Friday, June 20, 2014

Am I My Own God?

Pride is the sin of making “self” our god. And some of us today do this, not like the Pharisee, but like the tax collector (see Luke 18:9–14). For you to say, “Oh, I’m no saint,” is acceptable by human standards of pride, but it is unconscious blasphemy against God. You defy God to make you a saint, as if to say, “I am too weak and hopeless and outside the reach of the atonement by the Cross of Christ.”

Chambers, Oswald (2010-10-22). My Utmost for His Highest, Updated Edition (Kindle Locations 3750-3752). Discovery House Publishers. Kindle Edition. 
Oswald Chambers is one of my favorite devotional writers.  He has a way of cutting out all the fluff.  Lately I've been thinking a lot about pride.  When I read this quote from June 12, it jumped right off the page at me.  In a way, it doesn't matter what we communicate, it's what's really going on internally.

When we speak of pride, the first Biblical example that usually gets mentioned is the Pharisees and Sadducees.  The religious, political, and economic high society of New Testament Israel.  We look at their words and actions and determine the arrogance involved.  And we might have a response much like this:

Proverbs 13:3 (AMP)  He who guards his mouth keeps his life, but he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

We look at those who make sure that we know they're superspiritual, extra rich, extremely popular, or excessively powerful and we think of them as arrogant.  But there's the prideful flipside.  Those who suggest they themselves are not spiritual enough, etc.  We often think of that as humility.  In fact, those are often two sides of the same coin, either way focused on self.  Follow my train of thought and see if you agree.

When we say that we have attained a higher level, in some way or other, there's a certain amount of ego trip involved  We either think we're better than we really are (ego) or we're trying to make ourselves seem that way (trip).  When we suggest we're too unimportant, too bad, or our issue is too unimportant to others, we do much the same thing.

How about old slewfoot?  Most of us easily recognize Isaiah 14:14 (KJV), which reads, "I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.".  We know that's quoting the devil and we recognize.the ego factor.  But, as we recognize each of those as sin, there are things far worse going on, in all of these examples.

When we claim we're better than others in some way, we put our perception ahead of what God says about them and us.  When we say we're not important or good enough, we do the same thing. The second example has us implying that God's love isn't sufficient to make us and our problem important.  In Isaiah 14, Satan is basically saying he can head for the heavenly throne room with impunity.  What we see, in all three cases, is some form of replacing God with self.

Those who fit the normal definition of being prideful exalt their power and discernment over God's Truth.  The people who suggest they're too small or the issue is too big are inferring that we can create a problem God can't or won't handle.  And Satan suggests he can overpower and replace God.  Self instead of God.

Fortunately, we can repent if we fall into those errors.  And God still wants to draw us back, no matter how wrong we are and how far we fall.  And he gives us direction to do that.  You guessed it.  We're going to look at my favorite verse, again.

Matthew 6:33 (KJV)  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

"But seek".  It's humanly impossible to actually seek something without focusing on it.  Whether we think we're too great or too unimportant, that verse gives us the answer to the problem.  We need to get our focus off ourselves and off the problem.  Let go of self, let go of the problem, and latch onto the Problem Solver.  Which is why you'll never read a post here that highlights a problem and stops there.  The problem is unimportant, but the Problem Solver is essential.  Connect with God and the problem gets proper perspective.  So, I'll never leave either one of us staring at the problem.  We'll go where we can bask in the loving gaze of God.

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