March 21, 2018

Protection From the Pride of Success

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 21, 2018

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Matthew 14:22-23

You know the story. Jesus and the disciples had just fed 5,000 men and at least another 5,000 women and children. What a miracle, what an extraordinary time to call attention to what just happened. Instead, the disciples—jaws gaping in amazement—were dismissed by Jesus to their next faith adventure on a nautical field trip to the other side of the lake. While scratching their head in wonderment, Jesus proceeded to dismiss the crowd with full stomachs, as he made His way up the mountain to pray. The Son of God needed time with His father for refreshment.

If I had just experienced this kind of God moment miracle, I would have probably called a press conference and let the whole world know through social media. So, I need to be reminded my experience of success is not the time to feed my pride and ego, but to steady my soul in prayer.

You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:17-18).

Filled with His prayerful and loving exchange with His Father, Jesus made His way down the mountain to the edge of the lake, only to walk on water toward the disciples who were feeling alarmed and clamoring in fear. Jesus, refreshed in prayer, had prepared His heart so He was ready for His next assignment. Prayer was His protection and preparation. Has your heart been prepared by prayer for your next season of service, so you might “walk on water” to help calm those fearful and feeling alone?

Your successes are your opportunity to acknowledge Almighty God as the source of your ability to succeed in life. Celebrate, but keep Christ central with gratitude for His goodness. Abide in Him by being still and quiet in prayer, where the Spirit is able to offer your successes to your Savior Jesus as a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. By giving all glory to God, you are able to rest assured that arrogance will melt in the sight of your surrender to ungodly ambition. You are protected from the pride of success as you humbly acknowledge the Lord’s favor on your life. Perhaps your current successes are preparation for God’s next “walk on water” opportunity!

“Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake” (Matthew 14:24-25).



Heavenly Father, thank you for any successes I have experienced. Use me to influence others for you, in Jesus’ name, amen.


What recent success can I share the credit with the Lord and others?

Related Reading

Deuteronomy 26:10; 1 Samuel 2:7; Proverbs 8:18, 10:22

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