Series Introduction

When you can’t let go of stuff, it will eat you up – physically, emotionally and more importantly spiritually. If we can inspire, help, equip or challenge people to just LET IT GO, we can change our overall well-being in life.

  • What accomplishment are you most proud of in your life?


Sermon Introduction

Pride is something all of us deal with. It destroys relationships, makes us un-coachable, and keeps us from being vulnerable. It leads us to make unhealthy choices, spend too much to impress someone, and hold people at a distance.

Pride isn’t healthy self-esteem or being proud of your kids. Pride is that inflated sense of self-importance and being self-absorbed. It is feeding a huge ego, and a huge ego Edges God Out.

In Mere Christianity C.S. Lewis wrote, “the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere flea bites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.”

Pride is often looked upon by high achievers as a virtue, yet God uses strong language to talk about pride. He detests pride and opposes the proud. Pride can make a man or woman so full of themselves that there is no room for God and His love, His acceptance, His wisdom, and His leadership in our lives. That’s why we have to let it go.

To let go of pride is to admit publicly that you need God’s amazing grace in your life.

  • Where does pride have its strongest hold on you? 

Have someone read Proverbs 16:5, Psalm 101:5 and Daniel 4:27

Moses wasn’t perfect, but Numbers 12:3 says, “Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.”

Moses grew up in Pharaoh’s palace. He had striking features. He was educated, wealthy, and a natural leader. As a young man, Moses realizes he’s an Israelite. He sees an Egyptian beating a fellow Israelite and kills him. As a result, he has to flee from Egypt and ends up across the desert in Midian. Moses gets married and goes to work for his father-in-law Jethro, tending sheep. One day the angel of the Lord appears to him in the flame of fire from within a bush. God is calling him back to free the Israelites from the Egyptians.

Have someone read Exodus 3:11.

We see here that Moses is not the same man as he was 40 years earlier when he impulsively killed an Egyptian.

  • What are some ways that God has helped you to overcome pride?

Have someone read Romans 12:3.

The Apostle Paul is telling us to view ourselves accurately, to be honest in our evaluation of ourselves, but that’s difficult and sometimes painful. The world tells us to boast about our gifts. Who wants to expose their bumps and blemishes? But to live in freedom, we need to stop and look in the mirror once in a while and ask the question Moses asked: “Who am I?”

  • Why do you think it is so hard for us to be honest about our shortcomings?

Have someone read Matthew 5:3.

Jesus is saying that the people who recognize their need for Him are blessed.  He doesn’t mean that we should view ourselves as worthless.  Quite the opposite!  If we were worthless, He would not have died for us.  You have incredible value, worth, and significance to God. To be poor in spirit simply means to recognize that you need God and then to depend on Him.

People who are poor in spirit people can look themselves in the eye and say, “I don’t measure up to God’s standard of holiness.  When I look in the mirror I have blemishes. Every day I say things; feel things; think things; do things; or refuse to do things that just underscore the fact that I’m a sinner in need of amazing grace.”

Jesus says, blessed or happy are those who can look in the mirror and humbly acknowledge they need God. The kingdom of heaven belongs only to those who can admit they don’t deserve it.  Developing an accurate view of ourselves will lead to humility and is the first key to letting go of pride.

  • How can we cultivate a poor spirit, one that recognizes our spiritual poverty but on the other hand doesn’t cause us to think of ourselves as worthless?

The second key to letting go of pride is to view God accurately. When Moses asks God “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” God responds in Exodus 3:12 by saying “I will be with you.” Moses starts listing all the reasons he isn’t the right pick. God doesn’t agree or disagree. Instead, He takes the focus off Moses and puts it on Himself. Moses doesn’t need more self-confidence, which always leads to pride or to disappointment in yourself. He needs God-confidence, a humble awareness of God at work in his life. Put your confidence in the all-powerful, all-loving, and all-knowing God of the universe.

  • What challenge are you facing where you need God-confidence not self-confidence?

Fast forward and Moses has led the Israelites out of Egypt, but they’re not yet in the Promised Land. They’re in the desert in between. The people are complaining, they’re high-maintenance, and they want something to drink. God says to Moses, “Speak to this rock and water will miraculously come from this rock.”

Have someone read Numbers 20:10-12.

Moses did something different than what God told him to do, and so God tells Moses, “You’re not going to go into the Promised Land.” Gene talked about how some say this is because of disobedience, but he thinks the problem is pride.  Moses says, “Must we bring forth water from this rock?” Not God, but “God and I.” Moses wasn’t bringing the water from the rock, God was.  If you want to let go of pride you must give all the glory to God.

Pride keeps us from God. When we are prideful we say “I don’t need your help, God. I’ve got this.” Pride keeps us from acknowledging our need for a Savior.

  • What are some ways that pride has kept you from being as close to God as you could be?

Thanks to God there will be a day when pride will be vanquished. And the Bible tells us there will be a day when every knee shall bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, that He alone is worthy.

We don’t have to wait until that day. We can humble ourselves and surrender to Jesus today. We can acknowledge our need for Jesus in our lives. One way we surrender is through baptism.


Application

This weekend we had the opportunity to hear a testimony from Aaron and Brandi. 

Aaron was hesitant to get baptized before the whole church, but he shares that “I really believe that my life started the day I gave into faith and believed that Jesus Christ is our Savior.” For some of you, that is your next step, to humble yourself and stand publicly admitting you need Jesus and want to be baptized. If that is you, share with your group and prayerfully consider signing up to be baptized at eastside.com/baptism.

Break into small groups and pray for each other to be able to overcome the pride you have in the area you shared about at the beginning of the group. Pray that God would help you to see yourself accurately, to view God accurately, and to praise Him, giving Him all the glory.