Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Nothing to Prove

"Only by pride cometh contention" (Proverbs 13:10).

The second "nothing" with which we defeat the devil is -- "Nothing to Prove." The surest way to set off an argument is to show up anywhere with something to prove. That is one of Satan's favorite playing grounds!

Consider the devil tempting Jesus in the wilderness. "If you are the Son of God," he chided, "then command these stones be turned to bread." There is a load of mockery bundled up in that single word IF. You can feel the derision dripping out of the corner of Satan's mocking lips. He was attempting to provoke Jesus to the point of proving Himself.

Has the devil ever ensnared you with that nasty trick? He is, after all, the master of pride; fallen creature though he be. And all who lift themselves up will likewise fall.

The Bible says, "The servant of the Lord must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth, enabling them to escape the Devil's trap, where they are caught and held captive, forced to run his errands." (2Ti 2:24-26).

A person with something to prove will often be contentious and combative; belligerent and bullish. And, sadly, many of our pulpits today are filled with just such temperaments! But this is not the way of the Cross; these are not the footsteps of Jesus. He showed us that one can be upright without being uptight.

Sir Thomas Carlyle wrote, "In any controversy the moment you feel anger, you have already ceased striving for the truth and have begun striving for yourself." Truth is its own defense, and a life well-lived is the soundest argument against all critics. Such a life -- a life with nothing to prove -- comes from standing in God's grace.

"I am what I am by the grace of God," Paul said. "And His grace given unto me was not in vain, for I labored more abundantly than they all -- yet not I, but it was the grace of God in me." (1 Co.15:10). And again he says, "Our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God -- we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly toward you." (2 Co. 1;12).

Mark Twain said, "Don't get in the mud and wrestle with a pig. The pig will love it, and you'll just get muddy!" Don't live your life as though you have something to prove. For you very well might win, but end up being the biggest loser of all.

Follow in the footsteps of Jesus, the Undefeated One, and live your life standing in the grace of God -- a life with nothing to fear, and nothing to prove! A Life that Satan cannot defeat!!


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