How did we ever get snookered by this one? Jesus is the most amazing and beautiful Person in the universe! How can we not be passionate about Him? Why don’t we live absorbed and fascinated by Him—all day long? There has to be a good answer for this, for this is surely the Enemy’s number one problem: How do you keep people from seeing the beautiful God and running to Him?
What is the enemy’s strategy to defeat our natural, nearly automatic, passionate embrace of Jesus? What has “Dr. Evil” been up to? Oh no, not that! Not the nefariously nasty, ultra-effective “Passion Blocker”!
If you were the enemy and had to overthrow this seemingly insurmountable obstacle, then you would have to give the people something even “better” to capture their attention: a counterfeit deity! A god that they will find endlessly fascinating, one who will absorb the majority of their thoughts and concerns, one who promises to save them and make them feel special. Voila! Self is born!
What an ingenious ploy! Forget about all those clunky idols of wood and stone. They’re history now! They were difficult to carve, cumbersome and couldn’t be kept them in front of people’s eyes everywhere they went (though smaller pocket-size idols were sometimes carried about in the ancient world). Worse, many people couldn’t afford to buy idols for their homes. That will never do!
Fast forward to our time and consider the beauty and simplicity of Self as the go everywhere idol. Just put fascination with Self and Self’s desire’s into the head and heart of fallen humanity and what have you got? Distracted people who spend their days endlessly asking of themselves:
“What do I want to do? How do I feel about that? What do I think so and so should be doing? What are my goals? Why should I have to put up with this? How can I solve this problem? How can I get more of this, that or the other?…”
Sad, isn’t it? Jesus has been eclipsed by Self! Can you hear in the “I” focus of the above questions, a replica of the enemy’s own self-love and self-will being re-birthed in us? His disastrous fall into pride of self is recorded for us in the famous “I will” passage of Isaiah 14.
You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God; I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ Isaiah 14:13-14 ESV
Where Does That Leave Us?
Are we, modern day lovers of Self—“Mini Mes”—playing to Satan’s Dr. Evil with a false focus engendered by the wrong spiritual father? (The reference is to the Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery movie in case you missed it when it came out. Dr. Evil created a cloned, miniature version of himself named “Mini Me.”).
In the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self. 2 Timothy 3:1-2 ESV
Take a revised look at the above questions. Wouldn’t they be much better phrased,
“Jesus, what do You want me to do? How do You want me to handle these feelings going off in me? How can I pray for and serve Your purposes for so and so? What are Your goals and directions for me? Help me embrace this cross You have allowed. Lead me into Your solution for this problem. Withhold from me anything that doesn’t serve Your present purposes…”
Few be the lovers of the cross. In order for our true focus to shift from Self to Jesus, we will have to come to a place of complete surrender to His will and His leadership—wanting only His will, His way (See a related post: “The Second Greatest Trick the Devil Ever Pulled.”). We will have to learn to love the cross in order to keep loving the One who bids us deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him. Until then, Self will remain the go-to deity.
And he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. 2 Corinthians 5:15 ESV
Let’s go for this! What an adventure it is to “live no longer for ourselves, but for Him” who has the power and the plans to bring us into a life and a destiny that beggar descriptions. Press in and break through all of the “Mini Me” barriers!
Learn more about “The Disciple’s Cross” at our sister website, healingstreamsusa.org.