Helpless Without The Lord

by Dr. Ken Matto

(Prov 29:23 KJV) A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

Yesterday I was sitting on my front porch with my father enjoying the first day in many without high humidity. We were sitting there and all of a sudden a bird comes tumbling off the roof of our house on to the ground. It looked stunned when it fell but it got up and sat there. It was a young bird which could not fly. My father picked it up and placed it under a tree in our front yard, so in case the mother came by to look for it, she would find it under the tree with some protection. However, the mother did not come and the bird sat there absolutely still for over an hour until it started flapping its wings and then went into the tree trunk and around the other side and its head went underneath its body and apparently snapped it and it died. It reminded me of how helpless that bird was without its mother, which then brought to mind how helpless we are without the Lord.

(John 15:5 KJV) I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. The Lord Jesus made it totally clear that without Him we are able to do nothing. This means that all the plans we desire to enact in our life will never come to fruition unless the Lord Jesus is the one who permits them and undergirds them. That little fledgling gave me a good picture of what we Christians are like if God is not there to help us along. However, there is one thing that we can count on and that is that God will always be there to help us, provided we do not adopt the spirit of pride in our life. There are many in public ministries out there where the leaders walk around so puffed up that they act like they have the nail prints in their hands.

They must understand one major principle, that just because they are in the public eye does not automatically mean they are the spokesman for all of Christianity or that they are inimitable. Too many of them strut around with their thumbs under their arm pits believing that everything they say or do is ordained and endorsed by God. Tell me Robert Tilton is endorsed by God and I will sell you some ocean front land in Kansas. There are many pastors and church leaders who also walk around with the attitude that their education and standing, place them above every one else in the congregation. They may ooh and aah their hearers but God is not fooled by their inward attitudes. Our verse teaches us that the more pride you possess, the lower the standing in the eyes of God. Just because someone stands in front of a congregation does not mean they have all the answers or that God has endued them with all the knowledge. This is something we all must guard against.

Even though the Holy Spirit indwells the believer, we can quench and grieve Him by puffing ourselves up with pride. One of the easiest ways to test if you are loaded with pride is to ask how teachable are you? Some in public ministries refuse to be taught anything, especially if it comes from the “laity.” There is absolutely no distinction in Scripture between anyone who is ordained and those who are not ordained. Ordination is like the theory of Apostolic Succession. Those who are ordained to ministry are normally those who are friends or followers of the one doing the ordaining. For example, John Hagee has a large church in Texas and he is obsessed with the Jews. Do you think a person could be ordained in his church who opposes Israel’s political policies or who believe that the true Israel of God is the body of believers? I think not! The other night I was flipping around the channels and saw Hagee was having a camp meeting at his church and he was sitting in a pride chair about twice his size on the platform. He is a short round man and I thought I was looking at a Munchkin because he was so small compared to the royal chair he was sitting in. Honey I shrunk the Pastor!

The truth is that every believer is ordained to the ministry but we have different offices as we see in Ephesians 4:11. (Eph 4:11 KJV) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; No single Christian or no single spiritual office has all the authority. This means that Pastors or Teachers who cannot be taught, and I mean taught with the truth, not a philosophy, are in rebellion. If a person cannot be taught, then they have completely arrived at becoming a god, since they have total wisdom and knowledge. Oh, they will never tell you this but those who will not be taught obviously have nothing else to learn.

Pride is the archenemy of Christians because it prevents them from learning all that God has to teach them. No Christian will ever reach a plateau of full knowledge. Even the Apostle Paul had stated that he had not attained it yet. We will not have full knowledge until we get to heaven, and even then we will not own as much wisdom and knowledge as God. Sorry Ph.D’s. Not every Christian will have the desire to go in depth on every article concerning Christianity and that is understandable, but there is a big difference between that and being non-teachable. God expects His children to seek and know the truth, and that does require a little effort on our part. God is not pleased with lazy Christians. We must be careful that we do not let laziness become the envelope for pride because when an envelope is sealed it has to be ripped or sliced open, and when God begins to peel pride away in our life, He must slice and dice until every vestige is gone. The process of losing pride will be very humbling, but hey, isn’t that the goal? (Isa 2:11 KJV) The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.    (7/16/04)