I have been trying very hard to put a positive spin on the things I have been receiving in the Spirit lately. After all, who wants to read a blog that is going to point out our faults all the time. It's not that the Spirit is mean, just that lately he has been directing me to several things that have been steering us wrong. For example, this is Saturday morning. It would be great to have a nice light subject for a Saturday morning. Something whimsical to read with our morning coffee as we sit in our housecoat and slippers. Instead I get this:
“The ‘gods’ know nothing, they understand nothing.
They walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken. (Psalm 82:5)
I got this last weekend as well but I skipped over it and wrote around it. Yet, here it is in front of me again this week. It's not that it is negative, as in the Spirit is calling us stupid; it's more pointing out our natural condition that causes us problems with God. The Spirit is not trying to be mean; he is pointing these things out in love because he wants us to live up to our full potential in Jesus. This means that we need to be made aware of things that have to change.
It is true that we have the attitude of 'gods', always wanting to be in control and changing things to suit us. We are always trying to change the environment around us for our own needs. If we are not happy with ourselves, our appearance, what we possess, our current situation, we take it upon ourselves to do something about it. As a race of nations, our many wars are caused by someone rising up as a 'god' and trying to take whatever suits them. Nation fought nation over land, gold, water rights, oil, philosophies, idols and such. Lives have been lost over things 'gods' wanted to possess.
We actually believe that we are the "masters of our own destiny", a thought that comes out of a poem by William Ernest Henley called "Invictus". The last bit of this poem reads:
"It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul."
This is the arrogance of man. "I am in charge of me." "No one is going to tell me what to do." We admire this in people and defend their right to such an attitude. It comes from the root of rebellion that we have against God. He gave us the freedom of choice, to choose this rebellious attitude if we want, and we have run with it. What a mess we have made of things. Anyone who thinks our world is better off "captained" by this attitude must truly be completely blind in a pitch black world.
When Jesus walked among us he demonstrated God's heart to us, which is a completely different attitude than our 'god' attitude. Jesus came to give his life, not only in his death (the cross) but in his living as well. He lived a life of a servant, giving himself over to the needs of others. He preached the Good News so people would turn away from destruction. He healed out of compassion. He was never concerned about his own needs, always put others ahead of himself and trusted the Father for everything. Does that describe our lives? I highly doubt it.
Even with the name Christian stamped on us we fail to rise up from the 'god' trap. Occasionally we consider Jesus and turn to him in repentance but to live by the Spirit, totally dependent on the provision and direction of God is often beyond us. It is not difficult to see where we are with this. Just check your attitude toward other people and toward life in general. I don't mean just your actions but your thinking and feeling as well. Jesus told us it is not just our actions that matter but our heart condition in the matter as well. It is just as bad to sin in your heart as it is to sin in action. It is not good enough to say yes, you have to do it as well. Check your attitude with this verse:
We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves God is known by God. (1 Corinthians 8:1-3)
It is not good enough to say you are a follower of Jesus, you have to live it too. I am not talking conformity but transformation. Our hearts have to be transformed supernaturally to be like Jesus, our minds too. We have to allow our 'god' complex to be crucified with the rest of the things of the old rebellion against God and put on the garment which has been provided by Jesus. Our life must be govern by the the love of Christ, a love that always puts the needs of others ahead of our own. Imagine if every Christian would stop living for themselves and start living in submission to the Spirit. Imagine if every Christian stopped defending themselves and started attending to the needs of others. Imagine if every Christian actually laid down their life and started to allow Jesus to live through them. Imagine what a different world we would be living in right now.
We ought to know better. We ought to start listening to the Spirit.