Sunday, September 14, 2014
Satan Gives Us a Spirit of Self-Protection That Keeps Us From God
Psalm 51 says:
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” Psalm 51:17.
Satan desires to keep us in a spirit of self-protection and self-justification. To be vulnerable to our self and before others is far too painful. The state of vulnerability-avoidance keeps us from God, before whom we can be vulnerable and cleansed. We have a place to go with our vulnerability. We have someone who can handle it because surely we, and often others, cannot.
People keep themselves from God by nurturing pride in “not being a bad person” (when in essence we all know we are. Why else would we be trying so hard to distract ourselves?) “Being good” in our own eyes is a deception. This is the worldly state of blindness. In a weird way we self-avoid by thinking we’re good. We self-promote a false image, which is very self-centered because it keeps us from ever finding fault with ourselves. The real tragedy is that it keeps God out. Which is exactly where Satan wants us. Whenever Satan can keep us focused on a false version of our self, he succeeds then in keeping us from seeing God.
I praise God that He has given me sight to see my sin and be vulnerable and contrite before Him so that my defiled heart can be made pure through the blood of Jesus Christ. This is not pain-free. All birth is painful, including the birth to a new life that involves a death to our delusions about our self. Yet the release and freedom this confessing and admitting brings is unfathomable. We have faced the worst in ourselves and lived. And continue to now live in the turning away from that which was in us that kept us in bondage to basically being a poser to our self and others.
No amount of thinking “I’m not as bad as the next guy,” or “I’ve made mistakes, but I’ve done good things too” will ever bring us to peace with God or ourselves. Thinking that we have somehow gotten a rawer deal than others in life also does not let us off the hook for facing up to who we really are. As the psalm says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” The only way to “come clean” is through Jesus Christ.
“Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are proved right when you speak
and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Surely you desire truth in the inner parts;
you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from ytour presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will turn back to you.
Save me from bloodguilt, O God,
the God who saves me,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.” Psalm 51:1-17