Monday, December 19, 2016

“The Ancient Lie”

"The Ancient Lie"   

     Unless devoted to certain religious philosophies and practices, most people do not consciously think of themselves as gods.  However, in the flesh of all, including born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, the grievous deception exists, as embraced by our original forefathers.

    "Of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.  And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons" (Genesis 3:3-6).

   Our enemy still seeks to tempt us regarding the false notion that we can live independently of the true Life of our lives.  Certainly this is the case with unbelievers.  They must seek to make the best of life by their own efforts, or the efforts of others.  Some seemingly do well, others poorly, and most manage somewhere in the middle range of the autonomous attempt to  know and respond to the knowledge of good and evil.  A different matter exists for believers.  We know that one living and true God exists.  Moreover, we know that we are not Him.  By definition, salvation in the Lord Jesus involves our admission that in and of ourselves, we possess the traits of sinful humanity rather than perfect Divinity.  We arise from the altar of conversion as "a new man, created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:24).  Note that the Apostle Paul states that we are created "in" and not "as" righteousness and holiness.  Thus, in the new birth, we recognize and affirm our dependence on our Creator/Redeemer rather than ourselves.

   However, Paul also teaches that a "law of sin" remains in the fleshly members and faculties of believers during our earthly lifetime (Romans 7:23).  Our spiritual enemies can still tempt our flesh with the delusion that we must govern and empower our own existence.  This includes promptings to pride or despair, fear and confusion, and the deception that we can and must make the decisions of life - "the knowledge of good and evil" - by ourselves.  Thankfully, even before the advent of Christ, Solomon provided the Truth that counters such spiritual deception: 

    "Trust in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6).  

   We determine with our hearts to rely completely on our Lord for leadership.  We use our understanding, but we do not "lean" on it.  We seek to consciously affirm our Lord's presence and involvement in all our ways, and then determine to rest in His promise of direction.  In essence, we affirm God as God, and ourselves as "His people, and the sheep of His pasture" (Psalm 100:3).  Many opportunities for such affirmation and faith present themselves in a world that lies in the wickedness of Satan's deception (I John 5:19).  Thus, we expect temptation regarding the ancient lie.  Even more, we anticipate the Spirit of God orchestrating the circumstances, situations, and conditions of life to provide ample confirmation of the Psalmist's proclamation to the Lord: "Thou art God alone" (Psalm 86:10).  He is.  We are not.  We therefore live our lives in the peace of being who and what we actually are, and in the greater peace of knowing who and what our Lord actually is…

"He is the Lord our God."
(Psalm 105:7)
"Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men."
(Psalm 9:20)

Weekly Memory Verse
    And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
(Luke 2:10-11)

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