Friday, July 16, 2010


One of the greatest dangers that we face in our journey with God is the self. How many times have we fallen on our knees in prayer, asking God to reveal Himself in a deeper, more real way, and all the while our focus is turned inward? It's easy for us to do this, isn't it? We are born into a culture that teaches us from day one that the self is the center of all that exists. And as we grow in our relationship and understanding of God, we find that we have already been conditioned to be obsessed with the self. The created being becomes more concerned with itself, rather than the creator.

As we walk through life, we find ourselves in a constant search for a feeling, emotion or experience in our relationship with God. We automatically want to place our faith and trust on that which is tangible. We long to cling to things we can see, smell, touch, taste, feel, etc. The most tangible thing in our existence is the self, and in an ironic quest, the self will always strangle off any hope we can manage to grasp hold of drawing closer to God.

Colossians 3:3-7 is one of the clearest passages of scripture concerning the self. In it we read that the follower of Christ should consider himself essentially dead. The self died, was buried and was raised with Christ. It's not an easy concept to grasp, but the self cannot exist in our relationship with God. The two are in constant conflict with one another. The self has no real existence, but none the less, continues to strive for significance, relevance and even superiority. It's a futile battle, but rages on each day of our lives.

So, how then should we see ourselves? Are we insignificant beings? Does our existence mean nothing? Does following Christ mean that we become mindless robots, walking the earth only to be controlled by a divine puppeteer? Absolutely not. We have each been created by God, possessing individual minds, with a vast array of gifts, talents and various aspects of personality that make us who we are. But the one thing we must consider, is this: the created being was not made to glorify in itself or be glorified by others. The created being was made for the sole purpose of glorifying God. And it is in that place of submission that we find our true identities, and the essence of what we seek from the self in the first place.