Even though I am a child of God, adopted into His family, I am still very capable of selfishness and self-righteousness. I can easily get to the point that I believe I have all the answers for my life. My flesh and my adversary will be cheering me the whole way. The height of man’s arrogance, pride, and sinfulness is self-reliance. We get to the point where we believe we can compartmentalize where and when God should have sovereignty over our lives. I may have misread this in the Bible or been mistaught by my pastor, but I’m sure God wants to rule in all aspects of my life and that I am to make all decisions in light of His precepts and providence.
The areas of my life that I don’t want God to be a part of are the areas where the Holy Spirit needs to do the most work. If I’m suffering from stinking thinking, then the Word of God can cleanse my mind. In fact His Word says that if I’ve allowed stinking thinking to rule the day then I can make a change:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)
I will say with one side of my mouth that I so deeply desire “what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” for my life, and out of the other side of my mouth comes my worldly wisdom wrapped up in Scripture (if I want to really convince myself), causing great confusion for everyone.
The older brother of the Prodigal Son could only see what “that son of yours” had done to the family fortune and reputation and when his father completely restored his younger brother, that was the end of his rope. When we concentrate on others we miss the work being done and that needs to be done in our lives through the Holy Spirit and God’s Word. I don’t want to miss that anymore. I must remember how capable I am of selfishness and self-righteousness:
“For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:21)
And this remembrance must be a daily reminder, not one that I get from some refrigerator magnet or “the word for the day” on my radio channel, but through disciplined reading and meditation on the Word of God. It is only through Scripture that I will remain totally dependent upon God. Major W. Ian Thomas puts it this way:
“Whatever does not derive from your attitude of total dependence upon God, whatever does not release God’s activity through your life, is sin. It is sin because it stems from an attitude of independence that makes you open to any and all of Satan’s deceptions in his long history of usurping God’s authority. Every step you take, every attitude you adopt, every decision you make, everything you do and all you hope to be, is either in dependence upon the God who created you as His own dwelling place, or else the byproduct of the demon spirit of this world, ‘who now works in the sons of disobedience’ (Ephesians 2:2), and who perpetuates his lies through a mindset of self-reliance in fallen humanity.”
“Dear Lord Jesus, please help me to rely on only You. I know that in my own wisdom I am capable of coming up with hundreds of reasons to justify my actions. But I also know that if they are outside of Your Will then they are the will of Satan. Lord, teach me to trust You when all seems to be crashing down around me. You have proven Yourself trustworthy time and time again in my life, even in the darkest moments. I pray that I will be faithful and obedient to Your Holy Word. I pray this in Your name Jesus, amen.”
I pray each of you have a blessed weekend and please remember to go to church on Sunday.
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Copyright © 2012 David Jeffers