Saturday, October 19, 2013

"Self Destruction?"

         The Apostle Paul taught that human beings are not self-destructive.

      "No man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it" (Ephesians 5:29).

     Such Biblical declaration notwithstanding, we continually witness people hurting themselves in a multitude of ways, and who among us would absolve ourselves of wrongs we've committed against our own person and body?  Appearances certainly indicate that we are a self-destructive race.  Nevertheless, self-destruction cannot, by definition, characterize a race of beings whose nature involves nourishing and cherishing our flesh.  "All seek their own" (Philippians 2:21). Why then do think, speak, and act in ways harmful to ourselves?

    The answer lies in the plainly taught Biblical truth that humanity is not alone in the world.  We live among spiritual entities, both good and evil.  The former (angels) seek, by God's direction, the best interests of His trusting children.  "
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14).  The latter, including Satan and other demonic spirits, ever seek our harm.  "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy" (John 10:10).  Self-destruction, therefore, actually originates in devilish attempts to rob, to murder, and to obliterate.  We must cooperate in the crime, of course, if it is to run its course.  Moreover, we are completely responsible for any form or degree of harm we do to ourselves.  However, we fail to rightly identify and diagnosis our problem if we ignore the Bible's plain teaching that malevolent entities outside ourselves actually foment and seek to perpetuate that which we misconstrue as "self-destruction."

   Truth, as applied by the Holy Spirit, enables born again believers to identify and overcome devilishly prompted thought patterns, beliefs, attitudes, habits, and ways in our lives.  We therefore do well to establish and maintain an ongoing communication with our Lord and His Word concerning this most vital matter.  "Search me, o God,  and know my heart.  Try  me and know my thoughts.  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24).  In the light and attitude of such prayer, we then open our Bibles in the willingness for the Lord to expose wicked ways.  The recognition that such spiritual and moral pathologies originate not only by our own devices, but also through the agency of tempting and deceiving enemies helps us to respond in humble repentance even when it hurts to have our error revealed.

    Our enemies wage the most effective war against us when we're not even aware of their involvement.  The notion of "self destruction" can be misleading if we fail to recognize that "we wrestle not against flesh and blood" (Ephesians 6:12).  Certainly, we are fully responsible for any way in us that does not coincide with our best interests.  We nevertheless fail to completely understand the battleground on which we live if we fail to remember the nourishing, cherishing nature of our self-interest, along with the murderous, destructive bent of our devilish foes.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."
(I Peter 5:8)

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