What started with genuine tears of, Father, I want to live not die, turned into the lie of, I am worth nothing because I can not achieve it (you name it) and therefore I need to be destroyed. Isn’t that absurd? God gave me a want and a desire to be healthy and to be able to enjoy these latter years even more than the first. That’s good. Divine even. Born out of love, not hate. Then somewhere and somehow that love morphed into hate, control, and deception.
The hate: You are so ugly and fat that you will never have a healthy, alive, vibrant body. Work hard, knock yourself out, strive with everything in you - but it will not be. Why? Because you are no good. Has anyone else heard that lie, that self loathing, that hatred?
The control (dare I say witchcraft): Get up at exactly this time and eat only these things and do these exact moves more and more and more - and if you don’t always do all of it (you name it) just exactly this way - you are worthless. Because if you can’t live in this discipline and this self righteousness, you are good for nothing. Now another post could be written by this same heart that speaks to the goodness of following His ways for us. That is not what is being called into question here. Has anyone else sought to control every outcome of your being?
The deception: Sneak the Nutella, down the bag of chips, eat another, buy another, watch another - because what you are feeling can be satiated with something less than Jesus.
And there, as John Piper said, “is that ultimate essence of evil.” The lost taste for God, desiring something (a buff bod, a healthy heart, success, money, beauty, fame, family, perfection, etc.) more than God.
And I love this that John Piper said in the same sermon (Passion 2017).....”command keeping is not the essence of good.” Command keeping is all result, overflow, fruit, love, devotion. Love, not hate. Love. Not hate.
The true, the real, is the delight in His character. Until I hate this “ultimate essence of evil” in me, Piper says, God’s greatness lived out in me will be reduced to my morality. Wretched. No, God! No can do. He has to be so beyond. I have staked my life on that fact for years, years. And there it had happened.
Because, if I make God not God in my life - there is hate. And so goes the cycle; self-loathing, no faith, pit living.
And so I say, NO! Not gonna do it you liar. God is The Creator who designed me to glorify Him. And because He made me and gave me life, I love Him- not the self dug cisterns that truly hold nothing. So no to the self loathing and hate. No to control. No to deception.
A better anthem sings - I love what He created. He has a good plan and a good way. He is a good God who withholds no good thing from me.
I’ll take the overflow, thank you. Christ has triumphed and made a way for me to live in the unceasing presence of my God.
*Sermon words taken from John Piper at Passion 2017, The Ultimate Essence of Evil. His texts were as follows.
“For cross to the coastlands of [a]Kittim and see,
And send to Kedar and observe closely
And see if there has been such a thing as this!
11 “Has a nation changed gods
When they were not gods?
But My people have changed their glory
For that which does not profit.
12 “Be appalled, O heavens, at this,
And shudder, be very desolate,” declares the Lord.
13 “For My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me,
The fountain of living waters,
To hew for themselves cisterns,
That can hold no water.”
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from [a]any tree of the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” 4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 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 desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.”
“for all [a]have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
Let us move forward fellow sojourners, not back into the bondage of Egypt.