Faithlife Sermons

Proud Little General

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Napoleon is portrayed by the artists he commissioned to memorialize him as a strutting little man, standing defiantly with his right hand pushed between his vest buttons or as a hero astride a fiery steed, pointing the way for his troops to cross the Alps. His bicorn hat made him instantly recognizable and imitated at costume parties through the years. He was proud, a man driven by ambition to conquer Europe.

On the morning of the battle of Waterloo, Napoleon was describing to his commanding officer his strategy for that day’s campaign. He said, “We’ll put the infantry here, the cavalry over there, and the artillery in that spot. At the end of the day, England will be at the feet of France, and Wellington will be the prisoner of Napoleon.”

The commanding officer responded, “But we must not forget that man proposes and God disposes.”

With typical arrogance, the little dictator pulled his body to its full five-feet-two and replied, “I want you to understand, sir, that Napoleon proposes and Napoleon disposes.”

Victor Hugo, the novelist, wrote, “From that moment, Waterloo was lost, for God sent rain and hail so that the troops of Napoleon could not maneuver as he had planned, and on the night of battle it was Napoleon who was prisoner of Wellington, and France was at the feet of England.”

Money has a way of turning all of us into little Napoleons, thinking that we are the cause of our own successes. At its heart, you need to know that this is the very reason, by the way, some of you don’t tithe. Its because you think that you’re responsible for what you have, that you earned it, and you get to say where it goes. That my friend is pride and pride is number one on God’s hate list. It’s also the first pitfall of money, but its not the only one.

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