Don’t I just love making it all about me.
And isn’t that one of our greatest problems?
Don’t we make ourselves the center, the focus, telling ourselves excuses like, “If I don’t look out for number one, who will? ”
I’m going to tell you. You’re wrong on at least two counts, friends. Just as I have been myself.
You see, number one isn’t you or me. We can wish it to be true all day long, we can delude ourselves with pride and illusions of self grandeur, but that self we see in the mirror each morning is but flesh and bones and dust that will return to dust, when our alloted time is over, when our breathe ceases to rise in our chest, and when our bodies are returned to the ground.
Number one is not self, but is Almighty God in the heavenly spiritual realm that is eternal and neverending.
And number one doesn’t need looking out for at all. But we sure do. Without guidance and instruction, we find ourselves in all kinds of compromising autistic and troubles.
In fact, without guidance, without help for us from the real number one, we become a slave to self. We discover that we don’t know love – but we have bought the poor substitute of lust, where it is about what am I getting from this person – instead of what can I give. We realize that we don’t know unity as one with another in holy matrimony – but we’ve traded it for a fleshly and carnal union of our bodies that keeps score and tallies what is owed to me by that other person that I do not consider as one with me. We seek reasons to keep ourselves separated and divided and to only be loyally to ourselves.
Oh, we are a rebellious and wicked generation. Only the mercies of God are wide enough and deep enough and long enough and high enough to forgive us for our many faults and shortcomings through the grace of the full revelation of God through this Good News of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Even the kindness that we feign towards others, don’t we find it to be manipulation in hopes that we will receive kindness in return? Or is it done so that others might think us kind? Or even worse, might we do it so that we can tell ourselves that we are kind, trying to cover up and hide the truth that we know about ourselves, about our true darkness, about our idol of self that sits upon the throne of our lives?
Oh, how I have wearied the Lord with my life. It shames me to share the glorious Word of God from a vessel of clay, from an earthly pot that has previously cooked such deadly delicacies and served them out to friends like poison when I was unaware of my purpose and calling. It humbles me that the Lord might use even me as an instrument of His grace and mercy and power and glory. It humbles me and strikes fear in me of how little I understand and comprehend of the fullness of His glory.
But, you see, it isn’t about me. It’s about Him. It’s about His glory and His honor. And I can talk about it all day, but I need to walk it as well. And even the walking, I find isn’t about me – because when I rely on myself, when I think myself strong, I soon find myself face down on the floor from my stumbling.
But face down before the Lord is not a bad place to be. In fact it is a wonderful position of Spirit to become accustomed to, because we cannot seat ourselves on the throne that is His at the center of our lives if we are humble and contrite at the foot of the throne.
Even as we rise up, and as we go out, and as we put on this armor participate in this battle – we must be vigilant and mindful that we are an instrument, a vessel, a clay pot to be used. The question then becomes what am I being used for? What is inside my vessel? And we can tell by what we are serving to those around us.
Are we giving them nourishing fruit of true, selfless love and kindness and gentleness and truth and peace and patience? Or are we serving the bitter and poisonous concoction of lust, manipulation, anger, jealousy, envy, strife, gossip, and wickedness that is driven by our focus on loving ourselves instead of loving and honoring God by a life loving and honoring others.
Oh, how far we are fallen. But thank God for His mercy and grace that can reach down and touch even me when I am humbled before His throne, fully aware of my need for Him to be seated firmly at the center of my life.
Ezekiel 36:22-36 AMP
Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: I do not do this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations to which you went. And I will vindicate the holiness of My great name and separate it for its holy purpose from all that defiles it–My name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned among them–and the nations will know, understand, and realize that I am the Lord [the Sovereign Ruler, Who calls forth loyalty and obedient service], when I shall be set apart by you and My holiness vindicated in you before their eyes and yours. For I will take you from among the nations and gather you out of all countries and bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleanness; and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart will I give you and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall heed My ordinances and do them. And you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and you shall be My people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleannesses, and I will call forth the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine on you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field, that you may no more suffer the reproach and disgrace of famine among the nations. Then you shall [earnestly] remember your own evil ways and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominable deeds. Not for your sake do I do this, says the Lord God; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your [own] wicked ways, O house of Israel! Thus says the Lord God: In the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities I will [also] cause [Israel’s] cities to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be rebuilt. And the desolate land shall be tilled, that which had lain desolate in the sight of all who passed by. And they shall say, This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden, and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited. Then the nations that are left round about you shall know that I the Lord have rebuilt the ruined places and replanted that which was desolate. I the Lord have spoken it, and I will do it.
Do you see that there are promises that the Lord makes with regards to His chosen people? Are we foolish enough to think that we chose Him and earned or salvation by turning to him by anything of our own doing or power? Or do we realize that even our hearing His call and responding was not contingent upon our own strength, but was a result of our surrender to His authority?
Are we foolish enough to be satisfied seeking a ticket into heaven for after death – instead of living an active life as part of the Kingdom of God while our bodies are still dying?
Is it about me, or is it about God?
Are we foolish enough to be working our good works and “ministries” in hopes of rewards, acting like a hired hand – instead of laying down our lives for others, equipping ourselves, in hopes that He might see fit to use us for His glory and honor, knowing that any crowns, any rewards, are His work through us, not works of our own?
I find myself foolish at times, friends. I look at my mistakes, my stumbles, and I have to admit to you that I wish that it was different. I wish that my heart was already perfected and fully made whole into a reflection of my beloved, Jesus Christ. I wish that I could walk a life of perfect love right now, today. But even that is all about me, friend.
You see, my imperfections even as I reach for righteousness, they make me even more aware of the glory that is Christ Jesus – and I realize that it isn’t about me. It’s about Him. If there is change in me, it still is barely a shadow of the Christ that touches my life.
You see, I don’t want to be the light, I want to see the light, know the light, show the light. Because it isn’t about me at all. It’s about YOU. He speaks through me to touch YOU. He loves YOU. He cares enough about YOU to use even me, too reach out and speak to YOU.
So hear His voice, hear His call, and then you too will understand that it isn’t about you any longer, but it is now about Him.