Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” (Mark 8: 15 NKJV)
Leaven, the ingredient used to puff up bread, is akin to pride which is the ingredient that puffs us up. I have not always heeded to this warning that now extends well beyond the religious leaders of Jesus’ time on earth. We are in a time when pride is the main ingredient to having a rewarding and successful life; at least that’s what society teaches us.
“Be proud of where you are from, be proud of who you are, be proud of what you have, be proud of who you know, be proud of what you have accomplished be proud of …..”
We life by the phrase “I can do all things” and often forget the part where it is “Through Christ who strengthens me”.
Pride is so ingrained in us from an early age that it seems to become a natural part of life. It is an often unnoticed cancer that slowly eats away at us and is sometimes never diagnosed or treated.
Just as leaven (yeast) causes bread to rise, too much of it will cause it to explode. So too is the result of pride in us, no matter how small. Pride, the original sin, was powerful enough to cause an archangel to revolt against God and be cast out of heaven. How much more damage can it do in our lives.
Believe me when I say this is not a lecture; I am merely reflecting on the damage it has done in my life and the continued attempts of the enemy to keep it going. I was puffed up by pride and it brought me low, very low. But I thank God that he has revealed these things to me because pride is an enemy to meekness and meekness is what I desire.
The Apostle John warns us that “For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world.” (1 John 2:16). Many of us find justification around the Word of God and slip into the very sins they warn against. Lust and pride are, to me, accomplices in this Bonnie and Clyde world. Pride causes us to lust after things because we feel we deserve them. This is a warning sign; anytime we begin feeling that we deserve something we should stop and pray.
This brings me to my next point; prayer is the key to everything. The Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 4:6 to “Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”. This reassurance was again given to me in a dream this week which was then reaffirmed through a brother the very next day, without me revealing my dream. It is not that I didn’t know, but I was battling with pride which could easily lead to malice and even as I was praying, the attacks kept coming.
So family, please be on you guard again the “leaven” of this world and keep me and each other accountable. Set aside pride and put on meekness. Seek first the kingdom of God.