Pastor Christopher Brock
November 4, 2023
Isaiah 41:10, New International Version
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Pride. I believe that nearly all men will deal with pride at some point in their lives. For many men, we greatly desire to be respected, to be viewed as someone who can handle problems, to be thought of as someone who can take care of issues when they arise. We desire to have the respect and admiration of our friends, our co-workers, those we go to church with, our children, and most of all our wives. Over time, even when we have a solid relationship with the Lord, we can begin to lose sight. We can delude ourselves into believing that we are able to accomplish tasks, able to do things, without the help of the Lord. When we do this, we are experiencing pride in one of its truest and most deadly forms.
Years ago, my wife and I had the opportunity to go horseback riding. It was a wonderful experience. It was amazing to see how the horses seemed to know exactly what they were supposed to do. In fact, even though the riding instructor taught us the basics it seemed as though we didn’t really need to tell the horse to do anything—it knew when to start, when to stop, and when to turn, all on its own. However, just a few hundred yards into our ride, a group of bicyclists started to pass us. The horses didn’t know what they were, because bicycles normally never came that way. All of the horses were unsure and scared, but mine was especially scared and bucked, turned and started to run the other way. I immediately pulled the reins hard and said, “Whoa! Whoa!”. As I said the words, the horse stopped in its tracks. I turned it back around and moved up and back into line with the other horses. Even though the horse was scared and didn’t know what to do, as soon as it felt my instruction it calmed. Once it knew that I was there and in control, the panic left it and it quieted down. It felt safe as a result, and it was ready to listen to the instructions I had for it.
Human beings can be very much like this horse. We may feel like we are getting the hang of things and can handle ourselves. We begin to act out of this false assumption at our work, with our friends, with our children, and as a husband. However, when things happen that we don’t anticipate, things that we can’t handle, we start to get scared and realize that we don’t know how to handle the situation. We begin to enter into a panic. What makes this situation worse is when our pride stops us from admitting that we can’t do it on our own.
If this describes you, then I want to tell you—just as I am telling myself—let go and let the Father take over. Stop trying to do everything through your own abilities! Instead, let Him be the one to work through you. Admit that you, by yourself, cannot do it. But, when you allow the power of Christ to work through your life and through your weakness, all things are possible. He is right there beside you, and He is ready to calm your heart and give you help. All you have to do is trust Him and ask!