Many of you know I’ve been single for quite a while. But recently I have realized there is someone already in my life who is so important, and might even be that someone who “completes me.” And I want to go public with this.
I think of her constantly. I think she is wonderful, just wonderful. I am totally smitten.
But it’s not all positive. As a matter of fact I’m pretty sure she is holding me back from keeping my entire focus on 721 Ministries, and even though she truly loves the Lord, she is probably, no definitely, getting in the way of my devotion to my Heavenly Father – and my spiritual growth.
And to be objective, it might not be the healthiest relationship. We have to do what she wants to do all the time. The conversation is always about her. She typically thinks mostly about herself. She is so full of herself.
The problem is I think she is just so great. I see everything she does in a light most favorable to her. If someone criticizes her, I jump to her defense, even if deep down I know she’s wrong. I’ll almost fight to defend her!
She is so funny, so bright, so with it. And she gets me. She understands me. I can always count on her to come to my defense and to whisper in my ear, “They just don’t understand you like I do.”
But because I am so enraptured with her, I’ve found myself lying for her, at times even cheating for her. There is practically nothing I wouldn’t do for her.
She’s like a god to me.
So I protect her at all costs, even when I can look back and see so clearly how she has led me down a path of bad choices, selfish choices, and self-destruction.
Do you want to know her name? She is not really a she – she is … me. My … Self.
Easter is all about self. The entire Biblical story is about self: the battle of self against God.
Oh, you may think it’s about the battle between Satan and God, but Satan is a minor league player compared to self. Well actually, Satan long ago realized his best strategy was to appeal to our self within us. If he gets just a foothold there, he’s on cruise control after that.
Is it accurate to say all sins emanate from self?
This is why Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
Notice he didn’t say “must deny themselves things,” which is the common misperception of this passage. We can deny ourselves things all day long with no heart transformation. Things are not the problem. Self is the problem.
Jesus goes on to observe, 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” Matthew 16:24-25
Allow me to substitute self in this passage: “For whoever wants to save their self will lose it, but whoever loses their self for me will find Life.”
Over the past 18 years I have thanked Jesus over and over for three things:
He saved me from my sins.
He saved me from my self.
He saved my daughter from a father full of self, who would have modeled for her, self.
Jesus went into the Garden of Gethsemane to do battle with his self. Three years prior Satan had tried to tempt Jesus in the wilderness with three appeals to his self.
“Turn these rocks to bread. You’re hungry. Look after your self.”
“Throw your self off this temple. Do whatever your self wants. You live in an age of grace. God will rescue you and forgive you.”
“I’ll give your self this entire world to rule, if you’ll just trust your self to me.”
And God tell us, “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.” Luke 4:1-13
The Garden Battle was that “opportune time.”
Jesus had to do battle with his self in that garden, and he won: “Not my will, but yours.”(Luke 22:42) He defeated self once and for all, so you and I could be freed from self.
Don’t miss that. You can be free from your self, but not by yourself. You need more than self-help. You need more than a helping hand. Self is too big for any of us.
You need a Savior.
Jesus’ Garden battle caused him to sweat blood. Do you think you can do it on your own?
From the Garden through the Cross, Jesus destroyed the work of Satan. Satan thought he was engineering the crucifixion of Jesus. He was fooled. He accidently engineered the crucifixion of self.
Now it’s up to you. Will you fight the Battle of self in your own Garden of Gethsemane? You’ll need help. You’ll need the power of the Holy Spirit. The Cross opened this Holy Spirit power to you. Jesus made it available to you. Use it!
This Easter, may you see your self for the true enemy it is, and engage in your own Garden Battle.
If you are not afraid to see your true Self and If you want a little more:
(I have re-written the introduction to include you … your self)
I think of self constantly. If I’m honest about it, I think of self all the time. I think self is wonderful, just wonderful. I am totally smitten.
But it’s not all positive. As a matter of fact I’m pretty sure self is holding me back from keeping my focus on God, and even though self may truly love the Lord, self is probably, no definitely, getting in the way of my devotion to my Heavenly Father – and my spiritual growth.
And to be objective, it might not be the healthiest relationship. We have to do what self wants to do all the time. The conversation is always about self. I typically think mostly about self. I am just so full of self.
The problem is I think self is just so great. I see everything self does in a light most favorable to self. If someone criticizes me, self jumps to my defense, even if deep down I know self is wrong. I’ll almost fight to defend self!
My self is so funny, so bright, so with it. And self gets me. Self understands me. I can always count on self to come to my defense and to whisper in my ear, “They just don’t understand you like I do.”
But because I am so enraptured with self, I’ve found myself lying for self, at times even cheating for self. There is practically nothing I wouldn’t do for self.
Self is like a god to me.
So I protect self at all costs, even when I can look back and see so clearly how self has led me down a path of bad choices, selfish choices, and self-destruction.