When somebody says, “I’m going to be a millionaire to prove that I’m worth something” and they actually manage it, that can be incredibly dangerous.

Sometimes achieving our aspirations can be more difficult to overcome than grief or failure because then pride can enter into us. We start to think things like “Wow, I was looking for love, and I found it. I was looking for success, and I found it. I’m successful, loved and well-adjusted!” Pride enters into the picture and becomes a stronghold.

There are people who can even become like that while they’re doing ‘good Christian’ works. Those works are not born out of grace. They’re not born out of love. They’re born out of a sense of “I’ve got to make something happen so I can feel good about myself. I will take control of my life. I will relieve the pain in my life. I will make sure that my plans work out well.” When Satan puts that lie of self-sufficiency in your heart and you begin to believe it, pride starts to grow very quickly. Usually this manifests when you develop a strategy to make life work out in your favor.

Scripture tell us, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death” (Proverbs 14:12, ESV). God in his mercy will sometimes allow our strategies to fail and our plans to fall through in order to save us. When that happens, we’ve got to sit down and say, “Okay, I’m going to ask God to tear down this lie that says I can chart my own life’s path. I’m going to grasp the truth that seeking autonomy or security apart from God only causes more pain.”

If you want to determine whether or not you’re falling into this mentality, ask yourself these questions: Are you growing in Christ? Are you finding yourself more free than you’ve ever been before? Do you find yourself walking in the joy of the Lord like you never have before?

We will find true peace and freedom when we embrace the truth of “Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice. The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” (Proverbs 16:8-9).