Monday, December 15, 2003

God is A Liar!

And 3 Other Lies By Satan

Part 2

So then, how are we left to respond? Are we left defenseless and abandoned with no battle plan to combat these three attacks? The answer is no, and the solution we are left with could easily be considered the centerpiece teaching of Romans that the entire book rest upon. This battle plan is found in Romans 12. It is here Paul lays out for his readers both the antithesis of each of these Satanic Lies and the reason with must protect ourselves from submission to them.

Lust of the Flesh - Romans 12:1 begins our defense plan when we are told to "present your bodies as a living sacrifice." This idea of becoming a living sacrifice is a commitment against the ideas of self gratification that Satan wants us to pursue. When we view our lives as a sacrifice to God any hint of narcisim is immediately erased. We become immediately concerned with seeing the people around us through the eyes of God. When we are living sacrifice; making each decision under the idea that "it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me " becomes natural to us. The self indulgent plagues which we have allowed to torment us become the advesaries of our past as we are made perfect through each Christ offered decision.

Lust of the Eyes - Romans 12:2 Our fallen nature has trained our eyes to see beauty the way the world defines beautiful, yet the promise of this verse is that we can"be transformed by the renewing of your minds." We can learn to understand and view the world through a new set of eyes. We can learn to renew our vision to the pure beauty of God's creation. We can seek the discipline of our eyes that allows us to understand that it is the character of person that defines beauty. Our transformed mind allows us the freedom to pursue an infinitely more rich relationship with Christ because we are liberated to find our own beauty within our role as the Bride of Christ.

Pride of Life - Romans 12:3 The greatest bondage of my life, and I belive the lives of most American Christians, has been the bondage to Pride. The American idea of "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps" has been a distraction from God's idea for his people. Paul lays his rebutal to this lie out in such a way that it seems to be unimaginably simple, he says "do not think of yourself more highly than you ought to think. Our own will however makes accomplishing this task into a labyrinth. We run into dead end after dead end as we attempt to eliminate pride by own strength. We are junkies, living lives looking for our next self-centered fix: as junkies, it is impossible for us to break the addiction as long as we believe that we can think ourselves into humility. Paul instead sets the stage for us by explaining that our value is found "each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned." When we can understand the value of our lives in the God ordained balances of faith we will be on the path to the form of humility that Christ's church needs from us.

"These three remain - faith, hope, and love - and the greatest of these is love." God's design and desire for his people is to focus not on the wants of them selves but on the needs of others. Paul explains this concept when he says that "individually we are members one of another." Paul's one body concept explains the kind of love that needs to replace these Satanic deceptions in our lives. We need to focus on the needs of our Christian community rather than desires of our flesh, eyes, and pride. We need to be concerned with accomplishments of faith, the consciousness of hope, the environment of love. We need to create a culture that has a discernment against our attraction to the desires of the inner nature. The crossroads presented by Romans 12 are best summarized when Paul tells us to "Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good." We can not dwell in lives of self indulgence, aquistion, and pride without comprimsing this command to let love be genuine.

No comments: