The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"An Ancient Deception"
An ancient deception exists within the hearts of unbelievers and the flesh of believers.
"Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil" (Genesis 3:5).
The devil's own delusion of self-autonomy and rule became the default position of humanity when our forebears fell to the enemy's devices in Eden. Before we trust in Christ, we believe ourselves to be self-determining entities, capable and worthy of governing our own lives. We may not directly think in such terms, and most people do not consciously think of themselves as gods. The deception abides nevertheless, resulting in many various expressions of deluded and doomed self rule. "We will walk after our own devices… our lips are our own. Who is lord over us?" Jeremiah 18:12; Psalm 12:4).
Trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ grants a new spirit and heart devoted to faith in Him, and the awareness that we exist to serve as dependent creatures of the one true and living God, and even more, as His sons and daughters in Christ.
"If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new" (II Corinthians 5:17).
"We are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh" (Philippians 3:3).
"Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father" (Galatians 4:4).
God performs a spiritual circumcision deeply within the hearts of all who trust the Lord Jesus. He cuts away, as it were, the deep root of self-dependence and autonomy within our innermost being we inherited from Adam. However, according to His wisdom and purpose, we presently retain the earthly members and faculties inherited from Adam, wherein a "law of sin" remains (Romans 7:23-25). Believers can still walk according to the ancient deception rather than the Spirit and truth that governs our innermost spiritual being. "The flesh lusteth against the spirit" (Galatians 5:17). We can seek to live as if we are gods, although not directly thinking in such terms. However, every time we act in opposition to God's will, trusting our fleshly notions and commotions, we tacitly walk as if we are gods. The same is true when we succumb to fear, which tempts us to act as if we must deal with the challenges of life alone and by our own capabilities. "What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee" declared the Psalmist, knowing his utter need for the one true and living God to lead him through trouble (Psalm 56:3). The prophet Isaiah echoes, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee" (Isaiah 26:3).
The Apostle Paul prescribes the most stringent of treatments for such dreadful waywardness in believers. He commands that we "through the Spirit… mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body" (Romans 8:13). Those deeds proceed from a false sense of divinity in our flesh that tempts us to trust ourselves rather than God, living as if we must make our own way and independently govern ourselves. Paul calls us to execute such darkness, death, and delusion through the leading and enabling of the Holy Spirit. This involves a decisive determination within our hearts that we will trust our Lord implicitly, and that any fleshly uprising that counters His Lordship, provision, and guidance is worthy of death. "We had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead" (II Corinthians 1:9).
The day approaches when we will no longer be tempted to walk in the darkness of "Ye shall be as gods." This is not that day (at least at the time of this writing). No, this is the day when we arise to wield the sword of the Spirit and the shield of faith through the power of Christ. We stand to "fight the good fight of faith," a battle that occurs most directly within our own being wherein spirit and flesh engage in conflict (I Timothy 6:12). In many ways, our enemies - including the law of sin in our flesh - will tempt us to think, speak, act, and relate as if we are something far more than we are. Life and death are at stake, the life of Christ governing us as our Prince of peace, or the death we experience when we seek to walk according to a false sense of independently governing ourselves. The choice is obvious, but also challenging. May our Lord lead us to believe and affirm His singular place as "God alone," and our blessed place of dependence, trust, and the faith of another ancient affirmation…
"Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust, and not be afraid, for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation."
Weekly Memory Verse
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
(I Corinthians 12:12)