In every age, God has His men, women and children who seek His heart, and not His hand alone. They long to be in His presence and stand before His throne in worship, desiring every thought, motive and action, to bring joy to the heart of God. They concur with the writer of Psalm 73 and say that ‘the nearness of God’ is their good.
Into this idyllic scene strides Self, bringing with him all his relations.
He marches up to the very throne of God, compares and then exalts his sacrifice to that of the Messiah, and demands that the glory be directed to himself.
Upon Self’s request, the humility of Christ causes Him to vacate the throne to the same self-nature He came to save us from, although the throne is painfully won and rightfully His.
We enthrone our Self, and if no other audience gathers to recognize our autonomous rule and dominion – we congratulate, applaud and admire the sovereign of our existence. Then in surprise and almost astonishment, we glimpse the back of the Lord Jesus as He exits the throne room of our life and wonder why He would not want to dwell in such a kingdom.
Self is crowned! Self-righteousness, self -confidence, self-pity, self-admiration, self-love and all their attendants glory in his dominion.
The nature of primary authority must admit only one ruler. God takes His leave in those areas of life that we choose to rule. Yet separation from His children causes deep sorrow and grief. We imagine that thoughts and actions of self-rule bounce off His ‘skin’ -simply because we find no personal offence in having these thoughts ourselves.
As AW Tozer, in his book ‘The Pursuit of God’ describes the veil that separates us from Gods presence. This veil…
“… is woven of fine threads of self life, the hyphenated sins of the human spirit. They are not something we do, they are something we are, and therein lies both their subtlety and their power.”
I used to think that Christ came to save me from the power of Satan. Although this is true, I realize that I must now add ‘Self’ to the list of beings that have set themselves up against the knowledge and reign of God in my own life.
Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.
Psalm 73:25, 27