perishes. There’s more on the way. Instead seek that which is more important. Sound familiar? Here’s the other time He said something similar.

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:31-33

Yes, they were seeking Jesus, our righteousness, and in so doing, they were also seeking the kingdom of Heaven. So all those things which they wanted for their lives here in the natural, He will provide.

Beloved child of God, when you fall into trouble, when you suffer loss, know that Jesus will provide. There is no need to go on alone and try and get yourself out of trouble. For Jesus has promised, even to the rich young ruler,

“If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Matthew 19:21

The riches of Heaven are yours for the asking, even if you are suffering loss right now. Because in the same way that Jesus told the apostle Peter,

“And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19
Jesus has given us the keys to the kingdom of heaven, so that we can unlock its treasures, and get our hearts desires. The Message translates it like this.

“And that’s not all. You will have complete and free access to God’s kingdom, keys to open any and every door: no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven. A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is no in heaven.” Matthew 16:19 [MSG]

So we who believe have treasures in heaven. Jesus, through His death and sacrifice, has given us the keys to heaven so that we can have complete and free access to God’s kingdom; and Jesus says that in order to access this blessing, all we need to do is ask.

“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24
Ask + Believe = Receive

So why rely on yourself? Of what use is pride?

Beloved, don’t look down, look up. Look to Jesus. He stands waiting and ready to provide. Use your key to Heaven’s treasures, Him. Turn your situation over to Him and watch Him provide.

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