TOPIC                      DEALING WITH THE SPIRIT OF PRIDE

                              By Evang. Nimota Kelani

BIBLE READING:            Obadiah 1- 21

TEXT:  Galatians 5:17; Galatians 6: 7 & 10, Psalm 137:7, Jeremiah 49:7-22, & Joel 3:19

 

I am going to be teaching today on the book of Obadiah.  The name Obadiah means “the servant of JEHOVAH,” or “Worshiper of the Lord” Prophet Obadiah indeed fulfills the role of servant in doing his work, delivering the message and of course fading into the mists of history.

The book of Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament.  Short as the book is, the book confirmed the saying that less is more when it comes to getting your message across.    To many the book of Obadiah is a pronouncement of doom against an ancient and long forgotten nation of Edom.  I personally found the book to have far more significance than that.  The book is a tale of two nations, Israel and Edom and two brothers, Jacob and Esau.

Edom was located south of Israel in a region we now referred to as Negev or Negeb.  The Israelites had to travel this land as they escaped the slavery of Egypt and came into the land of Israel.  But as they were passing through Edom, the Edomites persecuted them.  You may be asking, why did the Edomites’ persecute the children of Israel?  The answer is that the Israelites and the Edomites were enemies from its very beginning.  At Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, there is something we call “Foundational Issue or problem.”  This foundational issue is always the root of other problem that may surface later on in the life of somebody or a nation.  Unless this foundational problem is properly dealt with there will always be a conflict or problem.

 

Every nation in the bible is a lengthened shadow of its founder, and the two men behind the nations Israel and Edom were twin brother called Jacob and Esau.   The book of Genesis explained to us that these two brothers were antagonism even before they were born; they struggled together in their mother’s womb.  And apparently proper deliverance was not carried out on both of them; the antagonism continued in the live of the brothers and consequently continued with their descendants.  The live of Israel and Esau was characterized by intense sibling rivalry and conflicts—a conflicts that continued even after their death.  Their antagonism continued on the nations that they founded, and we see the fruits they produced from Genesis through Malachi the last book of Old Testament. 

Let us quickly see what Malachi 1:2-4 says, “I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? Saith, the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation forever”

Why this continued— “un-forgiveness spirits” did set in the life of Esau.  He eventually passes on the bitterness and anger unto his descendants.  Brethren, whenever you refuse to let go and let God be in any situation confronting you, then you are on the road to destruction as we will learn in this teaching this morning.

 

The book of Obadiah makes known to us what is so important about these two men and these two nations.  In the struggle between Israel and Edom we see a parallel with what the New Testament book of Galatians 5:17 was saying to us.  That scripture (Gal 5:17) explained to us that: “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary (opposed) the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”   As I study the book of Obadiah; I saw God speaking to us about his truth the picture of Esau (Edom) and Jacob (Israel).  They are a symbol of the struggle between THE FLESH AND THE SPIRIT.

We are going to examine why God said he hated Esau and love Jacob in the book of Malachi and other text we mentioned earlier:

 

1. PRIDE:  The book of Obadiah tells us in verse 3The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? 

Pride is the basic characteristic of what the bibles calls “THE FLESH”.  The trouble with Esau was his own pride.   Our pride will always war against God’s spirit.  The flesh is a principle that opposes God’s purposes for humanity and continually defies what God is trying to accomplish through us.  As Christians we all have this internal struggle.  Pride is number one identifying mark of the flesh.  The book of proverb chapter 6:16-19 says “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:  (1) A proud look, (2) a lying tongue, and (3) hands that shed innocent blood, (4) A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, (5) feet that be swift in running to mischief, (6) A false witness that speaketh lies, and (7) he that soweth discord among brethren.”  Brethren, notice that the number one on the list is a proud look, a look of arrogance, an attitude of I have arrive.   This is to let you know the kind of fallen nature that was implanted in us humanity.  We are all from Adam and this pride is part of us.  For a prideful person the whole world revolves around the self.  The prideful person says, “Who can bring me down to the ground?”  Nobody can touch or stop me; nobody can stand in my way, I have it all, I know it all.  That is Esau and that is Edom.  That is the flesh in you gradually leading you to destruction.

 

Close your eyes and take this prayer point:

1. I command every spirit of pride in me to die in the name of Jesus.

2. Spirit of Pride, hear the word of the Lord, you will not rule my life in Jesus’ name.

Ray C. Stedman, the author of the book “Adventuring through the Bible” in his book he describes how Edom was before its ruins.  He said, Petra, the rose red city of the dead was the capital of Edom.  He said, the entry to this city was tremendous, it runs for a mile or more right through the rock.  He describe that a narrow passage about a few yards will bring you to an open place where temples have been carved out of the living rock.  The giants temples with doorways of about twenty five feet high or more describe the city of Petra.  That was the ancient city whose people felt that because of these natural defenses they were invulnerable.  They lifted up their hearts in pride, and, as the Lord spoke through his prophet says, the pride of their hearts was deceived.  They strongly believed that nothing could overthrow them, but God said it would be done.  The writer wrote that a few years after Jesus’ death, the Romans came in and destroyed the cities of Edom and captured this “Impregnable” fortress.  It has been in ruins since then.  Are you like Edom today?  Do you allow your position in life rule you to the point that, you mistreat the people that God used to help you get up?  Brethren, we need to search ourselves and ask God to bring to light every form of pride in our life. Not only to bring it to light but to destroy them completely in the name of Jesus.

 

2. VIOLENCE:  Violence is another form of pride in ones life.  Obadiah 10 “For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off forever.”  Our unbroken life and attitudes is the root of violence.  Esau was not broken spiritually and so his descendants were not broken.   An unbroken spirit is an ego, a spoiled and cowardly spirit that does not care.  A person with an unbroken spirit will find it justify to inflicts violent pain and injury on another person and pride fully believes that he or she has the right to do so and the victim has no rights or dignity. 

The psalmist wrote in Psalm 137:7 “Remember, O LORD, what the Edomites did on the day Jerusalem fell.” Tear it down," they cried, "tear it down to its foundations!"  It is only violence that would cause someone or a nation to say such a thing about there own blood and flesh.

Joel 3:19 “But Egypt will be desolate, Edom a desert waste, because of violence done to the people of Judah, in whose land they shed innocent blood.”  Where is this violence coming from?  It is from Edom.  It is the pride of the FLESH.  Amen.  These scriptures confirm that all violence, all unscriptural prayer prayed against the children of God will be judge. 

3. I DON’T CARE ATTITUDE:  verse 11 says, “In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them.”  I don’t care attitude or an attitude of indifference is a form of pride.  Self-centeredness is when you don’t care about what is going on around.  When you feel that you are too important to get involved in what is going on around you, especially in the house of God.  When you say my life, my time, my school, my work is too important. 

Many marriages today failed because of this attitude of I don’t care.  You often hear the spouses complaining that he/she doesn’t pay attention to me.   Some will want you to come and kill their wife or husband because they said something to them that they shouldn’t say.  Someone told me one day that any man or woman God, who really had the spirit of God in them, should know that their spouse is this and that and they should have dealt with their spouse.  Why because they wanted me to deal with the issue their own way.  That is pride and the flesh has taken over their life to the point that they could not even see that they also need some kind of deliverance.  If that describe you or your marital life, then Esau is at work.  You must do something before it is too late.  That is the pride of indifference, I don’t care attitude.  That is an attitude of I am the only one that is always right and nothing else matter.

 

Verse 12 & 13 said, Edom should not have look down on their brother in the day of their misfortune, or rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their destruction but they did.   The Edomites boast so much against their brothers in the day of their trouble.  They were not supposed to march through the gates of the people in the day of their disaster, nor look down on them in their calamity, but they did.  They even seized the wealth of the Israelites in the day of their disaster.  Edom basically was very happy at the misfortune of Israel. 

Have you ever find yourself in a position where you rejoice over the misfortune of someone who has hurt you in the past?  Do you every wonder why you rub salt into an open wound?  Why is it that you delight and take pleasure in finding and spotlighting another person’s failures or faults?  It is Esau in you, it is pride.  It is the flesh warring against the spirit of God and this is sin.  You must fight the flesh and bring it to the obedience of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.  Let us take this prayer point:

1. O Lord, I want you to break me; I want the self in me to die, in the name of Jesus.

2. O Lord, give me the power to walk in spirit, in the name of Jesus.

Pride will always have a way of working out its own destruction.  Pride also will set a trap and then proceeds to spring the trap on itself.  Obadiah 6 & 7 says, “How are the things of Esau searched out! how are his hidden things sought up! All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; they that eat thy bread have laid a wound under thee: there is none understanding in him.”

Pride deceives us; it traps us, it tricks us, and blinds us to the danger around us.  We don’t recognize it until it is too late.  With sense of invincibility, we step onto the flimsy carpet that has been spread over the pit, never suspecting that our next step is our last.  Ironically, everyone around us sees the danger at our feet except us.  Some are shouting, jumping up and down trying to wave us off but we are too prideful to listen.  We tell them they don’t know what they are talking about.  We all have this problem of the flesh within us.  It is very important that we deal with the root of pride in our lives because Edom has no place in us and before God.   God will judge Edom, and there will be no escape for the prideful.  God is forever set against those who are prideful, those who live by the flesh instead of the spirit.  This truth is seen elsewhere in the Old Testament in the book of Exodus 17:14 where God told Moses that he would utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.   He wiped them out completely from the face of the earth.  Amalek was the grandson of Esau, pride; bitterness, anger and unforgiveness runs in the family.  These generations were ruthless so God had to be ruthless to them too.  The same thing you have to do to your flesh, you cannot make peace with your flesh at all because your flesh is not ready and will never be ready to make peace with you until it destroys you.  You have to get hold of your flesh before it gets hold of you.  Let us pause and take this prayer point again:

1. O Lord, divorce me from every sin of the flesh in the name of Jesus.

Try to appease Esau (Flesh), try to compromise with Edom (flesh) and they will turn and destroy you, look at what happened in the book of 1 Samuel chapter 21 through chapter 22.,  particularly chapter 22:18 Doeg, the Edomites, killed eighty-five men who wore linen ephod, which means they were all priest that he slew in that day.  That is the spirit of Edom, the spirit of flesh.

Another evidence of the flesh and spirit was Herod, an Idumean (another spelling of Edom) we know that king Herod was Edomites, the descendants of Esau.  Jesus stands before Herod. Now the representative of Jacob and Esau came face to face with each other.  King Herod the Edomite is proud, arrogant and rebellious.  He watches the cruel mockery of the soldiers as they strip the Lord down and dress Him in His royal robes.  On the other hand, King Jesus, the spirit-filled Israelites, is humble, and obedient; He goes willing to His death by torture, which is inflicted on Him at the hands of Herod.   The scriptures said that Herod asked Jesus many question, but for the son of Esau there is no answer from the son of Jacob.  They have nothing to discuss.  Compromise is impossible.  God has nothing to say to the flesh, nothing except judgment.

It is the humble King Jesus who breaks free from the cross and the grave, and it is the prideful king Herod who ends his life in shame and exile, a prisoner of chains with which he has always pride fully bound himself.  THE SPIRIT IS VICTOR.  THE FLESH IS DEFEATED.  Israel rises and Edom falls.

Brethren we have a choice this morning.  We can either choose between ISRAEL (SPIRIT) and EDOM (FLESH)—on whose side we want to be.  It is my prayer for you this morning that you would chose walking in spirit instead of flesh amen.

If you are here this morning and you have not given your life to Jesus, now is the time to do it. 

Let us rise up for prayer:

1. O Lord, reveal to me anything that is hindering my spiritual growth, in the name of Jesus.

2. O Lord, whatever would make you to replace me, remove it from my life today.

3. O Lord make me a living sacrifice, in the name of Jesus.

4. Anything that is disobeying God in my life, come out with all your roots, in the name

    of Jesus.

5. My flesh I command you to die to sin, in the name of Jesus.

6. Lord, help me to hate sin with perfect hatred in the name of Jesus.

7. O Lord, save me from myself, in the name of Jesus.

8. O Lord let me be lost in you in Jesus name.

9. Lord, let holiness be my food in the name of Jesus

10. Holy Spirit, possess me completely in the name of Jesus.

11. Lord, help me to put on the garment of righteousness.

12. My father let me experience you kingdom in every area of my life, in the name of Jesus.

13. Raise up your two hands and prophesy unto your hands that they shall be instruments of

      power, peace and prosperity, in Jesus’ name.

14. Lord, cover me and my family with your mighty and everlasting banner of love.