Sunday, July 31, 2005
The Self in Control
Our whole problem with sin began as a desire to be in control of our own life. The cruel irony of this issue is that this was never really an option for us. At least, control as we wanted it was never really an option.What we wanted in the Garden of Eden and what we want to this day as independent selves is total control to go our own way. The problem is that we do not have “a way.”We can choose Satan’s influence or God’s influence but we cannot choose to be “self-influenced.” Our choice is to accept either the truth or the lie. The truth is that God is the Lord over our life. Satan’s lie is that we can be the lord of our own life. In truth, trying to be lord of our own life means letting Satan be the “power behind the throne” in our life.
The independent self is caught in the middle of a paradox. The dilemma we find ourselves in is that we want the one thing we are incapable of achieving. This one thing is the pure and complete independence to go our own way. We find it difficult (or impossible) to accept that we were simply never equipped by our creation to do this. It is for this reason that trying to run our own life inevitably leads to frustration and stress.
We get into trouble when we accept the lie of the evil one that we can walk apart from both God and Satan. This is the grand deception. What Satan neglects to tell us is that walking apart from God’s lordship simultaneously results in Satan’s lordship operating in our life. In the end, the only legitimate control that we can exercise in our life is self-control.
Not only is self-control seen as legitimate but it is one of the nine fruits of the Spirit. Self-control is a gift from God.The ability to control the self is something we can only receive from the Father. Because the control of self is a property derived from the Spirit, it can only come from the individual-self. Self-control only comes through the individual self that is focused on and directed by the Holy Spirit in our spirit. Therefore the only path available to us to receive this gift is through the individual or spirit directed self. The independent self can never exercise true self-control.
(From my good friend Bill Landon)