All are more or less deeply infected with it

(J. C. Philpot, "Life Given for a Prey" 1841)

"Are you seeking great things for yourself?
 Don't do it!"  Jeremiah 45:5

As we are led aside by the powerful workings
of our corrupt nature, we are often seeking
great things for ourselves.

worldly comforts,
to be honored, admired, and esteemed by men,
are the objects most passionately sought after
by the world. And so far as the children of God
are under the influence of a worldly principle,
do they secretly desire similar things.

Nor does this ambition depend upon station in life.
All are more or less deeply infected with it, until
delivered by the grace of God. The poorest man
in these towns has a secret desire in his soul after
"great things," and a secret plotting in his mind
how he may obtain them.

But the Lord is determined that His people shall
not have great things. He has purposed to pour
contempt upon all the pride of man.
He therefore
nips all their hopes in the bud, crushes their
flattering prospects, and makes them for the most
part, poor, needy, and despised in this world.

Whatever schemes or projects the Lord's people may
devise that they may prosper and get on in the world,
He rarely allows their plans to thrive. He knows well
to what consequences it would lead; that this ivy
creeping round the stem would, as it were, suffocate
and strangle the tree.

The more that worldly goods increase . . .
  the more the heart is fixed upon them,
  the more the affections are set upon idols,
  the more is the heart drawn away from the Lord.
He will not allow His people to have their portion
here below. He has in store for them a better city,
that is a heavenly one, and therefore will not allow
them to build and plant below the skies.

A child of God may be secretly aiming at great
things, such as respectability, bettering his
condition in life, rising step by step in the scale
of society. But the Lord will usually . . .
  disappoint these plans,
  defeat these projects,
  wither these gourds,
  and blight these prospects.

He may reduce him to poverty, as He did Job; smite
him with sickness, as He did Lazarus and Hezekiah;
take away wife and children, as in the case of Ezekiel
and Jacob; or He may bring trouble and distress into
his mind by shooting an arrow out of His unerring
into the conscience.

God has a certain purpose to effect by bringing this
trouble, and that is to pull him down from "seeking
great things." For what is the secret root of this
ambition? Is it not the pride of the heart?
the Lord, then, would lay this ambition low, He
makes a blow at the root. He strips away fancied
hopes, and breaks down rotten props, the great
things (so through ignorance esteemed) sought
for previously, and perhaps obtained, fall to pieces.

"Are you seeking great things for yourself?
 Don't do it!
"  Jeremiah 45:5