Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Man's worst

One simple word wraps up the basis for all our ills, our sins, our fleshly desires, and our end: ego. To be clear, this is not an expose' on the writings of Freud the Fraud as his peers have recently determined him to be, but a brief look at the ego described in the Scriptures.

Ezek. 28:11-19 is one of those passages with a double meaning, layered one on the other. The physical description is that of Tyre, it's king and it's judgment at the hand of God. A judgment of finality, with no mercy mixed in. The king, his city, and all the people were wiped from the face of the earth, nevermore to rise again (vs. 18 & 19). Note that the judgment was not private, between God and the king and his subjects, but very public as the world watched in dismay. "All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; you have become a horror, and shall be no more forever." [This could also be considered a foreshadow of the judgment of Babylon in Revelation.] The Lord God does not do His business of judgment in secret, but always in a very public manner ("...I turned you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all who saw you---v 18). Col. 2:13-15 accounts the very public humiliation of the "principalities and powers" (satan) accomplished by the Son of God as He laid down His life on the cross.

The other application of these verses is in plain sight and begins in v. 12 "full of wisdom and perfect in beauty" and then in v. 13, "You were in Eden, the garden of God..." V.14 "You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you..." V.15, "You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you." V. 17 "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty..." Here we have the cause of all sin, the ego. It is displayed in many ways via pride, vanity, self-seeking, self-esteem, and many other names that may seek to hide the underlying problem which is the ego seeks to usurp the Lord as God and replace Him with self. Satan did this and the consequences are eternal and irrevocable. Adam did this when he purposefully rebelled against his God (1 Tim 2:14) with man and the earth suffering the effects of the curse to this day. But the Lord God was merciful to Adam and his progeny as He provided atonement through His Son. The Lord did not choose to provide atonement for the devil and his fallen angels, a fact seldom mentioned today.

James 1:13-16 gives the progression of sin in the heart of a man to it's final consequence. V. 14 says "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed." Note "by his own desires" the deep-seated wishes of an evil and deceitful heart whose bottom line is self-satisfaction generated from the wants of the ego.

It is impossible for a lost man to deal with his ego on any lasting level. There may be efforts at temporary fixes when he is caught 'with his hand in the cookie jar' but even this is deceitful and seeks to hide the real man whose aim is always to elevate himself. Thankfully, this is not the case with the born again believer. We are the temple of God, the Holy Spirit lives within each of us. [A fact we would do well to remember when contemplating any course of action.] He is the One who is continually working to rid us of the sins that so easily beset us and set us apart for the Father and His Son, whose Bride we are. Do you think that He will ignore the source of all our sins---the ego---and not show us the evils of our own heart? Certainly not. Please do not consider this exposing of the heart (the ego) to be a one time thing, it is not. It will be a constant, continuing battle, the most difficult battle a Christian may ever face from within. This is the bearing of our own cross (Luke 14;26 & 27), the laying aside of our own will---"Not My will, Thine be done." The Holy Spirit is perfect in His workings in the believer at all times, He doesn't leave things out, He is not remiss in any way, there is never an "oops, I forgot to mention......" He never, ever accuses and condemns (that is the work of the wicked one) but always deals with a believer in kindness, gentleness, full of mercy, and always, always, always brings the believer back to the Lord Jesus for forgiveness and restoration. Remember the day you were saved? Did He accuse you, or gently lead you to the Savior while in the throes of seeing your sins for the first time as He sees them? The believer is in Christ and who is it that will lay a charge against God's elect (Rom. 8:33 and 8:1).

A tour of one's heart is never pleasant, nor should it be. David asked the Lord to search his heart on many occasions for fear of some secret sin that was lurking in the darkness, perhaps his greatest fear was to sin against his Lord, especially after his sin of adultery and murder was revealed to him. It is never wrong to request that a search of one's heart be made, but sometimes the Holy Spirit does the searching without a request---always His prerogative. When the ego begins to be exposed, rest assured the experience will be anything but pleasant, nor should it be. Again, this is not a "one and done" thing, but a life-long excursion into the deepest recesses of the deceitful heart. Nor is it likely to be a daily revelation of new wickedness, least the heart be overly discouraged. There will be reminders of our wicked and deceitful heart along with the knowledge and assurance of mercy and forgiveness from the Lord Jesus. All of this is done by the Spirit to help us "lay aside the sin that so easily besets us." If you had not seen your own sin, how would you know His mercy?

No comments: