Do you ever struggle with selfishness?
Selfishness is a sin that is common to man. The tendency usually takes a back seat, though, as we learn about who we are in Christ and the unbelievable goodness of God.
But in this learning and growing process, sometimes hidden lies we believe that fuel our selfishness must be exposed to free us fully from the chains of selfishness.
My version of selfishness was having my own agenda. That’s right. Doing my own thing.
I lived in the deception of “my own agenda.” I believed arrogantly that I knew better than God did. I did not trust Him and I did not submit to Him because I wanted to be in control. In my desire for control, I subconsciously planned to avoid reliving the traumas of my childhood.
Once the Holy Spirit began calling me to a deeper relationship with the LORD, I asked Him to expose the lie fueling my lingering selfishness. He answered me.
My coping mechanism of being in control, He showed me, blocked the Holy Spirit from leading and guiding and providing for me. Furthermore, in reality, my being in control was actually handing the reigns of my life over to Satan, who is the god of control (2 Cor. 4:4, 1 Peter 5:8).
That revelation opened the door for me to begin ruthlessly eliminating anything, and everything, that hindered my relationship with Him. Every step I took, I could detect more distinctly the sweet fragrance of freedom beckoning me.
Did you know that “Self rules” is the first tenet of Satanism?
That simple fact puts selfishness right in its place, doesn’t it?
Selfishness is an ugly deception. Selfishness is opposed to God. Opposed to His will. Opposed to His plans. Opposed to His purposes. Selfishness cannot please God and cannot walk with God.
In John 6:63 Christ said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh conveys no benefit [it is of no account].” We can see in this verse that the flesh “conveys no benefit” whatever. In other words, flesh is useless. A waste of time. A waste of energy. A waste of your life.
As believers, we know that Christ taught us to pray:
‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…”
How can we sincerely pray the LORD’S Prayer while subverting His will with selfishness?
The simple answer is that we can’t.
So what should we do? We can begin with authenticity, telling God that we are struggling with selfishness and need His help. He delights in honesty and in escorting a teachable heart out of a flesh pattern. He will certainly reveal to you the way out of yours.
Lay your heart open before Him. Let Him transform it. Be aware of new, and maybe unexpected, opportunities He gives you to take a new path. Get a prayer partner if need be. For healing, apply James 5:16 with a friend or small group. Be mindful not to confuse selfishness with loving and caring for yourself as God does ( Matt. 22:39) and applying healthy boundaries as Jesus did.
Remember- As a child of God, flesh is not who you are. Selfishness is not who you are. You are the new creation designed to partake in the divine nature (2 Cor 5:17, 2 Pet. 1:4). Truly, your flesh and selfishness are the sin principle at work (Rom. 7:17, 20).
Flesh works in unison with the spirit of antiChrist which operates in the world. Disassociate yourself from flesh and selfishness. They’re not who you are.
Your selfishness is not who you are, but it is a behavior that is attached to, and covering up, a lie that you believe (deep down) about God, yourself or your circumstances. It’s time to ask God, like I did, to expose the lie that keeps you believing that you must operate in selfishness.
Ask, seek, knock; sit, wait and listen out until He shows you (Luke 11:10). He is faithful (1 Thes. 5:24). It’s usually something so obvious we fail to see it. Ask Him to open your eyes.
Discovering the lie that drives the undesired behavior is like pulling a really scary mask off of a stranger at Halloween. You finally see the person’s face! Ahh! You see that it’s not all you thought it was. And that you don’t have to be afraid!
The smoke and mirrors are gone. The deception is exposed. The cause is revealed.
Maybe you’re struggling with trusting God to provide for you and take care of you? That’s understandable if you measure Him by your experience with fallen humans. That was my mistake. The problem with that estimate of Him is that He’s not fallen and He’s not merely human (Col.2:9).
Instead of judging Him by your experience with people, the LORD asks that you taste and see that the LORD is good (Ps. 34:8). Taste and see that He is better than the most perfect parent or friend you can imagine. Taste and see that He cares more for you than you do for yourself. Taste and see what’s it’s like to follow a strong, wise and loving Shepherd (Ps. 23).
When you realize who you are (Is. 53:6, Gal 6:15), you’ll know Who to follow (Ps. 23:1).
The final verdict is in. You are not your flesh. You are the divine nature, the new creation! You’re not “in you” anymore. You’re in Christ. And God is good! Ask Him to reveal the lie behind your selfishness (Ps. 51:6) pattern and lead you to feast on His goodness instead (2 Cor. 2:14a)
2 Corinthians 4:4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
John 6:63 Amp. It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh conveys no benefit [it is of no account]. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life [providing eternal life].
Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the Lord [our God] is good; How blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who takes refuge in Him.
Romans 7:17 Amp. So now [if that is the case, then] it is no longer I who do it [the disobedient thing which I despise], but the sin [nature] which lives in me.
Romans 7:20 Amp. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want to do, I am no longer the one doing it [that is, it is not me that acts], but the sin [nature] which lives in me.
Psalm 51:6 Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part [of my heart] You will make me know wisdom.
Romans 7:22 Amp. For I joyfully delight in the law of God in my inner self [with my new nature],
Galatians 6:15 Amp. For neither is circumcision anything [of any importance], nor uncircumcision, but [only] a new creation [which is the result of a new birth—a spiritual transformation—a new nature in Christ Jesus].
Ephesians 4:24 Amp. and put on the new self [the regenerated and renewed nature], created in God’s image, [godlike] in the righteousness and holiness of the truth [living in a way that expresses to God your gratitude for your salvation].
2 Peter 1:4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Amp. Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life].
Colossians 2:9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity (the Godhead) dwells in bodily form [completely expressing the divine essence of God].
Luke 11:10 For everyone who keeps on asking [persistently], receives; and he who keeps on seeking [persistently], finds; and to him who keeps on knocking [persistently], the door will be opened.
1 Thessalonians 5:24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
2 Corinthians 2:14a But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession
Matthew 22:26-40 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 And Jesus replied to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as you do yourself .’ 40 The whole Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments.”
Psalm 23 The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me],
I shall not want.
He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still and quiet waters.
He refreshes and restores my soul (life);
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the [sunless] [a]valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You have anointed and refreshed my head with [b]oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the house and in the presence of the Lord.