Deuteronomy can be described as Moses’ sermon to the Israelites before he passes. In Deut 7-9, he gives them three distinct warnings about the implications of moving into the promised land.
First, he tells them that it’s not because they were the greatest that God chose them. Moses: “It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you..” (Deut 7:7).
Second, he tells them that it’s not because they earned it that they prospered. Moses: “Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.” (Deut 8)
Lastly, he says that it wasn’t even because they were righteous that God chose them. Moses: “do not say to yourself, “The Lord has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.” (Deut 9).
Moses is warning the people against spiritual pride, a warning we should take heed to also, when God is moving on our lives.
As God was moving powerfully among Israel, Moses foresaw an imminent problem–that out of their pride they would forget the God who had done all these great things. And as we know, Israel would forget God. Their eyes were on Him in the beginning when He first delivered them, but soon their eyes drifted from God to themselves.
In the same way, it is tempting when the Lord blesses us, promotes us, moves among us, to be puffed up in our minds about who we are.
This is especially tempting in the celebrity culture of Christianity in America. Where an inch of promotion from the Lord can easily turn into a “me” show. The more God blesses us, the less we should emphasize “me”, “my dreams,” “my fruit,” “my calling,” and the more we should bless and honor God, the one who is the head over all of us.
In the promotions that God gives us, whether financial, ministerial, familial, ecclesiastical, may we guard against spiritual pride, and keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.