So, I was at the beach this evening. As usual, there were girls striking poses for their friends to take pictures of them. Their cry inside of them is to be noticed, appreciated, and accepted. We all have this cry inside of us.
But, if you’ve ever seen MADtv’s Stuart skit, you’d remember that Michael McDonald (a tall adult), played a young boy who continually wanted his way, continually wanted attention, and acted out in the most self-absorbed, obnoxious ways to get that attention. It was funny (MADtv was a talented comedy), yet scary at the same time.
So, while for the majority of us our self-exalting nature is more like the girls on the beach taking photos of themselves wanting to be seen, the actual internal nature is so aggressively selfish that we are really Stuarts inside, screaming to be the center of attention, demanding our own way.
Hence, there are 7 billion little gods running around on this earth with a desire to sit on their own thrones. We have all in some way, shape, or form, bought into the lie that Satan sold Even in the Garden. We all think that we are the center of the universe.
As Christians, we must live with the realization that the God we serve is the only true God. We must reject the lie that there is good within us, and that we have any intrinsic value outside of Him. We must be willing to give up our rights, our desires, our pride, and anything else that gets in the way; those things that seek to share in or take over God’s glory. We need to inspect ourselves from the inside out.
- I. Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
Remember when Samuel was sent to Jesse to choose Israel’s next king? God sees our hearts, and knows who we are inside. David was a man after God’s own heart, and penned many of the Psalms. He continually sought to uplift the glory of the Lord which is why he was so quick to fight Goliath and teach him (and the Philistines) a lesson about blaspheming the only true God. When we lift up God, we are glorifying Him and Him alone. We seek no recognition or praise in the process. We decrease so that He increases.
- Read Matthew 6:1-24 and look at how Jesus rebuked those who wanted to be seen, and who wanted the glory (watch for the common theme here):
- How did many of the Jews like to help the poor? ___________________________________________________
- But, how did Jesus say we are to help them? _______________________________________________
- How did the Jews like to pray? ___________________________________________________
- And how did Jesus say we are to pray? _______________________________________________
- How did the Jews fast? ___________________________________________________
- And what did Jesus say we are to do? ______________________________________________
- It is not wrong to be rich or poor (though the Bible does speak to the necessity of us working, being debt-free as much as possible, and taking care of our families). But, when Jesus rebukes these particular wealth seekers in Matthew 6, where is their focus? ___________________________________________________
- Think of some of the messages of this world that tell you that you are a god who needs to serve yourself (such as, “He who dies with the most toys wins”): ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Matthew 8:34-36 And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?”
- Compare these messages of the world with the message of Jesus: _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Does anything strike you as noticeably different? If so, what? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Where are your personal battles with the sin of wanting to be God? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Even though David was a man after God’s own heart, he still had a sin nature that, when not submitted to God, reared its ugly head. His unrestrained sexual drive led him around and focused his desires on Bathsheba, committing adultery with her, impregnating her, then trying to deceive her husband, and then finally murdering him! That was a man after God’s own heart. Our hearts are desperately wicked, and that same type of sin nature can drive us to the same types of sins!
- You and me need to daily confess our drive for self-worship, self-fulfillment, and self-exaltation. Take time now to confess any areas where you see these this drive in your life.
- Further, take time and ask God to bring to light hidden areas of pride and self-worship that you may not have considered earlier. Confess these and lay them at His feet to dispose of. He will free you of these sins when you walk in the Spirit and are truly repentant.