## Sermon 77 – The Insanity of Vanity

02 Dec

Often I have the opportunity to tutor students in maths. What I’ve discovered in this exercise is that when someone holds a judgment against someone else they can’t do their maths. They make all sorts of errors of analysis and create their own system of working out the maths problems, and not only that, they’re actually fully convinced that they have done it right and the answer in the book must be wrong.

Here’s an example that happened this week … 371 – 65 = 314. When I asked the student how they got that answer they explained that 5-1 = 4, and 7-1 = 6. Instead of taking the 5 from the 1 they reversed it and then reversed it back to deduct 6 from 7. They were convinced they were right and questioned my judgement as the teacher.

I suggested to this student that they should go and write down who has offended them and why. The student came back with the message that she hadn’t got into trouble like all the other kids so she thought she was pretty good. The student had elevated herself above the other students by judging them below her and without even being aware of the spiritual side-effects couldn’t think straight but was convinced she was. Her judging had stuffed her judgement.

How does this happen?

The left side of the brain is the logic side; the right side is the creative / emotional side. You need the left side working at full capacity to do certain maths sums especially as it gets harder. If you’re hurting over something that someone’s done, the emotional side of your brain will dictate over your logic and your logic will become right-sided and be illogical without you knowing it.

I suggested that the biblical principle of repenting of your pride would be the only right alternative. She did and right there and then she could see the error of her analysis. Her correct judgment returned.

Whether you understand this or not; whether you agree with me or not, the reality is that this happens to every person who makes an elevated judgement against someone else and it’s confirmed in Matthew 7.

God’s just an idol to a Christian until you die

Everyone subconsciously lives to look good in the eyes of other people. They live for self-value. Whether we like it or not, the need for self-value is locked into our spiritual DNA. This need causes us to compete with everyone, especially siblings, for this value, and you don’t know you’re doing it. Because of this fact, anyone who says to God that they want to be a genuine Christian will have to go through the removal program of this selfishness. God will remove everything that’s of value to your selfishness and de-value you in the eyes of others to see if you really do want Him as your God, or just keep using Him as your idol and just worship Him so you get what you want from Him.

There isn’t anyone in the Bible who found God through elevated self-value. Everyone who found God had to be broken of their self-value. Everyone’s afraid to lose their self-value, but the reality is that when you give it up, God gives it back to you without the contaminants.

In the spirit kingdom, it’s God first or it’s nothing. The blockage to this being a reality is our selfishness. Therefore this process can only be achieved by the de-valuing of self in the eyes of others to find out if your spirit truly does want God first. You can only find God through the process of de-valuing of self; you’ll never find God through the process of valuing and promoting yourself.

As in the Garden of Eden, if you choose to promote yourself you’ll come under the influence of Satan, not God. Satan tried to destroy Christ because he was simply envious that Jesus was higher than him and enjoyed the Father’s favour instead of him. The truth is, he wasn’t really after the Father’s favour; he was so puffed-up with his own self-value he couldn’t think straight.

The simple evidence that I’m right

The proof that what I’m saying is the truth is the fact that everyone believes that correction is a put-down. The truth is that correction is to tell you that you’re wrong, and everybody hates being told they’re wrong. So, if correction makes you feel de-valued then you’re into value, full-stop. And, if you’re into value then you’re into envy, and if you’re into envy then you’ll be under the influence of Satan and your logic will be unstable and reversed, yet you’ll be convinced you’re right and that your answer and thinking is correct, and the correction is unjustified.

The man born blind, John 9

If you were born blind you most likely would feel de-valued and life was unfair and would blame God for the evil that’s happened to you. This man had been blind for forty years before Jesus came on the scene. It was because of his de-valuation that when Jesus healed him he saw the Saviour. Many people were healed but few saw the Saviour; they were after Jesus for the benefits (John 6:26), and nothing’s changed today. A fake Christian serves God with an expectation of benefits and rewards. This makes God your idol. A genuine Christian serves God without expectation of earthly rewards; it’s simply a love exercise, and you can’t genuinely do this from a platform of self-value; it has to be broken off you, but few want to know this, they prefer the Santa Clause God.

Selfishness changes your logical patterns. You can’t think clearly; you think selfishly. Then you resist the correction of your selfishness because it doesn’t make sense to your selfish thinking. God designed it so that you don’t know whether you’re insane or vane; you need someone to tell you, and that’s the test point.

In 2 Chronicles 25 we read the story of King Amaziah. Verse 2 tells us that he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, sort of. Then in verse 14 we read that after Amaziah had returned from destroying the Edomites he worshipped their gods. God sent a prophet to correct his thinking and to bring him to his senses. The prophet argued with correct logic that it’s stupid to change gods and worship the gods of the nation that just lost the battle. But, Amaziah disregarded this Godly counsel. He had elevated himself (v.19) with his own importance and in his selfishness his spiritual logic had gone haywire. The consequence was self-destruction at the hands of an ungodly king.

It’s a fight to be a Christian. It’s not a walk in the park.

You might say to yourself that was a once-of experience and that it wouldn’t happen to me; but you’d be wrong. Uzziah, the next king, fell for the same trap, and Joash, the previous king did exactly the same illogical evil. Even Solomon, who was given the highest level of Godly wisdom, fell to the trap of elevation and consequently contradicted his own wisdom and married foreign ungodly wives who manipulated his thinking away from God to the point that he sacrificed his own children on the altars of heathen gods. You won’t find Solomon in heaven; he didn’t make it. You don’t believe me? Then read 2 Kings 23:13 and 2 Kings 3:26,27 and you will see that part of the worship of Chemosh the god of the Moabites, is the sacrifice of your own children. That’s absolute insanity and everybody is vulnerable unless they walk humbly before their God, giving Him the thanks and the credit for all things and never allowing yourself to have a mood of judgment against your fellowman and if you do, being able to take the correction and find repentance.

Selfishness is inherent in everyone’s heart. Selfish logic is stupid. How insane was it for Adam and Eve to hide from God their friend and then lie to Him and even blame Him for making Eve.  The only way anyone can gain Godly logic is by sacrificing their selfishness by allowing God to cut away everything that we value for our self-worth.

May God free His genuine remnant from themselves to serve the Living God with righteous hearts and minds.

Pastor James Tierney