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Sermon 85 – I’M SPECIAL

Recently I was counselling a woman who has fallen out with her husband and was struggling to keep a handle on controlling her teenage kids. From the outside the family appeared to be stable, well-adjusted and happy; but the truth was it was all a façade. The façade often cracks when the kids hit the teenage years and start being defiant.

In the course of our discussion she revealed that this was all a bit of a shock because she had always thought that she was someone very special to God and that God would naturally give her the life she deserved. Her childhood was strained by parental control and injustices, and it always seemed that her siblings got the better deal. From her perspective, she was the one that was good, so it wasn’t fair that she always seemed to be left out and mistreated.

I’ve heard this story many times. Certainly there are circumstances where children need to be rescued from evil parents, but why is it that where children have had a reasonable upbringing, they still want a better deal than they got?

The final price of “I’m special” is separation from God

The truth is that Eve took the fruit because she was tempted by Satan to get a better deal for herself. She wasn’t satisfied with the deal God had given her. From that point on, everybody is born with the selfish desire to get more for themselves. If we fail to recognise this temptation then we will simply fall to the same trap as Eve and, like Eve, the consequences will be to blame our husband that he didn’t protect me, blame our wife that she made me do it, live in fear, pretend we don’t know what God is talking about, act like everything is fine by being good, and lose our children to envy, just like Cain and Abel.

“I’m special” is just a mood

From the moment we’re born we demand attention. We learn that if we cry loud enough then our parents will give us what we want. We set a pattern of moodiness and we learn techniques that manipulate people to do what we want, and if we don’t get it we have a big mood and huff, and if a sibling seems to be liked more or get a better deal, we let our feelings get hurt and it fuels our envy.

We learn to allow our feelings to dictate our desires, so when we feel bad we have a mood until we get something that makes us feel good again. We live for feeling good, and we’re taught that if you’re good you get good from Santa, but if you’re bad you don’t get it, so we learn to be good so that we get it. We’re not good for God’s sake; we’re good for our sake.

The problem is, that this pattern of goodness doesn’t satisfy us. Somehow we still feel the wounds of rejection, left-out, misjudged, unfairness, cruel words, bullying, and envy. Thus, we either rebel against the authority or strive to be even gooder. But still it doesn’t satisfy, so in order to feel of value, we fantasize that we are special and live in a bubble of false belief about our superior value and purpose in society. We add education and skills to our portfolio so we can promote ourselves above our neighbour and prove we are more special than our neighbour.

We then find out about God and decide that if we follow Christ then He will prosper me, keep me from hassles, protect me and elevate me above those that have hurt me. We now incorporate God into our fantasy, believing that we are very special to Him, and because God is so sweet and kind He will give me whatever I want and do for me whatever I ask, and the Pentecostal church teaches that, so I must be right. We then begin to believe that we are pretty much always right and everyone who disagrees with us is wrong.

We become the person we hate, and dictate our selfishness over those below us

We then intimidate and control people and family with hyper-authoritarianism so that our environment is controlled to our personal liking and well-being with no hassles, and without even seeing what we’re doing, we’ve actually turned into the person we hated for hurting us in the very beginning. But, so we don’t look bad or feel bad we do enough good things to prove to ourselves and others that we are basically good.

We can’t see how arrogant we are

When our heart silently declares … I’m special, how could you correct ME? I’m special, how could you reject ME? I’m special, I deserve the best. I’m special; you can’t tell me what to do. I’m special; you can’t tell me I’m wrong. I’m special, I know more than you … then we’re blindly and arrogantly declaring that I’m the centre of attention, not Christ.

What we fail to see is that we haven’t found God at all. All that’s happened is that Satan has manoeuvred us further away from the truth by feeding us with the thoughts and feelings we want that gets us what we believe is what we deserve. The truth is we’ve fallen for the Santa Claus fantasy. You might think you’re in touch with God, but, like Adam and Eve, if you envy a better deal, you’ll be separated from God until you repent of your selfishness.

God’s into nobody’s

The belief that you’re special isn’t planted there by God; it’s planted there by Satan. Everyone’s born thinking that they are a somebody, but you won’t find the true God until you wake up to the trap and realise you’re a nobody.

God searches the heart. He’s looking for the nobody’s not the somebody’s. That’s why He’s coming back for the prostitutes and sinners, not the self-righteous. That’s why He invited the down and outs to the wedding banquet; the self-righteous were too busy fantasizing in their self-value. That’s why the thief on the cross was saved and not Pilate. They both came face to face with Christ but Pilate was too proud to stop the crucifixion for fear of what the church thought, and the second thief was too full of his own value to humble himself before the Christ.

The Word of God says in Luke 14:26, 27 & 33 that until a man considers himself of zero value before Christ he cannot be a disciple.

What’s really happened?

Our fantasy is simply the fruit of our wounds. It’s not born of God, it’s born of Satan and fed by self.

Evidence

If you really stop and think about it …

  • A person who wallows in their wounds is just being selfish.
  • A person that believes they’re the special one is just wallowing in their wounds and looking for something to make themselves feel good and to give themselves self-value.
  • A person that holds onto a prophecy to build their self-worth is a liar, not a Christian.
  • “I’m special” becomes a competition against your neighbour as to who is the most special. This proves it’s not of God.
  • The average Christian can’t handle the criticism. They want the truth but not the truth about themselves; it’s too much of a put-down and it hurts their feelings. This proves their fakeness.
  • “I’m special” is just a selfish way of blocking your hurt feelings.
  • “I’m special” is just a selfish way of saying “I’m No.1”. The bible says the first will be last, Mark 10:31. This proves it’s not of God.
  • A person who thinks that you’re the problem if you make them feel bad is living in the lie of their goodness and is under the influence of a demonic spirit, not Christ.
  • A person who thinks that you’re wrong if you have a problem with them, is obviously puffed up with their own rightness and can’t be told they’re the one that’s wrong.
  • “I’m special” eventually exposes itself by TELLING people what’s right and wrong. It doesn’t like to be told; it loves to tell.

Biblical Picture

God can use any vessel for His sovereign purpose, but if you’re going to be used of God and survive for heaven without being puffed-up in your own self-righteousness, you first of all have to be broken. This was the pathway for Moses, Noah, Abram, Joseph, David and even Jesus. There’s no other pathway. Samson learnt it the hard way, but King Saul was too stubborn to learn it.

If you truly are special to Christ, then you won’t think you are. If you truly do have a purpose for Christ then you’ll only find it via the pathway of put-downs, separation and persecution. Like Christ before us, this is the only pathway that makes you worthy.

‘All that want to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution’ 2 Timothy 3:12

Conclusion

  • If you think you are special, then you’re under the influence of a demon, not God
  • If you think you’re better than your neighbour, then you’re into satanic envy, not good
  • If you think you deserve to get the best deal; you’re selfish, not godly
  • If you believe that God will punish people that hurt your feelings then you’re under the influence of the spirit of anti-christ, not God
  • If you believe that you have the right to hurt back those that have hurt you, then you’re not a Christian; full-stop. The Word of God says ‘treat others as you would like to be treated’, Matthew 7:12.
  • If you think you’re worth more to God than your neighbour, you’re contradicting the 2nd great commandment, and therefore living in your own deception.

“I’m special” is just plain vanity and the fruit of a wounded spirit which vows justice for its pain.

Thankfully, the woman I was counselling was willing to be told that the pattern of her life was selfish. Enough had gone wrong for her to see that she had used God to feed her selfish specialness.

God uses dead people, not people who think they’re special

A true Christian doesn’t fall for the selfish trick that they’re special. It’s not relevant; they’re dead to themselves. It was the woman that put in the two mites that God valued, not the self-righteous wealthy. It was the centurion that said “I am not worthy” that impressed Jesus, not the Pharisees.

If any man desires to be first, the same must be last of all and servant of all, Mark 9:35. Any other means of thinking you’re first and special is from Satan, not God.

Pastor Jim Desmond

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Posted by on June 9, 2015 in Special

 

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Sermon 81 – COLLECTABLES – the simple truth about the secret heart of man

What do you like collecting and why do you collect them?

Your collectables are measured by the purpose for them

The heart of man likes to collect things. Why? So he can be better/ look better than his neighbour. It’s really just a competition over who’s the Queen and who are the slaves and servants. It’s not the collecting that’s the problem; it’s the purpose of the collection.

The Lord tells us in Jeremiah17:9 that the heart of man is deceitful above everything and desperately wicked … no one can know how much.

Like collectable cards, or stamps or coins, man likes to collect … friends, husbands, knowledge, skills, love, good feelings, God, good works. The real truth is, that a non-genuine Christian is really promoting their husband/wife/God as an accessory … a bag or wristwatch or bracelet to parade to their friends and enemies, so that they are better than them; all without nothing being said.

Man doesn’t like to collect bad feelings, so he swaps this card for a better feeling. How does he do that? Simply by deducing that you’re not nice, so you’re not a friend, so I’m better than you, so I don’t have to listen to your hurt. He talks himself into not feeling the hurt, but it’s just a pretence.

The simple reality is that to most of us, our feelings are our truth, even to the point that when God presents the truth about us to ourselves we reject the truth because it doesn’t equate with our feelings. Plus, our friends are the measurement of our value … high-ranked friends means I am higher than you, so you can’t tell me what to do, and you can’t tell me I’m wrong, and you can’t make me feel inferior.

The bottom line

In their envy hurt, this heart deduces … I think I’m special, so if somebody has a problem with me then they’re the problem, and if I have a problem with somebody, then they’re also the problem.

This is the heart of selfishness because your neighbour has no right of opinion. This is not loving your neighbour, it’s loving you above your neighbour. Therefore, all the commandments are effectively fractured and you’re the true sinner even if you’ve been sinned against.

This selfish heart deduces … How could you do this to ME, I’m the Queen/King? How could you think that of ME; I’m the Queen? How could you reject ME, I’m the Queen? Everyone really believes they are something. Everyone likes to boss and everyone hates being bossed. That’s because I AM the Queen/ I am fantastic … I’m the boss, not you, and if you hurt ME then that proves that you are the one that’s wrong and I am right.

The real human heart boils down to the selfishness of not being the chosen one, plus the selfishness of being rejected, coupled with the desire to get back at the one who has hurt me, and the stubborn will to never be hurt by anyone.

This is the true heart of the human spirit but we all camouflage it with good works and niceness. Why? So no one can tell us we are no good, and so I won’t get into trouble, and no one can correct us and make us feel bad, and so I can collect friends to put myself up above my enemy.

This is the thinking of Satan because your neighbour can never be right; God can never address you; and the pastor can never correct you because you’re always right and never wrong. This is the heart of love ME first, not God first nor my neighbour. This is the heart of Satan, not Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 28:6,17).

You’ll never find God whilst YOU sit on your throne and hold onto your rejection pains and, in your pride, refuse to forgive someone for hurting your feelings. You’ll never find repentance because you’re too proud to forgive someone who’s hurt your feelings; you’ll only ever live in blame and be blind to your own pride.

The testimony of Paul …. Galatians 2:20

Paul’s testimony was … I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. If that’s not your testimony then you’re into yourself and your goodness is fake and your Christianity is counterfeit.

The Lord searches the heart by testing the kidneys (reins) Jeremiah 17:10

What does that mean? It means that the kidneys are the filtration system of the blood and if you want your heart to be healthy, you have to excrete from your spirit anything that you selfishly want to hold onto in your mind, will and emotions that will put you above your neighbour. If you won’t let go the bitterness, envy and pride that circulates through your emotions then it will eventually kill your spirit.

The pride of rejection pain

Recently I was ministering to a young 12 year old girl in our fellowship. On the surface, this girl has been perfect in her attitude and helpfulness, but something was troubling her. On digging deeper it became clear that she was upset with her friend because they were angry. I spoke with the friend and asked what was going on and learnt that the girl was TELLING this person that they weren’t a friend because they were angry, but the reason they were angry was that they were being TOLD that they had to be her friend. The girl felt hurt and wouldn’t forgive her friend for the hurt. Underneath it all was a competition between who could collect the most friends because they both believed that they were the most important person in the whole fellowship, even above their parents. I was dumbfounded and I began to awaken to the reality that most people really do believe that they are the most important person on the planet. Jeremiah was right.

Contrary to what the world says, the Word of God says that the heart of man is born evil. He needs a transplant; he needs the heart of God. His selfish heart has to be diagnosed and then cut out and replaced with a new heart. This is what God calls being born again. The reality is that no one wants to see their own heart; their feelings always blame someone else. If that’s your case, then you’ll never find my God! You’ll never get a new heart.

In Luke 14:26, God says that unless you’re really serious about giving up the selfish benefits you want from your parents, children, spouse, siblings and friends (the things that promote you as your own god) then you cannot be My disciple. Unless you abdicate your throne you’ll never find God no matter how much of Him you collect.

I’m better than you

Whenever you say in your heart, I’m better than you or you’re better than me, then you are into position and envy. God’s not into that; only Satan is, Ezekiel 28:6,17. Whether you feel like it or not, the word better implicates and exposes your heart with the self-love of positional envy … envy that you’re higher than me, have more friends than me, and can do things better than me; and arrogance that you are inferior to me and I’m superior to you.

Q. what’s it mean to love your neighbour as yourself?

The church and the world teach that you can’t love properly until you love yourself first. The Word of God teaches that you can’t love properly until you love God first, and that simply means that you die to every want that puts you above your neighbour. If this is your genuine self-less desire, then God will give you a new heart.

Too proud to forgive someone who has hurt my feelings

In the 1st World War, Ernest Hemmingway volunteered as an ambulance driver. He was wounded whilst attempting to save the life of an Italian soldier. Whilst in hospital he fell in love with his nurse who had saved his leg from amputation due to gangrene, and from there he lived in the expectation that they would marry. He returned to America and she to the war. Whilst she was nursing, a doctor asked her to marry him and eventually she consented. Hemmingway was devastated. However, her love for Hemmingway prevailed and she didn’t proceed with the marriage and returned to America to tell Hemmingway that she really loved him. Sadly, Hemmingway shunned her because his pride wouldn’t let him forgive the woman who had shunned him for someone else. His unchristian heart’s philosophy was … if you hurt me then I’ll hurt you back.

Hemmingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954, married 4 times and eventually suicided in 1961. Despite his bravery and awards, the real issue in his heart was that he was too proud to forgive someone who had hurt his feelings, and he died a sad figure of a man, the fruit of unforgiven rejection vengeance.

Most people are just like Hemmingway.They ignorantly live in the pride of their hurt feelings and never truly forgive those who have hurt them. They say they do, but their pride never really lets it go.

Here are some diagnostic questions to search out your true heart condition …

  1. Do you think you’re better than your neighbour?
  2. Do you think your neighbour is better than you?
  3. Do you wish you had what your neighbour has?
  4. Are you happy when your neighbour falls?
  5. Do you think you’re better than your neighbour when your neighbour gets corrected?
  6. Do you think you are of significant importance for God?
  7. Do you love to boss?
  8. Do you hate being bossed?
  9. Do you dislike your neighbour when he’s not nice to you?
  10. Do you think you’re pretty?
  11. Do you think you’re handsome?
  12. Do you think you’re ugly?
  13. Do you think you’re brainy or clever?
  14. Do you think you’re skilful?
  15. Do you think you are good?
  16. Do you think you are bad?
  17. What do you do when you get corrected?
  18. What’s your mood when you can’t have what you want?

Answer yes to any of these and you had better give up your selfish heart (it’s lifted up with its own importance) and let God put His heart in you. It’s not hard, so if you can’t do it, it just means that you are too important to yourself.

May God challenge the heart of each remnant to be replaced with God’s heart, through repentance of our selfish pride.

Pastor John Isaac

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2015 in Elevation

 

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Sermon 72 – The Key Character of God that differentiates Him from His Creation

The one characteristic that differentiates God from man is ‘selfishness’. God has zero selfishness, whereas man is fully selfish. Man loves himself more than he loves God or his neighbour, whereas God has none of this character in Him; He is pure love, 1 John 1:5.

If you want the character of God then you have to
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Posted by on June 10, 2014 in Pride

 

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Sermon 16 – FEAR FEEDS on PRIDE

Fear is a scary thing. Everyone suffers it. It’s an automatic human trait. It paints a picture in our mind that can drive us to sickness and even death. It can confront us when we’re bullied, intimidated, face a loss or just being questioned.

But, you can actually only feel fear when you’re Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2011 in Fear

 

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