Pure Life Ministries Podcast

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#500 - Babylon: Satan’s Kingdom of Pride

by Pure Life Ministries
September 5th 2022
00:52:35
Description

Last week, we began looking at some of the main tactics Satan uses to lead mankind into rebellion against God. In this episode, we’ll look at another example of how Satan does that. Join us, as we ... More

Hey, I'm Nate dancer with purity for life. By now, we are well into our latest series Babylon, the seat of Satan's power. We use the first seven episodes to talk about where Satan is trying to lead humanity into open rebellion against God's authority. And then we began looking at some of the main tactics he employs to accomplish his goal. This week, we'll continue that theme by talking about self and pride. The mantra of the satanic Bible is do as thy will. In other words, you need not concern your inner self with God's desires or demands for your life. You need only be concerned about living life. Exactly as you wish, you only need to be concerned about satisfying self life and all that is involved with it in Satan's world, self plays the central role in each person's life.

Coming up. We're gonna show you why Satan works to tirelessly promote self and pride and why the Lord spends so much effort to tear those things down in every believer's life. Stay with us for this episode. I want to welcome you to Satan's world of pride where everybody is constantly encouraged to outdo each other to rise up over the top of each other. Even to despise each other. The mantra of the satanic Bible is do as thy will.

In other words, you need not concern your inner self with God's desires or demands for your life. You need only be concerned about living life. Exactly. As you wish, you only need to be concerned about satisfying self life and all that is involved with it in Satan's world, self plays the central role in each person's life. Every decision one makes and everything he does all goes through the filter of what his self life wants and demands. Vice President for counseling programs at pure life ministries brought out the sort of rotten fruit that comes forth from our fallen natures in a message he gave once he said the self life is just what it sounds like living for self, pursuing what I want, living by my feelings, living for pleasure. A me first attitude. You're probably pretty familiar with the tentacles of the self life, things like self effort, self help, self pity, self preservation, self indulgence, self gratification, self ambition, self seeking, self serving, self centeredness, self determination, self will, self exultation, self righteousness, but the matrix of them all is self love.

In my book, I, The Root of sin exposed. I did my best to bring into the light what the human self life is like. One of the most prominent features of it is the human ego, that ego so fragile and vulnerable must be continually flattered on the one hand and protected on the other. Nothing must ever be allowed to harm it in any way. It's like a spoiled child. He must be pampered and allowed to have his way in everything. So, in my book, I brought out how a person's pride is the internal mechanism that flatters his ego. I define pride as having an exaggerated sense of one's own importance and a selfish preoccupation with one's own rights. It's the attitude that says I am more important than you. And if need be, I will promote my cause and protect my rights at your expense. This is the typical mindset of an unbelieving world.

Satan, whose philosophy of life is the promotion of the self. Life has constructed a world system that is built around his own personal value system. In his selfish thinking. He is the center of all. This was the mindset that he allowed to develop inside himself and ultimately got him thrown out of heaven. He's quoted in Isaiah 14 as having said, I will ascend to heaven, I will raise my throne above the stars of God and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. I will make myself like the most high. If you didn't notice it, he was all about his will at the expense of God's will. Now extend that same self focused self exalting attitude to the realm of fallen angels and then extend it even further into the entire world system. With billions of fallen humans only concerned about themselves.

Surely, Satan has constructed an entire worldwide society where everyone is in a constant state of competition with everyone else and it's Satan who reigns supremely over it all. So today, there are billions of wandering souls on the earth. We down with sin eternally lost and destined for hell. Most are heavily engaged in the affairs of this world. Completely unaware and unconcerned about their terrible spiritual plight. Occasionally, God is able primarily through the prayers of saints to work toward awakening a dead soul. The holy Spirit attempts to break through the person's spiritual blindness with the reality of his lost condition. He does this by convicting the person of his sin and arranging circumstances that will enable him to see his need for a savior as the burden of sin mounts.

He gradually realizes that he's been in total rebellion against his maker. John B masterfully captured the overwhelming despair. A convicted sinner experiences in his book, Pilgrim's Progress. As Christian frantically searches for a way to unload the weight of his sin. When a person recognizes his spiritual impoverishment, he knows that there's nothing he can do to save himself. He is utterly undone over his condition. Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Jesus exclaimed. He is as it were flat on his face with nowhere else to turn for help. But to God, his destiny is completely out of his hands in utter desperation. He must approach the Almighty with nothing but a plea have mercy upon my wretched soul. This is the only entrance into the kingdom of Heaven, but we must not lose sight of the fact that this person has spent a lifetime entrenched in a satanic pride filled self centered world system.

And every true believer will soon discover that the king of heaven and his culture are pulls apart from the Babylonian system he just emerged from. But alas, the tyrant of self is a most relentless foe that does not die off easily. The self life, even for the most radically saved person remains a powerful force within one's life. As the new believer attempts to live by the governing principles of the kingdom of Heaven, he soon realizes that his old selfish ways of thinking are still very much alive within him. Indeed, he still has a flesh nature that is permeated with pride. He finds himself torn between the self promoting mentality of this world and the self sacrificing values of God's kingdom. For this reason, the Lord begins to go to work on the person's self life. Solomon said there's a time for tearing down and a time for building up.

This is the cyclical nature of the Christian life. There are seasons, the Lord works towards tearing down the prideful and self centered attitudes that have been lodged in the person for years. Then at just the right time, the Lord begins building up the person's spiritual life. Each wave of dealings, the Holy Spirit employs in the person's life makes him a little more humble and a little more like Jesus. These cycles of God's masterful work on a person's soul will continue throughout his life. Until finally, he is able to cross that celestial river and step once and for all into the kingdom of the lamb. Then as he's allowed to look back upon his time on earth, he can see what has hitherto been hidden. He sees how God was at work throughout his life. Setting him free from the entanglements of Babylon and bringing him ever closer to himself. The salvation of a human soul is truly God's greatest miracle.

But the transformation of the human soul into a Christ like lamb is surely his greatest accomplishment. Pastor Steve mentioned that every believer has spent a lifetime entrenched in a satanic pride filled self centered world system. And just because we come into the kingdom does not mean that every trace of pride and self has been eradicated from our lives. To the contrary, if we're honest with ourselves, we quickly come to the conclusion that our old selfish ways of thinking are still very much alive in us. Now, the Lord obviously knows this much better than we do ourselves even. And so he begins to put us through a very careful, very intentional process of discipline. I asked two of our counselors to come in and talk with me about this ongoing process of death, the self because honestly, it can be really discouraging.

The process is painful. There's a lot of twists and turns. We don't always respond well to it and we need help to keep going. Because if we'll endure, the Lord will use this process to purge out the mindset and the spirit of the world. And he'll bring us deeper and deeper into his kingdom and his way of living. Ken and Gabriel. Um In the first part of this episode, Pastor Steve said this. I want to welcome you to Satan's world of pride where everybody is constantly encouraged to outdo each other to rise up over the top of each other. Even to despise each other. The mantra of the satanic Bible is due as thy will. In other words, you need not concern your inner self with God's desires or demands for your life. You need only be concerned about living life exactly as you wish. You only need to be concerned about satisfying your self life and all that is involved with it.

So what I thought we could talk about today is coming out of that kingdom of self and that kingdom of pride because um you all know, and I know that just because you come into the kingdom doesn't mean that all of this pride is gone. You know, I mean, we learned many ways of thinking and many ways of acting that was flowing out of that pride. And so now it's like, well, we have to totally unlearn a lot of this stuff and relearn or learn for the first time. A totally different kind of a life. So I thought maybe we could talk about how our self life has been dealt with by the Lord over the years and how he's brought us through painful breakings and corrections to kind of teach us how to how to be true followers of Jesus.

What if we could talk first about a specific time after we were converted where the Lord revealed an area of our lives that like that's not pleasing to me and there needs to be real change. Uh One of you guys can just go for it for me. It was, you know, this coming out of the whole lifestyle of just self-centeredness, pride was looking down on others being judgmental and critical in my heart toward other people. And I think I was for the most part oblivious to it before. Ok. What about you, Gabe? Yeah. Well, I think for me, I mean, there's just really, there seems to be like so much that the Lord dealt with um in the beginnings especially, but there was a strong mentality of uh self confidence in me, especially in what I was capable and able to do. And I had a, a really like wrong sight of how the Lord viewed uh weakness.

And um that really, when I began to see, like my weakness is actually God's strength. That for me was where I began to see differently. A lot of God's kingdom became different for me. Um you know, and they specifically just speech was one of the key areas the Lord uh really revealed to me and as it began to work was an area that the Lord wanted to begin to change because it wasn't pleasing to him. It wasn't so much the stuff like the cursing and all of the worldly music, all of that was definitely being dealt with. But now I was beginning to see, you know, there's flattery, there's gossip, there's different things that I thought were ok, you know, especially being in the world um in a business mindset, you know, flattery and gossip or manipulation, uh ways of getting around things and helping yourself climb the ladder. So for me, those things I never would have called them what they were until the Lord really began to expose and put his finger on those things.

And that really began to change because I had to deal with it. I had to see that. Yeah. OK. Um Yeah, I was thinking about something for myself. There's been a lot, we can all just say there's been a lot. Yeah. For sure. Um One of the things that I was reflecting on was when I became a manager, this was probably back in 2015 here. And, um I think probably I knew intellectually that it's like, all right, you go into this and it's about being a servant, you know, but over time I started realizing that I didn't believe that what I really believed was that being a leader was all about getting other people to do what I wanted. You know, it's like they're my servants, they're my servants and it's all about them doing my will. So, you know, if people got frustrated or if people didn't do what I told them to do, I would get frustrated or if I told them to do something a specific way and it came out differently than I expected, I would be upset or I would judge them.

I would micromanage all kinds of decisions because I'm like, you're gonna do what I want you to do. I definitely thought that other people's decisions and ideas were like way below mine. So the Lord started like, really resisting this in me. And my first probably year and a half or two years of being a manager were like, so painful because God resists the crowd, you know, and he made it hard for me to be like that most of the time it was in leadership meetings where I would bring all my ideas and plans and it was just like, you know, boom, they're just getting shot down all over the place. And I'm just, it was, it was really, really hard. But, and Gabe, you, you already started kind of touching on this was that when we let the Lord start to expose some of those things, the realities of the kingdom or a very important spiritual principle becomes precious to us because of what we're learning.

So, Ken, you had talked about just the self centeredness as you started to let the Lord deal with you about that. What became real to you about the kingdom? I would say um because mine specifically came out like in just being critical or judgmental of other people. Yeah. Yeah, that's right. So what I would say is I remember I was walking, I was near the dumpster on campus from all places and I was just walking and something had happened recently where I was just being critical of someone. And of course, I'm justifying myself in my mind, you know, I'm right, they're wrong or whatever and just a gentle whisper. I believe it was the Lord that right now the only thing that really matters is, are you loving that person? The issue doesn't even matter who's right, who's wrong. Nothing. Am I loving that person? And just showing me the reality of if I'm gonna live the Christian life, it's got to be a walk of love. It's gotta be humility, you know, esteeming others above yourself.

And that my unloving reaction not living in that love can be more of a sin than anything that I'm judging someone else for. So that was a huge wake up call for me and a huge revelation that that's what God is like, God's not up there judging me, but I'm sitting around judging everyone else and that was a big turning point that, ok, yeah, this is something in me that's wrong. It's not the other person. My heart is not right. The posture of my heart, like you said, is not a kingdom heart, but it's that old self life just wanting to exalt itself at the expense of other people instead of humbling myself and just loving the person, whether I agree with them or not. And, and like in a way that seems very spiritual. Oh, yeah, I was, yeah, it was, I, I would even say that it's the principle of the thing. I'm not mad at them. It's a principle. Yeah, I was mad at them and I was, I was full of myself, full of pride, right? Ok. What about you, Gabe? Yeah. Um My understanding of weakness and strength were they were not like God's understanding of them and it came with everything else.

And I really tried to mix a lot of uh Christian principles, poverty of spirit and with my understanding of success. And I had a very worldly mindset of success. And so, for example, I would look at, you know, being able to preach to multitudes as in golf, something that I would see as a successful accomplishment. And I mixed a lot of what the world was offering and success along with being able to share the gospel with people. And for me that all that mentality of the success and being able to be confident and strong, um I, I really, really had to wrestle through that because I was so convinced, like, what you were talking about having to unlearn so much of that. Um because I had, I had learned it in school, I had learned it in just the practice of being around other people and being in business with other people. It was no one else's fault, but it was what I was literally drinking in every day.

And so coming into, you know, and hearing Jesus specifically, the be attitudes is what rocked me because I'm like, really trying to compress everything that I know from a worldly influence into the be attitudes and it's not working out for me. And I'm really struggling through that like the whole aspect of being poor in spirit. You know, honestly, it frustrated me because I don't want to be poor. And I didn't understand that. Like, how is it that you want me to be poor and be blessed? And what about that spiritually is even right? You know, and so I had, I wanted to know though, so I wrestled through that and especially when it came to the weakness and the confidence having to begin a process of surrender. Um and giving up my knowledge and my, my thoughts, my intellect all like what you were mentioning. I just came to the conclusion, I need to be comfortable content with not knowing and not understanding.

And my faith began to grow from that point. Yeah, I think the thing that I started to learn as I started to experience some Brokenness over the way that I was leading was just that Jesus never leads from a place of pride. And I think that I, I still, it, it really is very astounding to me. And I would even say, I think we could all say kind of that like even as these truths have become real, it's not like we've perfected them. We're still learning how to do this. Um But it still really astounds me that he, he doesn't ever lead from a place of pride. He never counsels from a place of pride. He never helps other people from a place of pride. He OK, I don't even know if this makes any sense, but it's like in his heart, he doesn't think that he's better than other people, which is crazy because he is better.

He's better than all of us in every way. But he doesn't exalt himself in the way that we exalt ourselves. He just is better. But he's lowly in his heart. And I think that's what I, I started to see some of that and I started to like, I want to be like that. I, because in myself, I don't think your idea is better than mine. And I don't think you're more talented than I am. And I don't think, I, I don't, I think I'm better all the time in myself. You know, that's who I am. Just full of self exulting pride. So just the even the desire like Jesus, I actually want to think, I legitimately want to think that other people are better. I want to value other people. You know, because that's what he's like. It's just amazing to me that if he came and he was doing what we would do, he would look at someone else's work. And he would say, man, that's amazing like you did a great job.

I, I value what you did. I value your opinion. I value your perspective. That's amazing to me. It is, it's awesome. I think, you know, even as you were mentioning that and I think we'll get to it later, but it just, the word comes to mind that describes what you mentioned is holy. That is the, I believe in his essence, the holiness of God is other than, and so he's able to know he is I am. And yet there is this aspect of humility that will never be like anyone or anything at all. And it just, that's what kind of came to mind when you were talking about all that. So, yeah, it totally makes sense. Yeah, he really is totally different than we are. Awesome. Um, ok, so then, you know, as we're going through these processes of correction, I don't think that any one of us could say. Yep. Got it. As soon as God corrected me, I got it. I saw it. I dealt with it perfectly. I changed and now I'm just on, you know, there's a lot of ways to respond to his correction and this life of, of coming out of the kingdom of, of self that is just like more self.

Um, so true. So maybe we could talk about ways that we've responded to God's correction that we realize now that's not how you do it. Yeah. So for me, since I tend to be in my head, a lot, one of my default would be just morbid introspection, you know, just looking at myself, ok, God is pointing out something in my life, God is bringing correction or his discipline to bear in my life. And instead of seeing it as a loving hand of my father, you know, number one because he wants to spur growth and he wants me to grow spiritually. But number two, because he loves me and it's an invitation into a closer relationship with him to remove any obstacles that are getting in the way I see it as he's putting his thumb down and condemning me, you know, in my flesh. You know, so that's my default mode and having to get out of that and realize no God disciplines those he loves. He's not out to get me if he wanted to. He would, if he would have already squashed me if he wanted to. It's not like he has to figure out how to do that. He could do it in a millisecond if he wanted to. But no, it's his kindness.

It's his goodness that leads me to repentance. And as, and as I humble myself and embrace the process, even though it's painful, dying to self, you know, looking that there's something better on the other side and that's ok because God loves me and he knows what he's doing. If I had to try to figure it out, I don't know what I'm doing. I wouldn't know how to fix myself. And even if I could, it would just foster the very pride he's trying to undermine and destroy. How long did it take you to start to gain that kind of perspective? Um I would say it definitely took me a few years after coming here and I'm still working on it. You know, that's like a default mode and if left to myself, that's where I kind of gravitate toward. But the Lord is helping me to get out of that and to focus on him and the reality of what's really going on. Not what I would naturally think is going on. What about you, Gabe? Love and discipline? Um, I, I really had a hard time with that and I wanted to know how those went together. But with that, I think looking back, I did not respond well to my spiritual authority.

That's one of the things I learned over time as my mind was being renewed. It took time for me to see God's love through my spiritual authority correcting me like I'm not gonna be able to do this on my own. And the people that God has surrounded me with are the very people he's using as instruments to shape me up and to sanctify me. And, you know, I've, at times I've been critical, I've been bitter, I've had to work through forgiveness because I felt offended. I felt totally misunderstood. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And it's like if, if you would actually take some time to get to know me, you wouldn't be correcting me on this issue. You're right. And, um, I mean, those are thoughts that like I really dealt with and um all of those things I, I got to say the Lord knew that and still was very patient and loved me through it. And that was something that getting to see that in him was very special. But at the same time I, I struggled with self pity.

Right? And, um, you know, Hebrews 12 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. Um, it has, it wasn't that way and it has become now because I know from where I was to where I am now, this discipline is the love of God. And I'm not abandoned and I'm not left alone and I'm not an Esau, like I've got like markings of God's love through his discipline in my life. And it took, it's taken several years, but with, you know, kind of like what Ken was mentioning. I have grown to love the word of God because when I'm corrected or I'm disciplined, I can go there and I can get right. I can understand why this is happening. And I don't have to be left to try and being critical or figuring things out and I don't get it right still and I struggle with love and discipline. Like I'll be in the middle of discipline guys and I'm not kidding you. Like, it probably is a day later. I'm still looking back and saying that's what that was. Ok. I'm still learning.

I'm still figuring this out and it's for sure, gonna take some years ahead before I really understand more and more of God's love in that. But it, it has gotten so much better and, um, the time lapse, I would say in between that call it spinning out maybe where I'm trying to like figure out where God is and what he's doing has really decreased. And so I praise God for that. Yeah. Yeah. I had one story in my mind that kind of illustrates often how I handled discipline. Not well. Um So I remember this was probably, um man, I can't remember when this was, but I had this like pattern in my life where I would start feeling pretty good about my spiritual life and about my progress and my growth, you know, and I would start going, man, I think, like, I think I'm actually getting this, you know, because when God really shows you like, how messed up you are, that kind of sticks with you for a while and you just don't know, man.

Will I ever really know how to walk with God? So I would start kind of feeling, oh I'm like, I think I'm getting this and it was like, as soon as I started feeling that way, somebody would like, call me out for pride. So at one point, I said, all right, God, let me get this straight whenever I feel good and happy about where I'm getting, you just knock me down like what, why you just want me to feel miserable about myself all the time? OK. That's not my finest moment. But it was probably a couple of years after that. I, when I started seeing the pattern and started realizing, wow, God is saving me from myself. He's not trying to hurt me. He's trying to save me because that self-confidence and that self assuredness and that sense of, wow. I think I'm doing pretty good was not glorying in him. That was glorying in myself.

You know, and then, you know, on the flip side then you get corrected and you're just like, I'm miserable, I'll never get it. You know, I'm just a loser. I'm a failure. Ok. Wow. You know, that is just, that's just your wounded ego wanting to glory in yourself and being frustrated because you can't. You know, so it's like, wow, I just, I feel like I did so much of it wrong, but I think it's uh it's very similar to what you were saying, Gabe that the discipline of God is the love of God. It's a clear manifestation. I love you and I accept you. It's not rejection, it's acceptance. But yeah, man, that reorientation process to see his discipline correctly just takes a long time. OK? So let's talk about the flip side, maybe ways that we've learned to go through the process of death to self that are actually beneficial and Godly um instead of being totally just more self.

Well, for me, it's really been an attitude change. Um You know, when you're going through the pain of dying, dying is not fun, right? Like what's going on or whatever, just learning to do it by faith instead of unbelief. One of the biggest hindrances to me is just the idea of believing the lie that somehow what I have to give up or even my very life, you know what I want to hold on to is the primary thing. It's like the most important thing not realizing that what God wants to give me as I learn to die to myself is infinitely greater than anything. I'm losing. You know, the devil, the world, my flesh wants to tell me that what I have. My life is so valuable. I can't give it up, but it's actually nothing compared to a new life. God wants to give me in that. And then with that, you know, learning to be thankful even in the midst of that difficulty, even what in the middle of being disciplined or chastened or whatever. And it's having an eternal mindset, you know, Paul set our momentary light afflictions and I always loved that beaten shipwrecked, thrown in prison, you know, left stone, left, left for dead or whatever, all the things he went through and he had the audacity to say our momentary light afflictions what he was seeing, right?

Yeah. And unless we're, unless we're seeing her like that, then we're not seeing right? And just having that eternal mindset that what God is doing, even in a temporal sense, you know, the trade off of walking with the Lord and having him in my, my life is infinitely greater than anything I would gain by not dying to myself. And then with that, just that patient endurance, you know, the the joy of the Lord is my strength. It's easy to have joy when everything's going my way. But it's a, it's a manifestation of faith if I can learn to rejoice in the midst of that trial, like we're told to, knowing that what God is doing is gonna be worth it. You know, knowing that no matter how difficult or how painful it is to die to self. That God's perspective is number one, it's done in love. And number two, he has our best interest at heart. And you know, as I learn to die to myself, I get him. You know, the more I can get out of the way, the more he can come into my life and then I can be a blessing to other people. And I'm the one that's in the way of that. God always wants to bless people.

God always wants to love people. God always wants to come into a situation and have a positive impact and I am the one that's in the way. So that's not a bad thing if I get out of the way, right? What about you, Gabe? I can say that that part of dying to myself had to begin with me wanting to love Christ through it. It was not something that I could just by my own nature or thought, think this is going to be worth it. Dying to self really almost may forced me in a way to cross lines in my life, uh crossing lines of throwing things away that, I mean, maybe people would even consider good, but that was part of dying to myself was me acknowledging God as the lover of my soul and, and allowing him to tell me what he wanted and didn't want in my life.

And I would also add to that faith. Um faith is an, is a very important part uh to me of denying self and dying to self. And apart from that, we're all insane, right? I mean, what am I doing? You know, like, why am I giving up so much of what if this world has to offer? It could be true for me, apart from faith, I'm like, we're the craziest people you'll ever meet and it's all gonna be worth nothing at the end. But for me, faith was an essential part. It was a staple of really dying to self. And I had to believe it almost felt like, you know, people talk about getting on the edge of a cliff and kind of just falling. And I, I don't believe faith is that at all, but it has in some context, I understand what they were conveying. It has some application to dying to self because you can't, for me, I could not see why at that time I was getting rid of, you know, changing clothes.

You know, I cared about my looks. I cared about what other people thought of me and so a lot of things the Lord was putting right in front of me and saying this isn't pleasing to me anymore. And he was so gentle about it so gracious because it was an overflow of overwhelming like you're wrong in every area. I know it was, this is what we're work. I want to, I want you to handle with me next. And I had to believe him that me changing clothes or getting rid of music or stopping watching some even decent movies is by faith. Something that I'm saying to God. It's not for me, it's not to justify myself before God, but it's Lord, I love you. And this is my relationship with you and I'm willing, I will submit and I surrender. I'm willing to do what you ask of me. And so all of that to me and denying self and dying to myself has been a huge part. Those three things really. Um the humility, the repentance and the faith have been such a huge part of me growing and knowing Jesus, but also dying daily to myself.

I was very thorough. Thank you. I uh I, I only put a little thought into that. Um You mentioned faith, you mentioned faith. I'll talk about faith too and I don't know if this is gonna make sense to anybody, but maybe we'll see, maybe it'll resonate with some. Yeah, I, I also think that way um for me, the self denial and the, um, process of death, the self had to be faced in faith because, um, it's like when I looked into the kind of life, when I thought in my mind's eye, like, looked out into my future and I thought about the kind of life that would be required of me. I was like, there's no way I can do it. I can't do this. And even if I, and I think the other thing too is that the way it would come across kind of inside internally was even if I could do the actions, I wouldn't be doing it with the right heart and God's looking at the heart.

And so there's no way he's going to accept this like I can't do this, you know. And so it's like I would look out into my future with just an atmosphere of unbelief. Like I'm gonna do all this stuff. I'm gonna try and I'm gonna, I'm gonna try to die to myself. I'm gonna try to live a life of humility. I'm gonna try to live a life of service. I'm gonna try to live a life of obedience and I'm gonna fail and I'm not gonna have anything to show for, you know. So it's like, I'm, I'm, I, I was like stuck between a rock and a hard place because I can't just like, totally throw myself back into a life of sin. I know that that's not gonna work and I don't want to do that. But this life of self denial and following Jesus, I'm never gonna be able to do it myself anyway. And so it's like I'm just in this miserable place of can't do one, can't do the other. My life is over. And, um, so I think what I started to realize was that I have to face the Christian life in an atmosphere of faith that God wants me to overcome.

You know, he's not like setting this impossible bar out there in front of us and saying attain you losers. I know you're never gonna do it. He's not like that. He's not unkind, he's not cruel. He's, he's good. He's, he's like gracious. I mean, he literally gave his own life so that we could walk with him. So in my, in my life, as I make these, what seems like tiny little steps of obedience and self sacrifice, I have to believe that that is going to be acceptable and pleasing to him and that he's gonna train me in a life of self sacrifice and self denial, not just like say, do it or else but all right, son, today you learned a little lesson. Now, I'm gonna train you a little bit more. All right. So in 10 years and 20 years and 30 and 50 years, he's actually created in me, the kind of life that's pleasing to him. So that's where faith really came very like it had, it was absolutely essential because I was looking at a life that seemed to me to be impossible.

Um So that was really helpful. Ok. So let's last thing, an aspect of the Lord's character that has become really real to you and really precious to you as you've gone through this process of death itself. For me, it's kind of like a few things kind of mixed together, but really the Lord's kindness and you had alluded to that or just mentioned it earlier that, you know, God hasn't dealt with us like we deserve, you know, and it's amazing. And the other aspect was his humility and just a gentle way. He deals with us that God actually comes under me in my sinfulness, in my weakness and upholds me even through the process of his training as he's disciplining me as he's correcting me that he is right there. And it's amazing like when I thought he was gonna, you just like bash me or whatever, you know, I deserve this. You know, when he shows me what's wrong with me, he's done nothing but just be gracious and kind and come alongside it and help you to do the very thing he's asking you to do that.

I don't understand that type of humility like, you know, that that's amazing that he would have anything to do with me at all. But then to actually help me in my mess and work with me to bring about the very change that he's looking for, like you said, so that I become pleasing to him, not just in the fact that I'm accepted in Christ, but my lifestyle is pleasing to God. The way I think what I do, what I say, everything about me is being trained to be like Jesus. And it's actually Jesus ultimately doing the work in me and somehow getting me to cooperate. That's the amazing. It's like, how do you do that Lord to get an unwilling person willing and even in my stubbornness, even in my resistance, you're right there in your kindness and in your loneliness, upholding me through the whole process. It's amazing. That is amazing. Um I would say his mercy. Um Everything you said, Ken is so true. You know, his mercy is what I can say, compels me to want to live the rest of my life for him.

Um You know, kind of what Pastor Steve alluded to in his uh statement there. And even towards the end though, was really precious about how there will be a day where we cross over. And you know, I was reading in Galatians too about the freedom that we have and being dead to the world and being alive in Christ, we're free, I'm free and his mercy is what has freed me. And that day like when we cross over, I want to be able to look back and I want to be able to see the freedom that I was given was fully exercised on earth. Like I didn't miss a thing for him. I didn't fail in the sense of going back and doing things for myself, living my life. Like, you know, I'm not saying being perfect or anything like that, but it is a constant, like what you were saying earlier, just this persistent, ongoing, perpetual love for God that keeps you going and going and going and being able to look back and, and looking at the Lord and saying you from the freedom you gave me, I have lived a life like this and I see his mercy more clearly because of what he's done for me on the cross, the blood, he shed the forgiveness of all of my transgressions.

And there are many and to know now that it's not just this pardon, right? I see more clearly now and long to see more clearly, even still I have been received. And that receiving of being made into a sun has freed me from the bondage that I was once in. And I, I want to be able to look back and lay at his feet, all that I have been able to serve and do for him with the freedom that he's given me. I'd hate to have it mixed or mingled with the things that this world would offer when he's clearly showing and giving me freedom, mercy, to love him and to love others. And I will say this. That was the last thing that I would have been able to say even just a couple of years ago, his mercy. Um, it was, you know, so many different other characteristics, but as I have been able to know him more and draw more near to him and knowing him, his mercy is like the very thing that seems to be so bright and um I love that.

Um just getting to know him more in that. Yeah, I, I think probably over the last couple of years, the thing that has stood out to me the most about the Lord is how faithful he is. Um And I think it's mostly been revealed to me because of like all the things that we talked about, you know, that he has consistently shown me areas of my life that are not pleasing to him. And I have responded to those things in many sinful ways, you know, and I've failed in many ways in walking with him and his constancy in my life to be there despite the fact that I am so not perfect, I think has been really amazing to me because it's like maybe you can relate to this.

You start to realize, ok, I'm a Christian but I don't really know him, you know, I mean, in the way that I should, it's scary. Yeah, it like, ok, I can read all these things about him. But then when I'm confronted with my actual daily life. I realize I still got to learn, like, actually learn everything that I say. I believe. If I say he's faithful, I have to prove that in my daily life because I'm still kind of like, oh how is God gonna treat me? Or I can say that, oh, he's so loving, but then circumstances come up and you're like, why would he do this to me? You don't quite really know him. Um And so, yeah, his faithfulness is the thing that I've come to know because he's been this way with me when I've been a failure when I've been proud when I've just been like, so in the dark about what do I do? How do I live?

You know, like the struggles of the Christian life. He's never given up on me and he has so many reasons that he just could like, sorry, I put a lot into you and this is what I get. Yeah. Um I treat others that way at times. I mean, really, you know, man, I'm so thankful. He's not like that. He's not like that. And that's what's so amazing. Like you get, you start to get to know him and you start talking to people that have been through similar situations and you get to tell them I know how the Lord will treat you because I know what he's like, he's not gonna treat you the way you think he is. He's not like that. And it's just so I'm really grateful sitting and talking with you guys about going through this process of death to self, all the things that we learned, the treasures that the Lord puts into us through this process. And the thought that in 30 years, 50 years, 2000 years from now, the treasures that we will have in the Lord because of going through these processes.

It's a blessing. All right. thanks guys. Thanks for coming in. Thanks. There's a lot that I could say here at the end. But I think that I won't say much because we did an entire podcast series on this topic of self and pride. It's called exposing the root of all sin. So if you're interested, just look for episodes 4 21 through 4 30. All right, that's it. God bless. We'll see you next time. Purity for life is a production of pure life ministries for over 30 years. Pure life ministries has been the go to for those whose lives have been devastated by sexual sin. Visit us on the web for more information about our life, changing counseling programs and powerful teaching materials. Also check out our video clips of men and women whose lives have been radically transformed. All that and more at purelife Ministries 0.0 R G.

#500 - Babylon: Satan’s Kingdom of Pride
#500 - Babylon: Satan’s Kingdom of Pride
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