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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Obadia: Pride Deadens Discernment

Ransacked!

If you have been successful (more so materially), you gain friends. People befriend you. You become Mr or Ms Popular. And the tickling accolades that overfeed the ego deaden your senses. Pride deadens discernment. Moreover, it weakens God's flesh on you.


Success that breeds a spirit of pride is like a magnet that attracts betrayal. People befriend you for ulterior motives. It's dog-eat-dog out there, people using each other for mundane glory. You give them your hand and they gobble up your arm. The worse part is that, you'd never suspect it. Pride has this curse.

Because of her success, Edom was able to form alliances with other nations. Acceptance into alliances, even today, can make you wallow in pride, because only the successful are recognized and permitted entry into them. While she was rich the alliance was secure. While she was able to offer things and grant demands to her allies, the going was great. Later, however, her "friends" tried to go a little farther and asked for more, even her "hidden" treasures. They "deceived and overpowered" her.

Finally they took everything. And all along, Edom was enjoying the loss, totally unaware what her "friends" and "allies" were up to. "Those who devour you will trap you, but you won't detect it," [verse 7]. 


The "allies" she thought were "friends" were actually the real enemy. She discovered too late that she had formed alliances with "friends" for nothing, because there was no enemy--except her very "friends." They "forced (Edom) to the border...and overpowered" her. 

Obadiah said, it would've been better if Edom had been robbed by thieves. Thieves stole only enough goods, only what they wanted or needed. Grape pickers, on the other hand, always left some grapes behind. But pride's curse is not like that. Nothing less than pillage or ransacking is the result. You end up with zero balance. You wake up too late that the success you thought you had was nothing but dust in the wind.


If it's just a matter of losing material things and fame, pillage is nothing. Edom lost her possessions and place in history as a result of the curse. But today, the consequences of pride is spiritual. The more it is hard to discern. As your "friends" flatter you with words tickling your ego, you bask on such make-believe success and pride eats you, especially your spiritual discernment.


Soon, it also eats bread kept in your spiritual storehouse, even your hidden treasures (treasures like secret weapons you use against powerful enemy strongholds or priceless treasures with high spiritual values), till there is none left. Only then do you realize what is really happening, but it will be too late.

Pride deadens discernment. 


Many church people today cannot even pinpoint the real enemy. Church pride has deadened their discernment. Often, they fail to see how they have formed alliances with the enemy. They fall into the trap of deception, lose everything, then start all over again (as in church revival services), only to form the same demonic alliances. It's a vicious cycle. Because pride deadens discernment, which is pride's concomitant curse. 


Pastors should also beware of "friendly" people in church who want to gain a foothold, gain a power leverage, and control everything in church later. It's like how "friends" convinced Haman to construct a death device for Mordecai, but when the going was tough, they left Haman to suffer the device alone.

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