Tuesday, January 30, 2007

In Other Words: What Manner of Spirit You are Of

"Satan's ultimate lie is that you are capable of being the god of your own life, and his ultimate bondage is getting you to live as though his lie is truth."
~ Neil Anderson ~

They obviously thought Jesus didn't have the situation well in hand. Upon seeing the Samaritans reject Jesus, James and John asked, "Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?" (Luke 9:54) This cracks me up every time I read it. It's just what I do. I can just imagine, if Jesus were still on this earth in the flesh standing before me, I might say the same thing. I might actually ask God incarnate, "Do you want me to handle this? Let me get this one." But Jesus rebukes them, saying, "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of." (v. 55) You are not God. He then explains what His plans were- which at that point did not involve charring the Samaritans, but saving them.

It's the first lie that humankind ever bought into. Satan convinced Eve (the woman fell for it first!) that God was holding out on them, that He had something He didn't want them to have, but that they deserved: the position of being God. And, ever since, that's been our main struggle in one form or another. We do not know what manner of spirit we are of.

Sometimes like James and John, I just want to help. Like maybe I'm saving Him the trouble of dealing with my minutia while there are such bigger things in this world for Him to handle. "It's okay, God. You formed me in my mother's womb and died for my eternity, but I can take it from here. You've got bigger fish to fry. Like that whole thing in Iraq." Other times it's more out of a desire for comfort or image. "I'm afraid God won't give me what I want if I leave it up to Him." At times it's out of fear. "I've seen what happens to people who are 'sold out' for Jesus. They end up as missionaries or martyrs. No way!"

I've been struggling personally (off and on) for the past few years with another form of "being the god of my own life," a baptized version of it: Doing God's will in my own strength. It's exhausting! He didn't call me to tasks for which I wouldn't need Him, just the opposite. He is about relationship. He calls me to what will send me running to Him and keep me clinging to Him, for my good and His glory.

No matter how the enemy convinces us we can be our own god, we are as succeptible to it as Adam and Eve were. But I like to remember that even after they fell for the lie God came looking for them. He still sought them. What grace. What love! He still scoops me up, pushes my hair back from my eyes, brushes the dust of self-will off of me, removes that ill-fitting crown from my head and says, "Why don't you let Me, child. You do not know what manner of spirit you are of." No matter what I may have thought I was, His answer is "I AM."

I think I'll let Him.

To read more insights from other IOW participants or to add your own link, visit Christine at Fruit In Season. Thanks for hosting, Christine!


Denise said...

Enjoyed your post, bless you always.

Amydeanne said...

lol you got me laughing there, how true that is when we try and do it ourselves! Great post!

Jennifer said...

I really liked your post. You hit on some really true points. I think an error we make all the time beyond trying to do things in our own strength, is also just trying to do things in our natural goodness. Doing things just to be good, can be wrong too. When we do things in our own goodness, then there is only our
'self' in our natural man, and nothing of Christ. We need to pause and find out what God's will is, and die to our own naturalness, even if we naturally tend to be
kind or good.

thanks for the thoughts, you really got me thinking.

Jenny in Ca

MiPa said...

Really love this post! Thank you for sharing!

Linda said...

I can relate so well to all you've said Cyndi. Another problem I have in this area is wanting to control things so I get the outcome I want. So often I think I know how things should be and then get so discouraged when they don't work out. I have to learn to trust - over and over again.

Terri @ In His Hands said...

Loved your post and boy, do I relate to the control thing. Especially as a mother---so much easier if I just do it myself. :P

Thanks for sharing.


Christine said...

I love the Luke scripture you chose to illustrate your point. I see myself in so much of scriptures- and not the good parts, usually! I relate to the Israelites in the wilderness, Peter's impulsiveness, Judas' betrayal. You've posted a great one, thanks!

Jennifer said...


What a great post. It was so well written and well supported with scripture. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.


janiswrites said...

I am so glad that God is there for us, even when we are trying to do his job. Thanks for your wonderful post. It really spoke to me! Blessings to you, Cyndi!

Becky said...

I love the way you write! I hung on every word, and even re-read several sentences. Keep writing and I will keep visiting!

Chris said...

"But I like to remember that even after they fell for the lie God came looking for them. He still sought them. What grace. What love!" I love these words. I am so thankful for His grace. How many times have I tried to be "like god" in my own life and He is always there waiting for me as I wander around in my own ways.

Excellent post!