When You Are 'Blocked' Learn To Ask God And Often You Will Find The Root In Pride
[adapted from The God of Miracles]
Do you have issues that just don't fade? Are there blocks in your life that won't go away?
Many times a major spiritual issue is ingrained to the point where it reveals itself only when we specifically ask that it be revealed -- at which time it will come to the surface in some fashion.
Often God shows us our shortcomings through mysterious sequences of events. What is blocking me, Lord? Why am I lacking the miraculous? we do well to ask.
However the answer arrives, and however long it takes, He never fails to answer. And often the root of a block or disturbance -- of something stubborn -- is pride.
Nothing covers up like pride, nothing is trickier to root out, and nothing is more serpentine.
Pride is at the root of many sins and is what got Lucifer thrown out of Heaven. Think of the snake wrapped around that tree. Pride coils. Pride camouflages. We think of the obvious ways.
It is operative through arrogance, which is what we often think of as pride, or more subtly as impatience (we're too important to wait). It is operative when in any way we feel above others or we give ourselves too much credit. It is greed (we deserve the most). It is the feeling of me first. It can take the form of anger (when our pride is affronted) or of rejecting others.
Many people even have pride in their "spirituality" or are proud that they "don't" have pride.
That's what I mean by trickery, and only the Holy Spirit can discern the subtler manifestations. When we're too self-satisfied, when we think we and we alone have our acts together, when we believe in our exceptional goodness, this should send up a red flag.
Often, pride takes the form of materialism. We are placing earthly riches as our focus, and striving to win the game of life (to end up with the most "toys") means we see ourselves as above our neighbors.
We strive and compete and clench our teeth. At times, we succeed. There are victories.
But those victories are usually fleeting. There will be the devil, the "prince of pride," to pay. Pride leads to nothing that lasts. A spiritual law. Instead, it invites in the devil and allows him a piece of our "turf" that is proportionate to our pride.
When evil is around, look for a way you have been proud. Pride puts us in danger. It strips us of true life.
Often we see wealthy people and wonder why they have been so greatly "rewarded" for ventures that are purely selfish. On the surface it is almost miraculous. They have a power that we don't. They can send their kids to the Ivy League. They can afford to travel whenever they feel the urge. Cars are toys to them. They seem to have it all. They don't worry about paying the electric bill. It seems like a charmed life.
But most often wealth is a burden, even a curse.
When used for selfish purposes it puts us out of touch with the Plan of God, and the life of someone who is out of God's plan is a life of "wonders" that are superficial.
All of what we have and are belongs to God, and in some way must be made to serve Him. How we handle our money affects how much God will bless us. "If you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth," says Scripture, "who will trust you with true riches?"
Forget about trying to be a cross between holy and worldly.
Money can be a gift, and like any gift, it is meant for God's glory. When used for that purpose, it's fine. We are meant to do something with money and other gifts we receive. They are meant to help both God and those around us. To live is to give. Note the word "charmed": we don't want to be anointed by the wrong source. To take is of the snake. The Bible says that "you cannot serve both God and mammon."
When we're rich and use that gift only for our selves, we are left with only the "wonders" that money can buy, which turn into baggage.
There is the expression that money is the root of all evil, but a better translation is probably that "money is the root of all kinds" of evil.
The real root of all evil is lack of love, and when we lack love it is often because of our pride.
It causes everything from family arguments to war. In fact the manifestations of pride are astounding. It can take the form of anger, selfishness, hypersensitivity, feuding, fear, and a short temper. When we're angry we should ask ourselves why we are angry; when we're impatient, we should ask ourselves why we are impatient; when we're fearful, we should ask ourselves why we are fearful; when we are hateful, we should ask ourselves why we are hateful; when we're depressed, we should investigate what is depressing or confusing us -- what is causing the anxiety.
Often the answer is "pride."
When evil connects with us, it is doing so because it has found pride and used it as a path that causes us a block -- that intersects with our own course of life.
Without pride, a whole new world opens up to us -- a world that's focused on God and releases His love, which is the Force of all that is wondrous and the root of all good and every prayer that is answered.
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