I began to recognize that most of my conversations were about what I am doing and less about what God is doing. How I am serving and how I do things. How I think everything should go and how my way, my plan, and my ideas are right because after all I am following God. Right?
I mean really, God called me to this ministry, right? He gifted me for such a time as this, right? I’m the one doing all the work, right? This is my life and I’m following Jesus, right?
When Eve was in the garden of Eden there is a crafty and sneaky little shift that occurs in her interaction with the enemy.
Genesis 3:1–6 (ESV):
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.
Did you catch it? The conversation starts out about God and what He said but, the serpent very sneakily shifts the conversation to be all about Eve.
“You won’t die…Your eyes will be opened…You will be like God.” And Eve saw that she would be satisfied.
When the serpent said You will not die, Eve saw the tree was good for food.
When the serpent said Your eyes will be opened, Eve saw that it was a delight to the eyes.
When the serpent said You will be like God, Eve saw that the tree was to be desired to make one wise.
What I find most interesting about this interaction between the serpent and Eve is that the very thing that deceived Eve is the very thing that caused the enemy to be cast out of Haven.
Ezekiel 28:17 says:
“Your Heart became proud on account of your beauty and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I exposed you before kings, to feast their eyes on you.”
Ezekiel 28 speaks of the enemy as the signet of perfection, full of wisdom, perfect in beauty, blameless from the moment he was created, blameless until unrighteousness was found in him. Satan exchanged his worship of God for the thing created by God. HIMSELF. Eve exchanged her worship of God for the thing created by God. HERSELF. She chose her survival, her desires, and her authority over the sovereignty of God.
When I came to recognize that I had been so craftily and sneakily misguided in my thinking about my life and my ministry work, I realized how proud I had become on account of my efforts. I also realized that I am not alone. The conversations and attitudes that I was experiencing are becoming increasingly pungent in Christian circles. We have exchanged “what God is doing” for “what I can do for God.” Our worship has turned from “Who God is” to “who I am and how do I worship.” We shop churches as if they are a commodity and we serve those who construct our ladder of success. Except for a slapped-on bible verse or an “I’m doing it for Jesus” slogan, there is very little difference between the evidence of a Christian walk and the walk of the world.
Sister, it’s time to re-evaluate. Denying yourself is hard when everything around you is feeding your self-worth. Pride is being fueled daily by crafty, sneaky devices and we justify ourselves continually as we forge ahead running our race. May we throw away the desire to fulfill self and truly be fed and filled only through Christ.