The Judging Spirit of the Self-Will
Judging is a key characteristic of our self-will that is in opposition to God. Here I talk about that spirit, the pervasiveness, vastness of it and what being free means and entails for our lives.
Judging is a key characteristic of our self-will that is in opposition to God. Here I talk about that spirit, the pervasiveness, vastness of it and what being free means and entails for our lives.
The Message of Christ
What did Jesus Christ preach while on earth? What is the gospel of Christ? He didn’t preach His death and resurrection … so what was it?
Luke 4:43 but He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.”
He preached about the kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of God. It’s this reality we are to seek first and above all else because it is the way to eternal and abundant life now.
Matthew 6:33 But SEEK FIRSTthe kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
What is the kingdom of heaven?
Luke 17:21 For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”
It’s God’s spirit powering our souls and no longer our spirit of death. It’s God’s spirit dwelling in us. It’s being a part of the divine nature. It’s being a part of God’s living temple where His spirit dwells. When God is in us, we have eternal life as He is eternal. We abide with Him in unity, truth, and love for we are a part of Him as His children for we intimately know Him. John 17:3
Colossians 1:27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory
Those who are a part of the kingdom of heaven have: 1. Repented; fully turning from their ways to God’s ways and truth (we have to know His ways to turn to them which comes from diligently abiding in the Word of Truth), 2. Become God’s workmanship being crafted and remade in their souls by God’s truth and are being filled with God’s spirit.
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Repentance (dying to self, crucifying self) comes when at our deepest core we fully turn from following our self-will and seek to walk in unity with God’s will in all areas. We no longer play jugde; we seek God’s counsel. We no longer are in control of our lives; we surrender our creative self-will to God’s sovereignty. We can’t follow our will and God’s will at the same time unless they are the same. Repentance is a crucial step toward the kingdom of heaven, because it’s leaving our ways behind to embrace God’s. 2 Corin 5:17
Repentance is giving up all of our self-will to gain God’s. When you learn through the Word of Truth and your life lessons that God’s will is truly far better and much more desireous, then you want His will in ALL areas.
Matthew 13: 44 the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Matt 13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
Remade in Truth and Filled with God’s Spirit
Next, the kingdom reigns in our souls when God’s truth, The Word of God (Christ), abides in us. Being a part of God means our truth is God’s truth. If we are walking in our own truths and ways, we aren’t in unity but opposition. The path to gaining His truth is one of diligently seeking truth and learning from God Himself. In unity, we enter a complete rest as God works through us always and in all things. Hebrews 4:10-11.
The souls fashioned by God in the truths of the prophets, apostles, and Christ become a part of His living temple made without hands. Ephesians 2:19-22 Being molded in truth by the Holy Spirit, not by ourselves or another, prepares our spirits to be in unity with God’s thus filled with His Spirit. 1 John 2:27, Hebrews 8:10
As we seek and abide in the truth of God being taught by Him, His Spirit begins to fill every aspect of our souls. The spirit of God starts small and as we diligently seek it spreads to take over every area of our lives in tremendous power, truth and love. When powered by God’s spirit there is no limit to what God can do in and through us. John 14:12, Eph 3:20
Matthew 13:31 The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”
Matt 13:33 The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”
Like a new day dawning, the spirit of God dawns in our souls transforming us glory unto glory. 2 Corin 3:18 It continues until like Christ, we hold the fullness of God, Eph 4:13, 3:19. This filling of God’s spirit in us is the kingdom of heaven.
2 Peter 1:19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;
For those who repent, diligently seek God’s ways to be remade in truth, and are transformed by the power of His spirit within them, they become the temple of God, the kingdom of heaven. Yet in this life many won’t partake in this glorious kingdom. Many are called but few are chosen Matthew 22:14, because narrow is the path Matthew 7:14 and few find it. The depth of repentance and diligent seeking of truth are done by few as many are consumed with the cares of this world and not of God. Matthew 13:3-9
Matthew 13:47 the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away.
Fervently seek God in truth and spirit that you may partake in the glorious eternal kingdom of heaven with Christ now.
Matthew 6:10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
The ultimate choice we have to make is between following God and following self. Following God leads to eternal life and following self leads to death. To be in unity with God, we have to turn from our self-will (true repentance) and follow God’s will. In following God we seek to do only His will, just as Jesus did. John 5:30 But we don’t know God’s will unless we seek to know – thus why God tells us to seek and live. Amos 5:4 When following self we do what we think is good and right – whatever it is.
To learn about God through the Bible a similar approach must be taken in order to draw near to God in truth and spirit – we have to deny self.
God tells us to believe in Him. The Bible with the instruction of the Holy Spirit is a gateway to deeply knowing God so we can believe in Him as He is. This venue isn’t everyone’s; for we are all unique. But it is a part of my journey, and for you who feel called to this thought-provoking venue will resonate with my journey.
Reading the Bible isn’t about learning “techniques of good living” to then fulfill our own purposes and desires. We have to let go of all our self-will in coming to God in order to really know God and for Him to be our Lord.
There are three areas of denying our self-will when abiding in the Bible in order to learn about God, thus draw near in truth and Spirit.
The first area is in regards to making time to seek God. It’s putting abiding in the Bible to be taught by the Holy Spirit as the priority. Consider all the times you’ve put something above spending time with God, when God has told you to seek Him first. Matthew 6:33 Times you choose to sleep in, attend to another person, do a task, or get consumed in work. At those times, YOU are deciding what is more important versus doing what GOD has told you to do – love Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, to put Him first, and to diligently seek Him. This choice to do what you want is following your self-will. When you continue this pattern, deep down you think you know better, otherwise you would do what God says. So who’s will is dominating in you?
The second area is who you focus on when you do abide in the Bible. To get to know God through the Bible, you have to set your needs, wants, and expectations aside and focus on God. If you read the Bible with the mindset and motive that is focused on you, then you aren’t denying self, you are putting self first. You are putting your self-will and what you think the time in the Bible should be about above seeking to know God. Instead of saying, God, what do you want to teach me? What do you want me to know about you? It’s always about fixing you, searching for a certain answer, or preparing for a Bible study. Whose will is in control at this point?
If your interactions with your spouse were always about you, you would learn very little about her/him. There would be no true intimacy or bond. You would do what you thought that person wanted, but you really wouldn’t have a clue. You haven’t sought to know him/her intimately because every interaction has been about you. Therefore you wouldn’t have a real relationship, certainly not a healthy one. With God it’s the same. We have to realize we don’t know God unless we individually seek to know Him. Until we do we have a false image of Him, which means we have a false relationship. It’s necessary to seek Him while putting ourselves aside to know Him as He is. Then we’ll start to develop a real relationship.
The third area has to do with conforming the Bible to your beliefs versus the Bible molding your beliefs. It’s realizing that you have filters and ways of viewing God and the Bible that are wrong. That you hold ideas that you think are “truth” but aren’t. When you come to learn of God, you have come with a humble heart which is willing to receive and hear anything God may teach you instead of trying to fit the Bible to your paradigms. If you think you already know, you don’t really seek. You conform what you read and hear to what you already believe. If you think you already know then who are you following when you abide in the Bible?
In order to know God through the Bible, there is a choice to make, God or self. It’s a prelude to the ultimate choice of choosing Him in everyway over our self-will.
The way to life is choosing God. The only way for the Bible to be unsealed to you so you can draw near to God in truth and spirit is to choose God in these areas. If you don’t deny self when coming to the Bible to be taught by the Holy Spirit, then you are reading for your own purposes and goals based on what you think is good. Your will is in control. This is how the Pharisees could know the scriptures, but be totally off. They used them to fulfill what they determined was right and good.
God has to be first. He is Lord. He can’t be second.
One side note, letting go of self-will isn’t about losing your identity. It’s coming to the understanding that God’s will is good and leads to true life and therefore that is what you want to do. If you were walking through a dense forest and you had a guide with you who knew the best and safest way to get through it, what would you do? You would follow him. Same with God. God knows the path to life. We walk with Him when our will is submitted to Him because then we are walking in His footsteps. The journey leads us to what we’ve always truly and deeply desired, because God is that good.
Tomorrow when you sit down to learn about God through the Bible consider these three areas. Ask the Spirit to examine your heart; are you really making this about God and seeking Him or about you?
Theses truths stuck me in a deeper way this past week … AMAZING.
God’s spirit is more powerful than anything in this world. Jesus Christ, full of that Spirit and not rebelling against it with His will, simply touched people and healed incurable diseases. Luke 8:44-46 He walked on water. Matthew 14:26 He fed thousands from one man’s lunch. Matthew 15:33-38 He raised people from the dead. John 11:43-44 This power raised Him from the dead. Matthew 28:6 It’s a Spirit who has complete authority over every spiritual entity. It has power over the spiritual and physical and it dwells within us. This Spirit is the kingdom of God in us, changing us and our lives. This Spirit and the power it holds is what Jesus taught and gave us access to. He set the example of how that Spirit is manifested, by knowing and being in harmony with God’s will.
Jesus reconciling us back to God, made it possible for the Spirit of God to dwell within us as a part of the divine nature 2 Peter 1:4, thus sons and daughters of God. When we have God’s Spirit, we have that same power that worked in Jesus working in us. Matthew 10:7-8 Ephesians 1:19-20. Meditate on that for a minute – it’s an astounding reality.
God’s spirit dwells in us giving life to all that we are. Romans 8:10-11 Nothing in this world is more powerful; illnesses, situations, spiritual enemies, even death. Mark 16:17-18 This Spirit infuses a power far beyond us into every area of our lives – our work/purpose, relationships, bodies, prayers, everything. John 15:7, Phil 4:13, 4:19. It’s this Spirit that manifests the spiritual gifts as God wills. 1 Corinthians 12:11 It’s this Spirit that manifests the fruits of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22
Power comes from Unity
This Spirit is active and thrives in us when there is unity between us and God as Jesus exemplified. Like all relationships, it takes both parties to come into harmony of will for there to be true unity. If you want to marry someone and he/she doesn’t, there won’t be a marriage. God did His part through Jesus’ life reconciling us back to Him that we may become children of God. Our part is to submit our will to God’s will; to abide in Him and all He is creating unity of wills. God gave us our own will. With a will, we can either submit to God or not as He leads us. For there to be unity and have God’s power at work in our lives, our will needs to be in line with His in all we do. We lack power when we lack unity. But unity isn’t simple. It’s a process, a journey of unlearning and learning, trusting, humility, and letting go. Galatians 2:20 Yet, no journey is more important or has more impact to say the least.
How to Gain Unity
Harmony of wills is the result of seeking God with all our heart, soul, and mind while being grounded in His Word. When we seek in this manner, we gain truth that leads to trust and love, both requirements of the unity God desires. Many people try to gain the power of God outside of seeking His will and submitting to it. Pray and pray to no avail, try to be a good person, earn favor with their works, push their will and try to use God’s power to fulfill it, and/or try to mimic God’s power in their lives. Living in His power is a result of coming together as one in truth and love being rightly united to Him. When you have this unity, the flow of His power is the result. It takes time, patience, and persistence – three things difficult to give especially in a world of instant gratification.
Role of Trials/Afflictions
Setting aside the ego-will that is in rebellion to God’s is often the purpose of our trials/afflictions. Trials/afflictions can point to the fact that our will is in control and not unified to God’s will. 1 Peter 1:6-7. Each one of us has different areas where our will is dominating; areas we know and ones we are blinded to. Only God can reveal and work through those areas so we live in His will. If we seek with a love for the truth and not for our own desires, God uses trials open our eyes. The angst is to get our attention; to get us to seek. If we never learn what those trials are there to teach us, then we remain in the dark. As a result, we remain blinded to His will and continue to hinder the power of His Spirit in us. It’s a HUGE cost to pay for our stubbornness and lack of seeking.
Unity only happens if we seek Him in truth (abiding in His Word), commune with the Holy Spirit being taught by Him, and allow that Word to penetrate our lives and change us. As we seek in truth, His Spirit moves closer, our will starts to align to His, and as a result His power starts manifesting in our lives. Amos 5:4 Apart from God we can do nothing. John 15:5. In Him, we are mighty beyond anything in this world as He wills. Our lives were created to be a channel through which God’s power flows according to His will and good pleasure Phil 2:13
Unity with God that brings the power of God to our lives is the outcome of seeking God with a heart to know Him, having a love for the truth, being grounded in His truth, the Bible, and being taught by the Spirit. Seeking Him comes first, and all else follows. Matthew 6:33
Grasping what the indwelling of God’s Spirit means and what is produces, it becomes apparent that following rules alone creates a religion, not a relationship thus false spirituality. Only being unified to God in truth and love creates the unity God desires. Without love, our acts are in vain and gain us nothing. Authentic Christianity entails our will being in unity with God’s in a bond of love and truth so His power flows in and through us so God’s purposes are fulfilled and He is glorified.
A married Christian friend, Sarah, vehemently expressed her disbelief about how a mutual friend of yours could cheat on her husband and claim to be a Christian. The next week you are out with some friends and Sarah starts flirting with another man.
You’re out one night with some friends, and your married Christian friend, Rebecca, starts flirting with another man.
These two women, Sarah and Rebecca, represent the two definitions of being two-faced.
1. The first definition is hypocritical or double-dealing; deceitful. It is the definition we most commonly associate with this term and is represented by Sarah. She claimed one thing then did another.
2. The second definition is literally having two faces or surfaces. True Christians have two conflicting natures – one driven by their flesh one driven by their spirit – in a sense two faces. This is represented by Rebecca. She didn’t claim one thing then do another, so she wasn’t being hypocritical. What we saw was the face of her flesh.
Christians who are two-faced in regards to the first definition are those who aren’t Christians and say they are or those who think or claim they are “good”.
We all understand hypocrisy, but what we often misunderstand are those who fall under the second definition.
This post touches upon an area that is often misunderstood in Christianity– even among Christians. How often have we heard from other Christians something like- “I can’t believe she did that – and she is a Christian!”
Battle between the flesh and spirit
In a previous blog, Where to Focus – A Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, I talked about the battle authentic Christians face between the flesh and spirit. The more I abide in God’s Word the more the dissonance between my flesh and spirit becomes apparent. It is a strange phenomenon living with this duality. And one that people can’t understand if they have never experienced it. This is why many non-Christians can’t understand why Christians are so faulty. How can we talk about this new life and yet do things so contrary? How can we talk about the love of God in our lives and yet do something so utterly unloving?
The reason is we are living with two wills – one of the flesh and one of the spirit. (flesh being our self-will and spirit being of the will of God) Sometimes the one we don’t want, the flesh, is the one that shows up in situations. Romans 7:15-25 We do what we don’t want to do. When our self-will takes over, then bam we’re critical, inappropriately judgmental, complaining, hurtful, selfish, passive, prideful, arrogant, and so on.
If you are truly a Christian you don’t want to do these things, but you do and a lot more often than you want to. Growing in the spirit life takes time. It is a journey. God designed it this way for several reasons that I’ll address in a later blog.
In the beginning, Christians understand their corrupted nature. It is this awareness that helps them to grasp the meaning and purpose of Jesus’ sacrifice. However, immediately after the awareness of a new life – sometimes it’s assumed that they are supposed to be immediately good. I don’t believe it works that way. It is a process.
The spirit starts small in us like a baby – it takes time for the spirit to grow. It takes time abiding in God’s Word, which is the nourishment for our spirit. (Which few truly do.) If we don’t abide, then our spirit stays weak and the flesh dominates. It takes years for our spirit to grow even with proper nourishment – like it does a child. As we learn and grow throughout our entire physical lives, so do we in our spiritual lives. We will never walk perfectly in the spirit while living in these physical bodies. So there will always be a falleness about us. But if we nourish our spirit, it will grow stronger and over time we live more in the spirit than in the flesh. 1 Corinthians 3:1-3
No One is Good
Usually our judgment of goodness is based on each other. Well I’m better than him! I’m better than most! I’m a pretty good person! But God views goodness from His goodness. And that is the goodness I’m talking about. No one is good against the standard of a holy, pure and perfect God. That is why God gave us Jesus Christ to stand in our place. He judges our goodness against true goodness – not our definitions which vary person to person. And His judgment is the only one that matters.
We would do ourselves a huge favor by removing this misnomer of goodness. Any true goodness is of God and God working in us. It is all Him. John 15:5
If we accept the praise of goodness from others or call ourselves or anyone else good we are being hypocritical and fall under the first definition. Then we are being a poor witness to the truth that no one is truly good but God.
Matthew 19:17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
I love this verse because it lays it all out. We aren’t good. We enter eternal life not by our goodness, but by Christ’s. One of His commandments is to trust in His righteousness not our own. If we trust in our own, we will be judged by our own, and in the eyes of a holy God we don’t have a chance of standing for a second.
When you see Christians acting “out of line” – don’t be so quick to judge. We are to help one another not stand pointing a finger. It is a struggle for all of us. And the closer you draw near to God and His purity the more you see yourself as you are without Him, wretched, and the more understanding and compassion you will have for the struggle of others. God is judge. We are to encourage and exhort each other not because it is about being good, but when we walk in His commands and wisdom we walk closer with Him and experience more of the abundant life He came to give and His power is shown to the world.
With a background in psychology, I’m fascinated with why people do what they do including me. I believe seeking understanding of ourselves and others is tremendously valuable because a deeper understanding leads to compassion and true love.
However, this past week God taught me an important lesson — to have a more acute awareness of the conversations, circumstances and people that pull me into a mindset where I’m focusing on the flesh instead of the spirit side of me.
It is a temptation for me to dive into the whys of my life hoping that understanding will spawn a change for the parts of me I don’t like. The first step of change is knowing what needs changing. And to understand what needs changing we need to know the source of the problem. However, what I learned is summed up in Philippians 3:13 “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,”
In Christ we are a new creation. It is an incredible gift because, we have a new spirit connected to God that breathes new life into our bodies. Romans 8:11 We no longer strive to live by our flesh or self-will (those things which are behind) but by God’s will (those things that are ahead). Children of God desire God and His ways, but there’s a part of us that pops up unwanted and unexpectedly driving us against God’s will instead of along side. This part of us that is contrary to God’s truth and wisdom is referred to as the old man, old nature, carnal nature, flesh, self-will, and carnal mind. Though we have God’s spirit dwelling within us, remnants (sometimes huge chunks) of our carnal nature remain as long as we live in these flesh bodies. Once we are born of God, we get a bad case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, because our self-will co-exists with His will in us.
This duality creates an internal conflict in our souls. It is the pressing affliction of a believer. We want to do one thing but we do another. What I don’t like about myself stems from this flesh-life. Paul talks about this internal conflict in Romans 7 -8. He doesn’t say to try to tame, repair, or fix it. Instead we are to reckon ourselves dead to it and alive in Christ. Romans 6:11 In other words, we need to focus on our spirit that is of God. We need to push forward mentally in our spirit life. What we focus on grows. At any one time we are either focused on the flesh or the spirit. And focusing on the flesh (our will and wisdom) breeds death and focusing on the spirit (God’s will and wisdom) brings life. Romans 8:6
What I learned this past week – was how easily this flesh focus can slip in and I need to have a deeper awareness of those things (conversations, circumstances, and people) that pull me into that carnal mindset. This carnal part of us is corrupt and always will be. It has a focus contrary to God’s ways and wisdom. I don’t need to waste my time talking or thinking about it because I can’t fix, repair or tame it anyway. I’ve learned that it is what it is – so why dwell on it? God has set me free from it – so why live in bondage by focusing on it? He has given me a new life to focus on and seek understanding in.
Because of this duality of flesh and spirit, at any one moment we are either operating in the flesh or in the spirit. Which one is dominating affects everything; how we think, speak, act and feel. When we operate with a flesh mind we are fearful, overwhelmed, frustrated, discouraged, hopeless, depressed, jealous, judgmental, critical, and selfish. Our trust has shifted from God to ourselves. We aren’t living in God’s truth and promises that He is our provider, protector, defender, comfort, rest, freedom, peace, power, and life.
As I draw close to God, discerning when I’m in the flesh verses the spirit is becoming clearer. In the flesh, I feel burdened, frustrated, discouraged. I become self-focused, withdrawn and ineffective in my life. Those emotions are flags that my focus is on the flesh and it is time to pray asking God to pull me out of my mind trap. It can be difficult when I give into the carnal mind to get out of it. When I try on my own I run in circles, but when I cry out to God He always brings me out.
Our focus is to be on the spirit and building it up in our lives which we do by stirring the deep. Stirring the deep (spending one-on-one time building intimacy with God through His Word) nourishes our spirits enabling us to live from the spirit and not the flesh. It empowers our spirit and that is one of many reasons we need to dive into the Word daily. And we have to look out for those traps that ensnare us to focusing on the flesh. We need to be aware of those triggers, times, circumstances or people that tempt us to be in flesh-minded because they can pull us down to a carnal mind of fear, bondage, and pride. We need to flood our minds with God’s truth so that in those moments we have given ourselves a choice through awareness of whose voice we are going to listen to. Ephesians 4: 22-24
I was thinking how this world is saturated with “evil”; philosophies, ideas and beliefs full of deception that cause all kinds of pain, destruction, horrific acts, and death to our spirits. The extent of evil became overwhelming, but then I realized, most of the world is going to be evil because for the time being God has put Satan, the personification of our self-will, in charge of this world. 1 John 5:19, Ephesians 2:2 I think for two main reasons; to show us that following self doesn’t work and the power of God’s love to redeem us out of this world into His Kingdom.
Satan, our self-will, doesn’t submit to God therefore he can’t bring about anything that is truly good, pure and of love because only God’s ways produce these things. As prince of this earth, our self-will governs all the major powerhouses; politics, education, business, media, and religion. (Here I am defining religion as the man-made system and doctrine supposedly established on truth which creates a belief structure dictating certain behaviors.) Most of us don’t think about our religion, our safe haven, as overrun by evil, but if you open your eyes you will see it is one of the worst as the Bible states repeatedly.
For example, in the man-made system that blankets true Christianity lies bondage, legalism, focus on self, and customs that separate us from God – the formula of religion, which reads: if you were a good Christian you would be in church, tithe, baptized with the right amount of water, walk the aisle, honor this day, don’t drink that, and so on. Evil, anything contrary to true goodness, disguised as good is the worst form of evil – because people are easily led astray. Any belief system that goes against God’s truth is evil.
Evil in religion is most damaging because people put their trust in it. It forms the foundation of people’s beliefs and views about them, others and God. When it is full of lies and deception it is incredibly destructive leading to spiritual decay and death.
We are here in these bodies to learn that following self or man’s will, in religion and everywhere else, doesn’t work. For creatures with a free will, we have to learn whose will to follow. We are all seeing the ramifications of the reign of self in our lives and the lives of others and it isn’t a pretty picture. God created us to be united to Him, dependent on Him and for Him to be in charge not us. Any other way destroys life, physically and spiritually.
So what do we do to avoid being consumed by the evil around us particularly in religion?
1. Cultivate a relationship with God not with religion. Many of us have spent more time nurturing a relationship with the church and ministries than with God. This flip flop leads to one thing, spiritual death. God called us out of religion and into a relationship, because religion, man’s list of should do’s and have to’s, is easily corrupted.
2. Develop a relationship with God so we can submit to His will. We can’t submit to someone we aren’t personally acquainted with. Without intimacy, there is no true knowledge or trust and therefore no submission.
3. Abide in the truth, the Word of God. Self-will, the cornerstone of evil, is built on a foundation of lies because it promises things it can never deliver because only God can; truth, freedom, peace, rest, joy and love. Therefore the only way to come out of it is by countering it with the truth. The truth sets us free. Without reading and meditating on the Words of God on a daily basis, we won’t know the truth to be able to discern what is true and what isn’t. When we do abide, we gain discernment in all areas including religion.
God’s people are the ones He called out to show those lost in deception that His ways lead to true life, joy and love – everything we desire. However, without the Word as the cornerstone of our lives, our self-wills will reign and our spirits will be overtaken by the world and we won’t stand out. Without the Word there isn’t truth and without truth we remain in bondage to our self-will. We will continue to live in fears, afflictions, lies, depravity and lack of love manifesting our own evil.
The result of Satan’s governance in religion is churches have put our life source, the Word of God, at the bottom of the priority list. It has been tossed aside, interpreted instead of read, and is no longer the priority. Why? Because it has power, life, and transforms lives – the one thing Satan doesn’t want. Most churches are bypassing the requirement for our lives that Christ is our Lord. People have tunnel vision about what the Word says about Christ’s Lordship. Because they are listening to their leaders and not in the Word themselves, they believe the gospel is about a ticket to heaven and that is a lie that causes death to our spirits. Going to heaven is a result of His Lordship in our lives. We need to examine what it means for Him to be Lord. When He is Lord of our lives, then the Word is at the center of our days because He is the Word, and we stand outside of evil as a beacon of light, truth, hope and love.