The greatest problem God has is me! And you! Even the Devil has to work overtime to get us to play ‘ball’ with him. Why is this? Because of what he, as the serpent, offered to Adam through Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). Humanity has believed the lie and imagines itself as ‘god.’
There have been numerous rulers claiming this title, Pharaoh being top of the list and the Roman Caesars next. But there is a little of this lie running loose in us all, even when we become disciples of Christ. Such twisted thinking is infused into our nature. We want our own way! We debate with God about matters recorded in His word. Most of our relationship battles can be viewed from the perspective of ‘a battle between the gods.’
When Paul wrote the Galatian letter this underlying problem is the cause of so much personal conflict and interpersonal battles. Why? Because the ‘Sarx’ (human nature) wants its own way despite what God, wisdom or anybody else says. This relates to morality, spirituality, personal and godly integrity. So much sadness and destructive behaviour flows from out of our addiction to obeying our ‘Sarx.’
It has taken all the resources of God, supplied to those who claim Jesus as Lord and Saviour, to deal with our notion of self-rule. As Jesus said ‘Why call me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say’ (Luke 6:46). We cannot pick and choose what we will or will not do when Jesus has ruled on a matter. There isn’t any way we can have fellowship with our Lord if we walk contrary to His expressed will. That is the basis for most of a Christian’s poor witness, sense of estrangement and loss of joy in their worship and faith.
How we treat other people, whether believers or not, impacts upon the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. His grieves and is prevented from fulfilling His ministry within us and through us (Ephesians 4:30). We release Him from this grief when we put things right, humble ourselves and begin walking in agreement with God and His word.
There is a tendency to imagine we can do something for God and earn some bonus points. Trouble is, whatever stems from our Sarx, our self-will, is anathema to God (Romans 8:8). What comes from our Ego and not God’s initiative, stated will or command will not stand in His presence (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). A good example of this is found in Luke 21:1-4. There the difference between a widow’s 2 mites and the rich person’s abundance as a gift to God is highlighted. They did it for show. She did it as unto the Lord.
In Galatians Paul makes a distinction between what flows from our Human Nature and our born again spirit. One is a works program. The other is the fruit of a faith relationship. Our Ego is infected with the ‘Georgie Porgy’ syndrome, ‘what a good boy am I.’ When you consider the fruit of the spirit it is evident that we are unable to make ‘fruit.’ Also, you will notice that fruit isn’t for the ‘tree’s’ benefit. It is for those in need of being fed by such life enriching food. We can fall into the misguided notion that the fruit is for our consumption. No! It is God’s desire that you are His ‘tree’ to feed those in need of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith meekness, and self-control.
How then are we to be saved from our ‘god syndrome?’ By identifying with Christ and the cross. To deliberately say ‘not my will but yours, Lord’ and choose to obey His word is our safeguard and deliverance. That allows us to walk in step with Christ Jesus and know His joy and companionship. By the grace of God we can be called ‘sons and daughters of the Most high.’ That, however, crushes our independent assessment of our ‘god-ness’ because there can ever only be one God.
Forgive me for those times when I have grieved you, my Lord and my God. Rivet my heart and mind to the cross of Calvary so that I do not forget I’m a sinner saved by grace. Weigh my heart down with this awesome truth so that my walk with you will be with the vibrancy of your joy. Lord, look on me and smile I pray. Amen!
Next week will be a two-part finale. The time has come to exit cyberspace and engage in some other enterprise. My finale is 'This I know...!' and as indicated above will be in two sections.
Hope you will look into it. Thanks.
©Ray Hawkins 11 Feb. 2018.