My husband is an avid deer hunter. From mid October until mid February his focus is on deer. He monitors them on his trail cameras to learn when they are moving and in what direction they are moving. He knows what they eat, when they eat, and even where they eat. His goal in doing this is not to change their habits but to learn their habits. Knowing their habits gives him an advantage of being able to sneak in and out of the area without them noticing. He uses camouflage clothing or stands to cover him, so unless a deer is alert and focusing on him, they never even know he is there. Some hunters even use decoys to distract the deer and bring them into range for a perfect shot. We were watching a hunting video last night of a guy using a decoy of a buck or male deer. As we watched a large buck came into view and he was focusing on the decoy. The buck watched him from the edge of the woods for a few minutes and then returned to the cover of the woods. He did this several times before he let his ego take over and he left the covering that he knew he needed to remain safe and was taken down.
I began to think about this decoy and this buck in the spiritual sense. I thought how many times do we as Christians leave our covering, because of our ego, to attack a decoy set by the enemy. The word decoy means someone or something used to lure or lead another into a trap or someone or something used to draw attention away from another. The enemy often sets decoys in our paths to distract us. I believe one of the most successful decoys he uses is one that attacks our ego. Ego means a sense of self-esteem or self-importance. Ego in Latin means “I”. Ego causes us to focus on what we want and what we feel we deserve rather than what God has for us. Now, I am not saying that we should not know our worth and have a sense of self in Christ. It’s when we think our self worth and who we are, is because of us that we get in trouble. When someone starts throwing around the “I” word and leaving out Christ; their ego is taken them into the danger zone just like that deer. There are many types of decoys the enemy uses to attack our ego but I want to talk about one of them today.
- Spirit of Pride – Pride means a high opinion of one’s importance or superiority. The state of being proud.
The bible warns over and over about pride. As Christians we are often mindful of pride and arrogance in the natural, but what about spiritual pride? This is a decoy we fall for way to often. Proverbs 16:18-19 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil of the proud. NKJV. The definition of spiritual pride is your idea that you are more spiritually advanced or closer to God than the next person. It is watching or seeing someone else struggle in an area of their life and thinking; I would never do that. It is thinking if they were a true Christian they wouldn’t struggle with that. The spirit of pride often keeps us from seeing or acknowledging the areas in our lives that we may struggle in. Instead of using our struggles to encourage others we hide them because we don’t want others to know we had or have an issue with anything. It is the mindset that if they know I struggle with this, then they are going to think less of me. When we operate with a spirit of pride we spend all of time examining and judging others and their walk with Christ, instead of being open and honest with God first about our weakness. He already knows our weaknesses and the areas that we struggle with, but He wants us to openly talk to him about these areas and ask for His help to overcome them. He is not asking us to pick apart our fellow Christians, but to pick apart our on lives to ensure He is Lord in every single area of our lives.
Do you know why the enemy loves this decoy? Because this decoy destroys our churches. Church doors are closing because this spirit is running rampant from the pulpit to the congregation. It becomes all about how much I do at the church and I do so much more than the next person. How dare church leadership make a decision without consulting me, because I give more than anyone else or I have been in this church longer than anyone else. No one else does as much as me or loves the church the way I do. Why would they ask them to lead that instead of me. These are just a few examples of pride in the church, but do you see why it is so affective? Do you see how this mentality tears churches apart? With thoughts and comments like this going on in the church; how do we expect it go grow and flourish. Do we really think God is going to usher in His presence in a place that is being consumed with pride and arrogance. See, without this decoy in the church we wouldn’t be looking down on others for their struggles but we would share our struggles or past struggles to encourage them. We would show each other love and compassion and when one of us is going through something we would know we are not alone. Church should be to equip us and build us up to take the gospel to a lost and dying world. We shouldn’t be under attack or starting an attack in the church.
Eliminating the spirit of pride would bring everyone closer together and form a stronger bond within the church because we aren’t keeping up the walls that pride builds. We would show our vulnerabilities to each other and pray over each other more intimately to God. We wouldn’t be gossiping about others in the church to make ourselves feel better. We would all be operating freely in our callings and ministries without comparison or compromise. We would build up and encourage each other.
When I started writing this early this morning I didn’t plan to write about the church but I was led in this direction. Our churches today are under attack in so many ways but the most detrimental attack to the church is coming from the inside due to decoys set by the enemy. Pride is just one of the decoys used but I do feel it is the root of the majority of the decoys used in the church. We need to pray for our churches as a whole but you need to pray for your individual church. Pray, Pray, and pray for your church this week and against the schemes and decoys of the enemy.
Thank you for reading and I hope you have a great day in Jesus Christ!