The foundation of it is pride, those continuous thoughts that we have some form of value, that the world, even if it is only a miniscule part of it is better because of us. It is why Satan has created ladders of success, why people will strive to be recognized, why we put so much effort into those things that are nothing more than fuel for the fire.
“Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.” (2 Peter 3:11)
Pride says I need to be needed, and even if I’m not, I need to feel like I am. The boss on the factory floor, the man who controls the fate of a nation, the bum on the street corner, you and I, everyone has this inside of them, and when the truth is found out by us that we are going to die, that someone else will take our place on this earth, we have two choices, fight even harder for that recognition, or submit to the knowledge that pride was a complete waste of time. “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” (Prov. 16:18)
The life of pride is a foolish life, whether you want to see it as sin against the Most High is up to you, but I can guarantee you this, when you stand before Him on your day of accounting not one thing in this life that was done outside of the desire to see that God was glorified is going to be mentioned. “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” (Rev. 20:12)
Think of it in these terms if it helps, there is a book in heaven, as best as can be understood by our mortal minds, of all the deeds that you accomplished for the Lord, what you need to contemplate is whether any on the pages within it have anything written on them, or if they are all blank. I cannot say if any on the first page have the words “Acknowledged Christ as Savior,” and then all the rest of them are blank, I know a lot of people who claim Jesus as Lord would like to think that’s enough, yet “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them,” (Matt. 7:20) still stands as truth. “If ye love me, keep my commandments,” (John 14:15) stands as truth, yet pride still says within some, “I am worthy.”
That is the foundation of pride, whether it be in the world or in a works-based religious context, if we cannot see value in ourselves, we see no value in our existence.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20) Is an odd way, to say the least, to live a life, it is the Holy Spirit that works through us to bring glory to the Father, yet we are to by our own free will to deny ourselves and follow His leading, while attempting to keep ourselves unspotted from the world, (James 1:27) which means we do nothing, not one thing, out of vainglory, for the need of self-recognition.
If the Lord has called you to do something, then the proof of that calling will be the fruit produced by it, if there is no fruit, then the task needs to be reassessed as to its purpose. There are many, far too many that believe they are serving the Lord when in fact it is themselves they serve, for pride’s sake. This is proven in Matthew 7:22, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” If your main focus is not on the Lord God, and Him exalted above the heavens, then it is on you, and that pride does not just hinder us, it will lead many straight to hell. “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matt. 7:14) How many are deceiving themselves?