The ruin of pride comes after its build up in order to deceive a person into believing their own hype so they will fall. PROVERBS 16:18; "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." It doesn't happen right away because the Lord is very gracious in giving a person time to recognize their folly, repent, humble themselves, and correct their behavior. God will send numerous warnings; especially to those who are born again in Christ. This is why a person can go for a long time building up material things and prestige that look like success among men without knowing the entire time they are falling in the eyes of GOD. The Lord often wants them to have the stuff but with the right attitude, and will use it to test them to see how they will handle it like he did King Hezekiah. 2nd CHRONICLES 32:31; "Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to inquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart." At the height of a person's blessings is when they are most vulnerable because they often feel invincible and sometimes most deserving depending on what they've gone through to arrive where they are. This can unwittingly and subtly minimize their gratefulness and worship by reason of a sense of entitlement. The "pride of life" is extremely deceitful, and is Satan's most cunning tactic against men to get them to curse themselves before God Almighty. We don't know our own selves like we think. JEREMIAH 17:9; "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" As a messenger of the Most High I am obligated to give warning from the Word of the Lord out of the love of God, or be held equally accountable. God wants to save you from yourself.
This is why the scriptures warn against judging our spiritual progress by our material success. Pride cancels humility, and causes people to fall from favor with God gradually; little by little and over time. Material gain can be a sign of business discipline or illicit activity that doesn't always include GOD. "Godliness with contentment" is the reverent respect and appreciation for what God has provided without a boastful presentation or the inference that one somehow earned God's unmerited favor (grace) by their own works. If God truly did it then he rightfully should get all the glory and you shouldn't try to include yourself in the equation. Sometimes God blesses for reasons far beyond our understanding that has little to do with us, but is solely for his glory from which we benefit. ISAIAH 48:1 & 9-11; "Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, which swear by the name of the LORD, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness. 9) For my name's sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. 10) Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. 11) For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another." The attempt to prove ourselves worthy or to be "somebody" rather than letting the LORD do it makes us guilty of trying to steal or share his glory. There is no such thing as "swagger" for a child of God. According to the Merriam-Webster English Dictionary Swagger means: "to conduct oneself in an arrogant or superciliously pompous manner; especially : to walk with an air of overbearing self-confidence." When we do this or teach otherwise we're in opposition to godliness contrary to the word of God. In doing so we end up twisting scripture to fit our own perspectives, and in essence call God a liar. Either it is exactly what the scriptures say or it is what we say, and who are we? "Nobody".
1st TIMOTHY 6:3-6; "If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4) He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5) Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. 6) But godliness with contentment is great gain."
Backsliding is a "slow leak" and not a "blowout". It isn't seen clearly and most often goes completely unnoticed when it first begins. Many people, including leaders, never leave the Church when they have backslidden which contributes to a false representation that isn't easily discerned. They have made what the Holy Scriptures call "idols in their hearts". During this time they can be ministering to others and be prophesied to by others with a few seemingly miraculous deeds and great swelling words that may even come to pass but are not of the LORD. These are false deeds and prophecies meant to deceive and further mislead them into believing their wrong is right which takes them further from Yeshua the Messiah rather than closer. This is called being drawn away after "other gods", which can be anything that draws them away from the truth in YAHWEH (Lord GOD). DEUTERONOMY 13:1-3; "If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 2) And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; 3) Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul." It is Adonai Yeshua's (Lord Jesus) desire to save us and not punish us. He can and will make an open show of us by judgment if that's what it takes to save us because we won't listen to him, and are deceived by our own vanity and self-righteousness. When you are right in your own eyes you are your own god, which is the abomination of idolatry.
EZEKIEL 14:6-11; "Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations. 7) For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to inquire of him concerning me; I the Lord will answer him by myself: 8 ) And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. 9) And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel. 10) And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him; 11) That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the Lord God."
This is another of several writings from YAH (GOD) addressing wayward leaders and whomever else is called of Him that has lost their way, and may even be unaware of it. I am your brother and fellow servant; I am not your enemy. I beg you: please do not fight against the messenger and ignore the message. My prayer for you is that you would take heed to the things said here as if the Lord Yeshua the Messiah was speaking to you himself to do a thorough self-examination and be reconciled back to him even as I myself must also do according to the word that Adonai Yeshua has revealed to me. 2nd CORINTHIANS 5:20; "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." If you go astray from the Word or misuse the Word then you should expect a response from the Word by the Word. The LORD has invested to much in you to lose you and thus HE is pleading with you to return to HIM, and do and speak the things that are right concerning HIM. JEREMIAH 4:1; "If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the Lord, return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove." If you humble yourself before the Most High and repent of your worldliness, ungodliness, pride, and any other sins, YAH will forgive you and not hold it against you. ISAIAH 44:22; "I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee." DO NOT BE DECEIVED BY YOUR PRIDE, BUT HUMBLE YOURSELF THAT YOU MAY BE EXALTED BY THE LORD. LUKE 14:11; "For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." My dearly beloved of the LORD let us do right by YAH according to his Holy Word, and not of ourselves. Shalom. ~ I.J. West
JOEL 2:12-18; "Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: 13) And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. 14) Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the Lord your God? 15) Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: 16) Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. 17) Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? 18) Then will the Lord be jealous for his land, and pity his people."