The Foolishness of Self-Adoration.
We, as human beings, have carried this idea of self-importance to a foolish conclusion, thinking that we are no longer in need of a higher power or deliverer, reasoning that we can do it all in our own power and intelligence. It’s sad to say, but our impudence has not only caused us to miss out on all the blessings of a gracious God, but has sent many arrogant souls to a devil’s hell. There is nothing that man has done, be it intellectual or by the use of his hands, that has not been permitted or blessed by an all-powerful God. There is nothing achieved on this earth that has given man the right or reason to laud or exalt his accomplishment of it. God is the creator of all things, and without Him was nothing made.
All things; that includes knowledge or things of learning as well as the physical things that we depend upon for our daily survival. “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16-17). That would seem to mean that we, as humans, are truly in control of nothing and that we are the originators of even less.
Truly, the difficulties and problems of this world and of our personal lives are brought about by our refusal to seek His guidance and wisdom in all things. To be candid, we need God and cannot exist without Him. In our arrogance and conceit, where does this give us a selfish right to worship and to praise? If we allow Him to guide us, He is eager and willing to do so. The problems of life will be inconsequential as we allow Him to lead. If we strive to do things in our own understanding and judgment, we will still need Him to get us out of the problems and dilemmas we place ourselves into. Even though God, in His ardent devotion and through His infinite love and mercy, became man; man, in his arrogance and contemptible pride, can never gain enough power or strength to become God. What God has done shows us His compassion, while what man has done only shows his conceit and self-abasement. It is inconceivable to imagine that frail insecure man, could ever obtain the total presence of an unquestionable and all-powerful God while deeming God to be insufficient and over-bearing. If God is a liar, and man by his condescension has deemed Him to be, than man has no right or purpose; and for man to place himself ahead of a righteous and just God is the ultimate example of hypocrisy and spiritual suicide. For man to think himself more commanding or influential than God is only showing his arrogance and his incompetence, while for God to tolerate such insubordination is only showing God’s compassion and willingness to forgive. Words, thoughts, and actions have no purpose other than that of expressing one’s core beliefs and inner-feelings; while expressing those things that are foolish and detestable will only prove you to be an utter fool. “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:18). Satan has shown man, by his contentious act of rebellion, that it is impossible to over-throw God. Revolt or defiance are only ineffectual acts of insanity. They will place you under the wrath and judgment of a righteous and holy God. To gain what is to be considered desirable and profitable, we must be under the subjection of the only one who can grant us such things. Reality has a way of proving itself; and, if we are unwilling to heed its warnings, we will be chastised by its un-willingness to relent. The morbid decay of civil morality does not give man his freedom but only guarantees his complete destruction and places him in bondage. God’s love has been offered to all men; but there is no love, no matter how compassionate and forgiving, that excuses rebellion or will forget committed sin without a heart-felt expression of sorrow and repentance. Arrogance to the point of self-destruction is not showing wisdom, and placing yourself under God’s righteous indignation is the truest form of folly. Ignorance of the laws of God will produce the same penalty as total defiance; and, no matter how loving we presume God to be, we will not escape His righteous judgment. Allowing evil to rule your life will cause your destruction; and, if you possess any hope or true assurance, it will only be found by the loving hand of a gracious God. He is our only source of righteous courage and strength, and He will never allow one of His children to be destroyed. What have you to lose but bitterness and strife? With so many today, taking a chance and trusting in the unseen seems foolish and unnecessary; living by faith is only for those who are weak and unwise. While He expects our obedience, God is the only assurance of true promise. He will never fail.
Love of self has no mediator, the more we desire the things of the flesh, the deeper we are drawn into sin. No matter how you divide it, man cannot exist without the assistance of a generous God to provide him his daily needs. Whether you are willing to give God the credit for all your possessions, or whether you have chosen to take the credit for yourself, it really doesn’t change the fact that He is in control of it all, and He is responsible for it all. You cannot change something that is not in your power to change. We all depend upon a higher authority or deliverer simply to exist. It doesn’t matter whether we are willing to acknowledge that fact or refuse to do so; it is and will always remain unchangeable. If we allow Satan to control our lives, he will use that control to defeat and destroy us. The only purpose that is directed by Satan is self-seeking and debilitating. God wants to take us to our highest potential, to make of us something that we cannot be without Him. Arrogance only takes us from His out-reached hands and places us into a state of despair and total depravity.
The true joy of life can only be found in a repentant heart that has been emptied of all bitterness and malice. The emphasis of God is not on self because we gain the true perspective of life by loving others. We must learn to share the goodness of God’s love with all those who are in need, our enemies as well as our friends. We must willingly submit to God’s perfect order and allow Him to bring us to that point of service. On this earth, God has established principalities and dominions as a means of obtaining uniformity and order, but in doing so, He has never surrendered His power over them. “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints” (1 Corinthians 14:33). It is God’s intent that all things are done decently and in order, and by our practice of common sense, it is easy to understand why He has chosen to do so. God has established an order, a chain of command, and we must willingly adhere to its importance and objective. When we allow things to become unorganized and confused, we lose our focus and cannot achieve the intent or purpose for which we were united. Confusion is in no way a means of achieving what is desirable, and our enemy has chosen to use it to confound and destroy. As we give in to confusion, doubt will reign; and, by doubting, our faith will be shattered. Confusion not only gives way to chaos and disorder, it causes us to question and resent those to whom God has called us to witness. Being placed upon a pedestal or position of high esteem will only be warranted and successful when God has chosen to place us there. Man-kind seeks only to bring honor to himself. We should forever be looking to God for our guidance and deliverance. Everything we do should be for only one purpose: to please and give honor to the One who created us. As we live in His love and allow that love to cleanse and per-fect us, we will experience the peace that all decent men seek to achieve.
Man, in his foolishness, is always looking for an angle, a way to manipulate the system or problem. God is always what His Word says He is; He does not pretend or attempt to be something that He is not. To know the presence and goodness of God is to know His character. To know the fullness of the forgiveness of God is to know His eternal love. God wants to be the friend of man as well as to be his Savior. God’s love is intended to draw a man to Himself, not only to save his soul but also to show His companionship and His desire for true fellowship. The true importance of man was established when Jesus chose to die.
There is no one on this earth who can show us the love that our Creator does; there is no one on this earth who can give us those things that we need for our daily existence and our eternal security. Being God, no one is so willing and so deeply desirous to give us of His abundance. This world was not created to show the power of an almighty God; it was created to show His love toward mankind. It was created to provide man with all the necessities of life. God does not have to prove anything to man. In His awesome power, He spoke this universe into existence, and in that same power, He can create whatever He so chooses to create. He does not have to consider the opinion of man or to ask his permission. Through the power of prayer, man has been given the blessed opportunity of presenting his petitions to God and to ask for His divine intervention. God has promised to answer the prayers of His children, and in His will, He will give them things they need or even desire. God is the one that sits upon the throne and rules, and He is the one responsible for giving us the things that are needed. How can we, as the receivers of His marvelous goodness, ever refuse Him His due or take the credit that should be given unto Him?
Consider the beginning of man. He was created out of the loving heart of a gracious God who wanted to have fellowship. He did not want fellowship with the many other things He had created, but He created man in His own image to provide that companionship. Man, unlike any other of God’s creations, was unique. He was, first, created in God’s own image, and then he was given the capability of choice, the ability to choose whether or not he would love God. Since God is love, everything that revolves around Him is formed or created in the quality of love. All that God has done was initiated out of an act of love, and all retribution was caused by the disobedience of those to whom that love was intended. How do you arrive at a point where your self-worth is comparable or above that of a loving Savior? At what point were you eager and willing to surrender your humility for the paltry treasures of an evil, unsustainable world? How and where did you gain the right to suppose yourself better than your brother or sister? God is love, but He is also uniformity. He is consistency, and He will always remain as such. It is not in God’s character to be out of order or to be inconsistent. His Word tells us that “He is the same yesterday, today and forever,” (Hebrew 13:8) or, to put it simply, He does not change. God wants His creation to love Him not out of a sense of command or decree, but because man is genuinely thankful and appreciative for whom God is. He wants to be loved for being the loving God that He is and not just to be thought of as the one in control or the one we must honor because He provides the necessities of life. Putting yourself in the proper place will bring about those things that are desirable, and allowing God to determine your value or purpose will cause you to rejoice. We must distinguish among those things that constitute our love. Do we love Him for being a loving God, or do we love Him because He can give us those things we selfishly desire? Of all the things that God has created, His most cherished creation was the creation of man. Man was the only thing that He has created that He was willing to die for. He willingly gave up His heavenly abode to provide disobedient man a way of complete deliverance. Understanding the character of God and His intense love for His creation, how is it possible that we can choose to love ourselves more than He loves us? He is the one who is truly worthy of our love. Knowing how much Jesus was willing to suffer, do you willingly deny His existence or just think Him a fool for His willingness to die? What could be more heartless than refusing the love from someone who has died so that we could live? Is there anything more thoughtless, more foolish? Imagine if God had died and no man would accept His salvation. In His awesome love, He would still have provided man that last chance of a reprieve. Salvation is optional even though God has provided it for every man. He does not want anyone to perish; it is still man’s choice. When we speak of the love of God, we do not, as humans, really associate or understand the total completeness or depth of that love. We can learn to love as God requires us to do, but without His example and strength we will never desire or seek to meet that challenge or obtain that victory. Like His being, God’s love has always been and will always be; there was never a time that God chose not to love. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how un-searchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. Romans 11:33-36
We can never equal the total splendor or completeness of a super-natural, all-powerful God. We may aspire to be like Him as He has commanded us to be, but we will never match up to His complete magnificence. We sometimes learn to love or choose to love, but God’s love is complete and unrestricted. God’s love is without hypocrisy, gentle and full of mercy. The eyes of God see only that soul for which He was willing to die. God sees all and, in His awesome love, chooses to forgive and to redeem. God, in His righteous judgment, is not persuaded or swayed by the evil of this world. In His completeness He is only holy and in His mercy He is the lover of everything righteous and pure. When we think of things in their purest form, God is our highest comparison. In truth, He can be our only judgment. When we consider living and the blessing of eternal life, we must consider God and His unmatchable love because He is the giver and sustainer of them. The unconditional love of man can never reach the power and total magnitude of a loving God. The love we have for others is only present when we give our lives to Him. He is that loving spirit that causes us to care. He does not love us because we are so easy to love, or because we are so deserving of that love, but because He created us out of a heart of love; and, in His consistency, cannot change. He has loved us from the beginning, and He will love us until the end of eternity. To doubt the love of God is to refuse His salvation, and to deny His existence is to insure utter damnation.
Without the love of God, there is no hope for mankind, and without man’s love for an eternal God, there is no possibility of a glorious future. When we place the focus of our love upon self, we are not allowing it to be given to the only one that is worthy of all love.
Jesus was sent into this world to save and redeem it. Jesus, being God’s only Son, was one and equal with God. Philip saith unto him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.” Jesus saith unto him, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, ‘Show us the Father?’ Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.” John 14:8-11
How can we as sinful, arrogant man place such a noble, righteous calling upon our own existence while denying the spotless Lamb of God His true adoration? Jesus was not just a good and righteous man or a true and faithful prophet; He was one and equal with God. To deny the true deity of Jesus is to deny His ability and desire to save. To deny the ability of Jesus to save is to remove all hope and possibility of salvation. I am left utterly confused and daunted, how anyone can refuse to give someone who willingly died for them His proper respect and reverence. When you take away Jesus’ deity and the significance of His dying on the cross, you take away any hope that you might possess or any possibility for your redemption. Who can be more arrogant than those who refuse to love someone who is so lovely, someone who has given all to obtain their salvation? You do not gain salvation by arranging its necessities to meet your demands. Your actions must conform to the demands of a caring and loving Savior before you become worthy of His undying love.
Self-adoration is not a way into heaven, and to consider yourself more important than you really are, will insure you a place in hell. We must indeed depend upon the consistent love of God for our complete existence. But unlike our dependence, God only desires our devotion and dedication; He does not need us for His eternal existence. The ability of man to love is given by the love of God, and without God’s love inside of us, we do not contain the capacity to love. Ponder this. We cannot love without God’s love, and without God’s love, we cannot and do not have any hope of a glorious future. How could we be more dependent? How could we be more loved? God has given all of us His love, and He has, in His deep devotion, given us a way, a hope for eternal life. Everything good, everything precious, everything eternal abides in the love of God, and without it, all is lost. The true definition of hopelessness is a constant denial of God. The Bible talks about “gaining the whole world and losing your own soul” (Mark 8:36-37). It refers to the life of a fool as gaining nothing and losing everything. To gain all the treasures of this world and to deny yourself the hope of an eternal security with God, is foolishness. Life on earth is temporal; it lasts for only a short time and is gone forever, while eternity is forever and will never cease to exist. Something as precious as life in the eyes of God must remain forever. For God to destroy all of His creation would suggest that He had erred, something that is impossible with God, for He is perfection. He does not see us as a temporary fancy and will, at some future time, grow weary of us and choose to eliminate us. On the contrary, He has chosen, out of an eternal love, to die for all humanity so that man himself would not have to die. The only thing that can keep us from obtaining His ardent love is our arrogant refusal of giving Him our adoration. What a blessed example, God placing the needs of sinful man before the suffering of His only Son. How could we every place our selfish desires above those of our loving Savior?
Do not think that God could not have done whatever He had chosen to do? God is in no way limited by circumstance; He is supreme, absolute, and He is in control of it all. He has willingly given up all of His magnificence, all of His treasures, in order that we, as His children, can become His highest treasure. Such actions by an infinite God are only evidences to prove the total magnitude of His magnificent love. This world would not exist without His love, and we, as His creation, would not have that blessed hope without His undying devotion. Is there any question why His Word says, “God is love”? (1 John 4:7-21). The total significance of man is found in the undying love of his creator. Without God’s love, man would be destroyed, but in the arrogance of humanity, we find total denial and rejection of God’s complete power and unselfish purpose. Jesus wept because His chosen people would not accept His forgiveness and protection (John 11:35). God’s love was given to His creation, but when His creation willingly cursed and scorned that love, He chose to manifest that love even the more. Even though God created man, God was not obligated to him. The actions of God are not to be criticized or questioned. When we consider what God has done, how is it that we find ourselves in a place of superiority or complete preeminence? If God does not remain God, then we will be destroyed. What better way to describe a fool, than as one who disowns the truth, to his or her own destruction? It is impossible to limit God; any limits that are placed upon God are placed there by none other than He Himself. Any action of God cannot be suspect or questionable; He will not be answerable to any of His creation. Simply put, the creation can never be greater than its Creator. Being created in the image of God, we have been given many of His attributes, but we can never measure up to His unrestricted potential. We, being human, are mortal while God is immortal. That means we do not have any control over our destiny; we one day will die. Man is a created being while God has always been and will always be. To suggest that we could survive without His unceasing presence is to play the fool. The road to successful living cannot be traveled without the presence of almighty God. God is love, and we are creatures of that love. If that love would cease to exist, we would also cease to exist. In essence, the love of God is what life is all about. God’s love is what sustains and nourishes us. Without the love of God, we would all surely die. As we view the things in life which are necessary, we see God. As we examine the things in life that will insure our future, we see God. God is indispensable, and He is without dispute. In God’s Word, we are admonished to love one another. We are also told to love our enemies and those who spitefully use us. God’s love is given to all humanity; it has never been withheld from any of His creation. If we are to be like our creator, then we must also love. We must love unconditionally. Many times, the question has been asked, “What, in your opinion, would be the one most important thing that we, as individuals, need on this earth?” The answer more times than not would assuredly be, “World peace.” Without love, peace will never be achieved, and without expressing that love, peace will never be preserved. Strangely enough, many of the problems of this world are created by the lack of love one for another. The lust and desires of this world do not contain the ability to love; they are only selfish and self-serving, full of evil desires and wantonness. In selfish behavior, so many choose to hate. It is not the inner desire of humanity to show love for his brother. It is the intend of the deceiver, Satan, to maintain an environment of covetousness and bitter strife. Love is the destroyer of those things contentious and will bring together those that are consumed by its righteous intent. As the Bible states, “God is love.” (1 John 4:16) and to be a friend with God we must first be willing and wanting to love. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear” (1 John 4:18). For man to become a part of God’s family, he must first choose to love. He must love God who created him, and he must love all those that God has created. The Bible states that for God’s love to dwell in us, we must have love one for another (see 1 John 4:12).
Imagine for a moment what would happen if this world would forego the policies of today and love would become the action of the day? Think of the immediate global impact. First, wars would cease, and the immoral amount of revenue that is wasted on their continual progression would be preserved. Money for food to feed the starving would be made available, and homes to shelter the homeless would be built. Families and marriages would no longer be in jeopardy, as relationships would be built upon a proper foundation. Crime and selfish acts of terrorism would diminish, and people would no longer scheme to defraud one another. Governments would rule from a different perspective, giving proper respect to the people they govern. They would no longer seek to amass unyielding power, but strive to serve from the proper point or perspective. Honesty in business would become policy, and employers would value their employees as they strive to do an honest day’s labor. Merchants would no longer pursue methods that defraud, but strive to give their customers a fair and honest bargain. Color would no longer be a subject of contention, and race would only be a word used to define competition. The term domestic violence would become extinct as families began to devoutly observe the great commandment to love one another. There would no longer be gangs or organizations that advocated hate and revenge, seeking to destroy those who did not support the same motto or macho symbol. Best of all, people would recognize and honor the One who was the source of their passion, the source of their joy. Did I say the source of their joy? Yes, because if all the hate and violence were to be removed from this earth, joy would, for sure, abound. Do I think that this is possible in this world today?
Probably not, because to do so, all evil must first be eradicated and the one who is responsible for its perpetration must be banished forever. Everything has a time and a place, but we can be confident and reassured that God is in control of everything and that everything has been promised to work for good to those who love Him. As I previously stated, it’s all about love, and without love, we are consistently doomed, without hope, without the slightest chance of a glorious future. How is it that we seek to glorify ourselves when, as we have just related, God gives everything to us? All that we have, our many treasures as well as our potential to gain those treasures, is under the constant control of an all-powerful God. God expects us to love or appreciate our bodies and to take care of what He has given us, but by loving ourselves, we are not to be without tenderness and compassion for others. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19). That appreciation is not to be directed in a manner that is meant to gratify and indulge us; it is not intended to be selfishly administered. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost and are to be totally given for His divine purpose. God is love, but He, being the supreme example of love, is also giving and caring. God is love, but He is willing to give His love to demonstrate the extent of that love. The joy that He obtained is by meeting the many needs of His creation. As He has provided us a way, He has also made that way accessible by His continual support and assistance.
We are to love ourselves to the extent that we are to be eager and willing to express that love in a manner that is caring and responsive to the world we live in. We must take care of ourselves if we are to be able to take care of or meet the needs of others. If everyone would live by the examples given to us by Jesus, and would embrace His fundamentals of love and compassion, there would be an abrupt change in the philosophic ideas of all humanity. You cannot help but gain when you exemplify the teachings of Jesus. You cannot help but improve when you live by His righteous principals. The adoration of godly ideas and conduct will, in and of itself, determine your self-worth. To position yourself in a place of service to the Most High will indeed show your true importance. To humble yourself so that you can be used of God shows that you are truly aware of all that is important and necessary. When you have reached this point in your life, all the problems and difficulties of life will be minimized and you will be at peace in a world that is chaotic and uncontrollable. Jesus is forever peace in the storm, and He can give you a purpose and influence that will extend much farther than you consider your importance or possibilities to be. Trusting in His guidance and protection will not only assure you of living a life that is holy, but will assure you of His constant peace and joy. Simply put, to have it all is to have Jesus. To live for Him is a guarantee of obtaining all His blessings and promises. True success in life can only be obtained by a constant dependence upon Him and allowing Him to place you in that position of total commitment and dedication. When will we give Him the place that He deserves? When will we allow Him to be the friend He wants to be? Until we do, we will not be at peace, not in this world, nor in our hearts where that peace is really needed.