OPEN HEAVEN 2017
SAUL BROKE THE PRIDE BARRIER – Sunday May 21st 2017
Memorise: The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. Psalm 10:4
Read: Acts 9:1-11 (King James Version)
1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
Bible in one year: Acts 1-2, Jeremiah 33:1-11, Hymn: Sing hymn 6
Yesterday, we considered the need to fast often in order to maintain the Spirit’s control over the desires of our body. Today, let us consider another reason why we need to fast often, which is, to submit ourselves to God in humility (James 4:6-7). David had this understanding and that was why in Psalm 35:13 he said,
“But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.”
Whenever you find yourself becoming haughty, too full of yourself or looking down on others, you need to declare a fast so as to subdue the rise of pride in your life. Those who live in pride are distant from God. Even when He makes an attempt to reach such people, it will be very difficult because they have built a fence of pride around themselves. One major reason why some people don’t accept the gospel of Jesus Christ, even after witnessing His power and miracles, is pride. Those worst hit by this attitude tend to be learned, enlightened and widely travelled people. This is why you need to pray against the spirit of pride hindering the salvation of your loved ones.
Let us take a look at the life of Saul of Tarsus and learn some lessons from him. He was very zealous and intelligent young man who wanted to please God, but he was proud. Meanwhile, God had been trying to reach out to him, but the fence of pride he had around him kept God out. Do you know that pride directs? If you are proud, it will direct you in the way you go about things, in what you do and what you don’t do. Whenever faith is combined with pride, at best, you will get religion. As Saul tried to serve and please God in the atmosphere of pride, he drifted further away from the One he though he was pleasing, to the point where he began to fight the One he was supposed to satisfy. Pride blindfolds its victims. It makes a person work against what he or she originally set out to do or stand up for. It wasn’t until Jesus manifested Himself to Saul that he realised he had been working against the God he thought he was serving. Nevertheless, after he humbled himself with fasting and prayer for three days, he received salvation, healing of his blind eyes, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and a divine call of God to minister the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles. If only you can submit yourself to God in humility through prayer and fasting, you can connect with God’s purpose for your life.
Father, let all my loved ones who are separated from You through pride, overcome this barrier and yield completely to Your will today.