Read Isaiah 14
Focus on verse 12-15
The first and most basic form of rebellion against God is pride. It is pride that says I will not submit to anyone or anything but my own will… it is pride that causes me to believe that I am more important than the person beside me or behind me. When I believe that my interests are more important than yours or anyone else’s, I do things that make me become an arrogant, self-centered person. For example, when I show up late to a meeting with excuses about how busy I am…I communicate to all the members that showed up on time that I think my time is worth more than theirs. When I position myself to be first in line or get angry with the slow driver in front of me, I reveal that I believe I am more important than another person. The foundational attitude that motivates this type of behavior is pride.
Pride can also be much more subtle. Possibly the most dangerous form of pride is to be proud of how humble one is. When this kind of pride takes hold of a person even the things we do to serve others become self-serving. It takes a brutally honest self-evaluation to acknowledge that one has been going the extra mile in serving others simply because we like how much attention we get for being so sacrificial. There is only way to avoid the trap of pride – it is to make God one’s first priority. When God is most important to me, it pushes me out of first place.
In verses 12-15 in today’s chapter of Isaiah we find a description of the fall of the king of Babylon who apparently thought very highly of himself. This is also thought by some to be a description of the fall of Lucifer who was created by God as the most beautiful and most powerful of all the angels. It was pride that caused Lucifer to lead a failed rebellion against God in the heavenly realm, which resulted in Lucifer and those who followed him to be cast out of the presence of God. Since that time Lucifer, also known as Satan in the Bible, has focused his efforts on attempting to deceive and destroy that which God has created.
One of Satan’s most effective tactics in bringing about the destruction of humans is to use pride – the very thing that caused his own destruction.
The humility and sacrifice of the life of Christ as he came to redeem humanity stands in stark contrast to the pride of Satan. As we choose to follow Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to empower us to emulate Christ-like humility, the deceptive power of Satan is neutralized giving us the ability to walk in freedom and humility as God intended for us.