I’m in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay. It’s a big, busy city full of people on the Brazilian-Argentine border. It’s a place full of things God is doing. For this, I am excited, but I’m also bummed.
For 12 years I’ve been coming to Paraguay. I’ve seen amazing things happen. Many of the key leaders and pastors that are currently serving were in high school when I first came. To each of them God gave me personal prophetic words that would be used by God to affect their callings.
Something is wrong
The church and people that first captured my heart are in a city outside of Asuncion. Every year I’ve taken teams there who have been likewise captivated with this place and people. We’ve poured time and resources into this church. It was awesome what was happening…until a few years ago.
For the last three years it seemed like something wasn’t right. The people’s faces were long. The worship was lackluster. People who had been there from the start weren’t attending anymore. The other day we found out why.
One of the key rising young leaders was having an affair, and another one of the leaders was misappropriating church funds.
As I deal with the disappointment, I realize that God is also dealing with my pride. God brought this verse to my mind…
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
When you consider your accomplishments it’s easy to become prideful, even arrogant. Accomplishments make you think about all the hard work it took to produce them, and pride enters when we think we’ve achieved them with our own efforts, skills and intelligence.
But the very things we take the greatest pride in can be a great eye-opener about where real blessings come from. Those who seek worldly treasures will only find worldly rewards. These rewards die when we die and will account for nothing in God’s kingdom. There may be impressive natural results in our accomplishments, unfortunately they do not have the durability to withstand spiritual attack.
This realization should break us of believing that we can have any lasting success through our own abilities. God will allow us to do things on our own, but because his purposes and plans are the only thing that will prevail, eventually we will be brought to a place of brokenness. This is no fun, but it is so that we would quit leaning on our own abilities, and start operating in God’s power. This is when real accomplishments can happen!