Thursday, April 12, 2012

Leviathan

I was visiting a church with a friend and heard a message from the man who would become my pastor. He preached a message on Leviathan, taken from Job 41. The whole chapter is about a formidable beast that is impervious to almost everything.  He talked about the improbability of taming Leviathan or making friends with it. 

It is impossible to pet it without losing a vital part of your anatomy; he also spoke about the scales, or shields that cover and protect this creature from attempts to kill it.  As this pastor drew a picture of this living armor-clad, natural annihilator, destructive as a tank, he then connected the subject of his message--pride.

Pride is a fierce, terrifying opponent built for battle and all but impossible to destroy.  It glides along, smoothly, under the surface like a crocodile. Dangerous, deadly and not at all willing to be denied. It's strength is legendary; it's fierceness is unequaled.  It lies deceptive,  just under the surface of the water and it is only when a prey, careless, steps too close to the crocodile 's lair that the realization of danger becomes apparent. Once in the jaws of Leviathan, it is all but impossible to escape it's grasp.  Death is almost always inevitable; if not death, vicious maiming is a result.

Pride is much like Leviathan. It is powerful, deadly and a formidable foe. It is deceptive to the one who is the victim and to the one who operates in pride.  Pride disguises itself with many different appearances.  It can mask itself in false humility, it can show up dressed as a martyr, or a multi-tasking answer to everyone else's needs. Often, the only way one might uncover pride as the root of a person's personality is to step on his/her 'pride-thing'. You know you have touched it when you hear that tell-tale 'click'!

This can be a dangerous, accidental discovery. Sort of  like Linda Blair in 'The Exorcist', just short of head spinning, and green vomit.  The sweet person who manifest some totally different person in reaction to a situation; or an angry outburst over what started out as a pleasant conversation.  The victim inadvertently stepped on the pride-thing when a certain topic is introduced. It isn't until Leviathan surfaces and they are in a death-roll, does the unsuspecting prey realize what is happening.

A great analogy of the way pride masquerades was illustrated to me with an incident that happened to my mom.  She has quite a few skin tags, most of which are totally harmless. She had one under her arm and it had become painful.  She was a bit concerned and asked me to take a look at it because it seemed to be getting larger.  I looked at her arm and saw this unusual looking skin tag. Taking a pair of tweezers, I tried to lift it to see if there was a break in the skin. When I touched it with the tweezers, legs stretched out and started moving.  It was an engorged tick!

We often don't recognize pride until we touch it or someone touches our pride-thing.  The only way we were able to safely remove the tick was to suffocate it, then we could remove it with the head in tact.  We put clear nail polish over the area the tick had attached itself to and allowed the polish to harden. We could then remove the insect, without the possibility of it growing again.

In life, the word of God, living in you makes a hostile environment for things like pride, anger, and envy, just to name a few. Let the word of God dwell in you richly. Then there will be no pride-thing! What ever is on the inside is what will come out when you are squeezed.  Be constantly being filled with the Holy Spirit of God.

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