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Sermon 50 – WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

06 Apr

Recently I spoke with a young woman who believes that “if she can’t see it, she’s not

responsible for it”. She believes she’s only responsible for what she understands, not what she doesn’t understand. Thus, if she sins and she isn’t aware that she did, then she’s not responsible for that sin. When I made her aware that she was wrong about something she was thinking, she agreed with me but she also blamed me for the exposure of it because she now felt responsible for the sin, and up to that point she was free from its responsibility. If you blame someone for showing you your sin you confirm that you are in sin because blame is not a characteristic of Holy Spirit; rather it’s born out of the human heart when one is under the influence of Satan.

Stubbornness won’t see that it’s wrong

It sounds right that you are only responsible for sin when you see it yourself, but that’s just a convenient lie. The Word of God says that you are accountable for your sin whether you’re aware of it or not (Leviticus 5:17). The real reason we don’t see we have sinned is because our own stubbornness blinds us to our sin. In other words, before we even commit a sin we’re already in the sin of stubbornness and are culpable. God calls stubbornness, idolatry, which means the worship of me as god (1 Samuel 15:23), and stubbornness eventually spitefully retorts against its enemies … “who do you think you are?” … yet it’s blind to who they really are themselves.

God also calls covetousness, idolatry (Colossians 3:5)

Covetousness chokes the Word (Mark 4:19) and promotes the worship of yourself as god. If you routinely envy someone else’s position, then that covetousness confirms your idolatry and the worship of yourself in the place of God.

The real truth is, the young woman above, didn’t want to know she was in sin because any wrong would make her look bad in the eyes of others. The real truth is, she wanted to be the judge of whether she was doing wrong. It was her responsibility and no one else should tell her and if you did tell her she would be upset and even angry that you imposed your judgment on her. No wonder Jesus asked people to not tell others about Him. He knew the real heart of man wanted what He offered but didn’t want to concede to His rightness about them, and He knew the genuine seekers would find Him without public notariety.

Humanism has trained this generation to think for themselves and not to be told by anyone else what they are thinking. It sounds ok but it’s just a clever anti-Christ con to lure this generation into being its own boss … “I’ll make my own decisions; you won’t tell me what to do! ”

Don’t need a pastor

If it’s true that no one else should tell you what to do, then you don’t need parents except to give you things and provide for you, and you don’t need pastors except to reassure you that you are on the right track to heaven.

This woman argued her point from a totally different perspective than me. She saw things as how they affected her, but I see things as to how they affected others around her. Her perspective is opposite to mine. Why couldn’t she see things the way I saw them, and was she right or was I?

Samuel saw it different to Saul

In 1 Samuel 15, King Saul didn’t believe he had done anything wrong. He had gone and done what God had asked, he just had kept the good stuff to sacrifice it to God. Surely that was a good thing! Samuel said he had done the wrong thing, but Saul couldn’t accept it. From his perspective he had done right, but from Samuel’s perspective he had sinned. Saul tried to shift the blame onto the people; a sure sign that his heart was wrong. God uses relationships and circumstances to expose the bad side of us but few see it; it’s always the other person’s fault.

Eventually Saul conceded to Samuel, but not because he thought he was wrong; rather so that he wouldn’t look bad in the eyes of the people.

The truth is, Saul didn’t sacrifice the animals at all. The truth is, Saul set up his own altar at Carmel and couldn’t be bothered waiting for Samuel’s instructions (v.12). The truth is, Saul had elevated himself above his position; he was acting as the priest as well as the king.

Position in the eyes of the people was more important than repentance

King Saul built an altar to himself but he couldn’t see it was wrong. When you are your own god you are wise in your own eyes and you are convinced that what you are doing is right and good. God could see that Saul was wrong, and Samuel could see that Saul was wrong, but Saul couldn’t see that he was wrong, neither was Saul really interested in seeing Samuel’s perspective because that would have embarrassed him in the eyes of the people. Samuel was under the influence of the Holy Spirit, whereas, like Eve and Adam in Genesis 3, Saul was under the influence of Satan’s spirit. How could they possibly agree with each other’s perspective? They couldn’t!

Like King Saul, you can camouflage your spiritual nakedness by worshipping the Lord, you can pretend to offer Him sacrifices, you can pretend to not see that you are wrong, and you can pretend to be in league with the prophet, but in the long run God will separate Himself from your stubbornness and you’ll become an enemy to the prophet.

Why couldn’t Saul see what Samuel was saying?

… because Saul had elevated himself in his heart. It wasn’t because of his sin that God separated Himself from Saul; it was because he had hardened his heart to his sin. When you harden your heart, your vision will be the imaginations of your hardened heart (Jeremiah 16:12 & 23:16), and you’ll defend your position without even knowing that your heart is hard towards God.

Until you can see who you are you won’t see God

Most people think they’re good, kind, compassionate, polite, caring, obedient, Christian etc., but they can’t see they’re really blind, selfish, resistant to truth, elevated and arrogant.

In Genesis 3, Eve and Adam ate the forbidden fruit because they fell to the temptation of gaining a higher elevated position. The consequences were that they could see that they were naked. In stark contrast in Revelation 3, the Laodicean church was so comfortable and financial that they couldn’t see that they were naked.

How come Adam and Eve could see that they were naked but the end-time church can’t?

The fact is, when you elevate yourself above your neighbour you will become wise in your own eyes and thus see everything (including spiritual things) from your own self-elevated perspective. You will be able to see everyone’s nakedness but you won’t be able to see the nakedness of your own spirit. On the surface, like King Saul, you might agree with the correction of the authority for the sake of harmony but in your heart you will struggle to surrender to their opinion because you just can’t really see it. How could you? You are under the influence of opposing spirits, one holy and the other, satanic. You’ll be blind to your heart. You’ll be looking at things from a different level of perception to how God looks at things. Adam and Eve communed spiritually with God, but after they ate the fruit, they lost that level of communion and only related with God on the level of their own perception.

Eve and Adam ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Thus, everyone has knowledge of good and evil; everyone can see the wrong that everyone else is doing, but few have discernment of good and evil, Hebrew 5:14. Few have the spiritual maturity to interpret what they see. If you want discernment you have to see things through God’s eyes, not yours. 

The man born blind

In Genesis chapter 3 the Word of God declares that when Eve and Adam ate the forbidden fruit their eyes were opened and they saw that they were naked. But in Revelation chapter 3 the church at Laodicea was so puffed up with its own importance it didn’t know it was naked. God tells the church to wash its eyes so it can see.

Why is the church blind yet thinks it can see?

In John 9 Jesus healed a man who was born blind. For years he hadn’t been able to see. How unfair and how difficult his life must have been, but God in His wisdom had a higher plan. The fact is, if he hadn’t have been blind, he may have come face to face with Jesus but he wouldn’t have seen the Christ. His parents witnessed a miracle of Jesus and the Pharisees experienced a miracle of God but neither saw the Christ. The man born blind ended up seeing but those who thought they could see were actually blind. Why? The answer is, you won’t see God if you are worried about your position in the eyes of others. You can worship God, you can serve God, you can keep His commandments, you can be super nice, super helpful and even super generous, but it will all be to no avail if you are more concerned about how you look instead of how naked you are.

In simple terms, the church is blind because it’s arrogant

Like King Saul, the church is puffed up (1 Corinthians 5:2), it’s comfortable, it’s worldly, it’s wealthy, it’s envious, it thinks it keeps the commandments, it thinks it’s generous and caring, it thinks it’s right, it thinks it’s Godly, it thinks it’s accepting and loving by ignoring people’s sin, but it can’t see it is naked. It can’t be told it’s wrong. It can’t see that it is stubborn and self-righteous, envious of others’ success, merchandises the Word, manipulative and dominates by fear. The church can see the stubbornness of the Pharisees and the fear of the parents but the church can’t see that this is a picture of itself.

Not all sickness is the consequence of sin

The disciples asked whether he had sinned or his parents. Contrary to the prosperity doctrine’s lies, Jesus makes it loud and clear that in this instance his sickness was not due to sin but for the glory of God.

God said the answer to life is humility, Proverbs 22:4

Most people are into ‘do’… what can I do to look good? The people following Jesus asked the question …What can I do to get your power?  (John 6:28). Jesus replied, ‘believe’. However, when it came to the crunch, they weren’t really willing to follow Him without some form of benefit; the cost of looking bad was too high.

What is humility?

‘Humble’ comes from the French word “hummus” which means ‘the ground’. If you want to be humble you can’t make yourself humble, it only comes from being put into the ground. God communes with a person of contrite heart. Being contrite is God’s heart for you (Isaiah 57:15). In the Hebrew ‘contrite’ means broken, cast-down, bruised, and discouraged. You can’t make yourself contrite; it’s learnt by reaching out to God via the pains of life, but people try to manufacture it themselves to gain a higher position in other people’s eyes.

You won’t find God in church, you find Him in your pain. It’s in pain that God meets your need and introduces Himself to you as the true God. God did not introduce religious factions; man did. The blind man found God when he was ex-communicated from the church, and it was the pain of that ex-communication that confirmed his sight. The true church of God isn’t in the religious systems of church; the true church is always hated by the religious systems (John 16:2).

When you’re elevated in your own self-worth you cannot see from God’s perspective. If you want your eyes to be open to see what the blind man saw you have to suffer de-valuation. Your self-strength has to be crushed and broken and this is the only way. God can use any mechanism He chooses to break a person’s arrogance … sickness, accident, failures, misjudgements against you, loneliness, divorce, and rejection. Faith grows in pain and this pathway will open your eyes to the true Christ; it all depends on what you really want and whether you’re willing to pay the price to gain it.

How do you know if you’ve elevated yourself above your neighbour?

Try this test … Q1. do you envy someone in a higher position? Q2. Are you open to the opinion and insight of those below you? Q3. Does a person below your status have the freedom to express their opinion openly?

In other words, how would you respond to someone you think is scatter-brained (like a brother, sister or work colleague), or bossy (like a parent or teacher), or ignorant, telling you something. Would you regard their opinion or would you poo-hoo it? You see, you’re elevated; you just can’t see it.

You can only safely have position when you’re open to the opinion and insight of those below you without belittling them, and when you don’t envy those above you, otherwise your arrogance will numb your spirit to be blind to its own nakedness.

To most people, correction = rejection

Most people see correction as you don’t like me or you don’t think I’m of any value anymore. That’s how they see it, but that’s not how I see it. If you take correction as a put-down then I see the issue is position, not rejection. You see, if correction gives you a rejected feeling then you’re really saying you are elevated and proud and you don’t want to be put in your place. You’re really just having a mood because you feel bad and you’re really saying … “don’t tell me I’m wrong; I’m responsible to decide for myself.” In other words, “I’m my own king and no one has the right to tell me what to do.”

Elevated pride originated from Satan wanting to be No.1 in the eyes of the Father. Sin means we all are now subjected to the same curse. When someone else is favoured above us, we don’t like it, confirming that we are really inherently proud and selfish.

Blind to your nakedness

When you’re your own god you worship yourself and are wise in your own eyes and don’t even know it … you’re blind to your nakedness; your heart has gone hard. You’ll judge everything by right and wrong, not by heart. You’ll behave according to what’s right and wrong, not by heart. You’ll tell people what’s right and wrong in elevation, not by heart; and you’ll blame people for not doing it right, not by heart. You’re open to tell but closed to being told.

The only solution

The only way out of your blindness is to see your stubbornness and repent. To do this you’ll have to sacrifice your worldly position to gain spiritual position. It sounds simple but few are really willing to give up their value for something they can’t see. They’d rather argue with God as to why they are ok and why He should listen to their point of view. Until you give up your worldly value you will be vulnerable to being Adam and Eve, King Saul and Laodicean.

Don’t try and stop your stubbornness and envy, but rather cancel your elevation … this is the true love of God because it puts Him first again, and then He will deal with your sinfulness. You need faith for salvation so you’ll never find Christ if you rely on what you can see.

May God expose you to you for His glory.

Pastor Doug Gilway

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Posted by on April 6, 2013 in Elevation

 

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