Pride Promotes Strife

What is the soul of man and how does it hinder us from finding true love and great relationships?

It is a distinct part of man. It represents our emotions, motives, intelligence, rationale, logic, culture, family upbringing, political bent, sensitivities, likes, dislikes. and our schooling and training.

It is our natural man. It can be called rightly the “flesh” as spoken of in Rom. 8:7 which we are told is at enmity with God and His Holy Spirit. 

“For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; 

and these are contrary to one another, 

so that you do not do the things that you wish.

Gal. 5:17

So in our natural state we can not please God. His law is perfectly right and good. His law works and our soul doesn't work right. It wants to destroy us. 

And without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit we can not put down the flesh.

What then are we to do?

In our natural state we are quite frankly, a mess!

But you protest, you say, “Im not a bad person” I haven't cheated anybody or murdered another man, or I don't lie, well, too much.

Even as these words of self-justification roll over your tongue you are lying to yourself and God. The law of God makes even your slightly jealous thoughts – evil.

In the book of James we have probably the most succinct description of why we have a hard time with relationships in the world and in the Body of Christ.

Meditate with me on James 1:1-6

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, "The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously"?

6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:

"God resists the proud,

But gives grace to the humble."

How can we then live in this world chock full of this stuff? 

The only way the grace that comes to us through the ministry and work of Jesus Christ. 

By His power we are able to get rid of our natively sinful propensity to indulge our human pride expressed in self reliance over the course of our walk with Him.

It will take time, but I assure you, this work of crushing the flesh and our pride will happen if you are born again.


How do miss the power of God to help us have the kind of relationships that should be the envy of the world?

By continually trusting in our natural abilities to do things spiritual or things natural. 

Frankly, we can't do anything right outside of God's help. This help only comes through the cross of Jesus Christ and our willingness to die like Him to our fleshly desires.

Trusting in man or our own assessment of our life situation is a manifestation of pride.  Our native human pride (spirit of death) seeks out the spirit of the age to connect with it's laws, and naturally, we take the way of the world to our own peril. 

The prince and power of the air uses the weakness of our soul to entice us into sinful self reliance. Or morbid unbelief in Our Creator

Our soul is imperfect. Laced with the spirit of death. Our soul cries out to the Living God. Our Creator. 

Quite naturally, we are born with a God hole in our soul. But man doesn't seek out God, like sheep all of us have gone astray.

Our Ego or self esteem, as we might define it, is ruined by the fall of man. Adam and Eve saw both the good and the evil when they disobeyed the Lord in the Garden of Eden. Before they sinned they only knew good. 

Now we, like Adam in the perfect state, can see good but our Adamic soul ensnares us and entices us to follow the path of death.

When we operate in our natural state, in the soul realm, we act as sheep without a shepherd. We are in need of a true shepherd who can guide our us and our messed up soul back to the tree of life. 

“For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”

I Pet.2:28

To the fountain opened for sin and uncleanness.

Ponce De Leon's journey did not lead him to any real fountain of a real eternal life. If anything, he discovered this as a lie and found the power of darkness, and sadly, in the end he found it was connected to the ancient lie of listening the voice of darkness and the voice of self government.

Life without God's supreme authority. His rightful place as Lord of our soul. 

"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Gal. 2:20

Paul is trying to relate to us the reality that our sinfully corrupt soul, all of it contents are crucified on the cross of Our Savior this when he gave His entire life and existence to Christ on the Damascus Road. 

The “I” of “I am crucified” is the soul of Paul. 

Paul the renowned Pharisee who had built up a great reputation as a Torah teacher and holiness advocate within the entire spectrum of Judaism.  

Paul, a Jerusalem-based and Torah-trained rabbi of great reputation. A student of Gamaliel. A hard working Jewish tentmaker. A man of real intellect. Artist by training. A scholar by diligent study. A keeper of the law. A very religious man.

We must move now to the implications of this understanding to get a better handle on what the Spirit of the Lord is saying to us today. In our culture. With its distinctive way of seducing us into the way of death.

The soul can not be trusted to guide us to eternal life. Only through hearing of the gospel of the Cross of Jesus Christ can any person come to a life-changing understanding (spiritually acquired) of how to break free from the power of death found in our soul.

From the most ardent sinner and rebellious person who ever walked the earth to the most noble of men and women who brought beauty and government that encouraged people to experience a better life here on planet earth. From the worst to the best of men and every person in between we find that all of us have no life in our soul. 

Nothing can reverse the curse of death on our soul. So when Paul says to us in this passage is very important to us as so-called christians. 

We must understand the audience that he is writing to back in his days. These were Jewish converts to the teachings of Yeshua. They believed in His resurrection from the dead.  

The Galatian believers preached the gospel of His death and resurrection to their family, friends, and neighbors. They preached what Paul preached to them when he first arrived in Galatia. 

No less the great apostle Peter was found among their number. Yet they were on the verge of losing it all.

But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

Gal. 1:8

But their flesh, and their love of Judaism, drove them to add more the message of salvation, what they thought was a better religion then the message once for all delivered to the apostles by Jesus Christ Himself. 

They added what they thought to be good things. Things like circumcising Greek men because that was what Abraham did and that is part of our redemptive history. They required circumcision along with faith in Jesus.

Today we are doing the exact same thing to people, when, for instance, we require a completely tattooed man or woman to remove their tattoos or cover them or they can not use their gifts in our ministry. 

We believe this kind of additional layer of moral compliance to our version of Christianity is good or holy. But this attitude must end in the church in order for us to have better relationships across the Body of Christ. 

Paul is saying directly to these religious zealots, you are wrongly dividing the Word of God. You have mistaken the grace of God and face of Jesus Christ by adding man's wisdom to God's clear and simple revelation of His love for soul cursed sinners.

To this idea Paul had to suffer a very real death. Here he had to let go of his intelligence in the ways of the Tahakh – the Rabbincal interpretation of the Torah, Poetry Books, Historical Books, and the Prophets.

The knowledge of history of man and Judaism. 

Of Moses and Aaron and the Levitical priesthood. 

He died to these things long before he was raised up to be a spokesman for the only message that changes our soul problem. 

Paul spent 3 years in Arabian desert to learn new things from Christ and to unlearn things that we buried deep within his stubbornly religious heart. 

Paul then sat in Tarsus for 10 years to wait on God's call to do what he was told to do on the 1st day he was converted. When he felt most ready to tell the world what he saw, probably because it was fresh in His mind. 

Yet His New Master, Jesus Christ, had to take him aside and train him in the way He walked.

Paul continued to die to the soul everyday, why you may ask? 

Because we live in a fleshy state. None of us can transport out of our mortal and flesh laden state to a perfect spiritual place. We have to learn how to win against the flesh.

We will not experience deliverance from soul death until we die physically and leave this planet and we are released permanently from time and space. 

Then and only then will our soul / flesh struggle end.

Today my dear friends, in order to have better relationships, we must die to our soulish pride which wars within us.

We must die to our plans. 

We must die to our credentials. 

We must die to preferences. 

We must die to our intelligence. 

We must die to our human strength. 

Our reputation. 

Our desire to be our own boss. 

And any and all other pull of the flesh on our soul realm.  

We must be crucified to these things or we will die eternally.

The confession of our lips must be, 

for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” 

Let's pray.

We ask that you forgive us, especially those of us who are members of Your Body, for our prideful self indulgence. Our love of the world and our love of the things of this life. We have failed miserably at being our own bosses. We entreat you to have mercy on us and led into paths of righteousness for Your Name's sake.