Sunday, January 17, 2010
My wife and I were listening to the mid week Into The Wild pod cast from the Free Believers Net work entitled Rebuilding Self-Esteem as she was driving me to the hospital for an appointment, you can if you like, listen to it here.
What I want to share here in light of listening and not agreeing with pretty much most of what was being shared, is hopefully going to shed some light on this whole thang dealing with self-esteem.
It seems that because of the blindness in us all especially dealing with the self, there is an impetus behind the scenes working most clandestinely usually keeping us oblivious to any inkling of its insidious affect upon our seeing straight.
After listening to the aforementioned pod cast, I want to point you to a few thoughts by Oswald Chambers, you can read them here. And Every Virtue We Posses.
I’m going to include a few thoughts from a brother who wrote a book a number of years ago entitled “Christ-Esteem, (Where the Search For Self-Esteem Ends) and how this, along with what Oz shares is most elucidating.
"Most Christians today do not realize how important weakness, failure, discouragement, disappointment, suffering, testing, and trials are in the development of their Christian life. Through these dealings of God our natural sinful pride is being dealt with. God calls us away from ourselves so that through burying, rejecting, and denying self we may turn in faith unto our Lord Jesus and experience life, peace, joy, and power. The apostle Paul wrote, “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
The Real Enemy
Even though the Bible clearly teaches that every branch that bears fruit gets pruned and that “the Lord disciplines those he loves,” many Bible teachers today promote the heresy that Jesus has taken upon himself all the dealings of the Father so that we might experience his positive blessings, be enlarged, and be comfortable and prosperous in this world. They fail to recognize that we are the problem and God’s purpose is to daily deliver us to the work of the cross so that we might leave self behind. Those who offer this teaching to the church are thereby confirming the children of God in childish immaturity.
Because of this error, many Christians have failed to learn the value of the disciplining work of God and never come to the place of turning away from self. Rather, contrary to his will, they seek God to enlarge and prosper self. For this reason, they never mature in their relationship with God nor discover all their sufficiency in Christ Jesus. They are unable to understand how it is that they can experience various sufferings and even be allowed to fall into sin. Even though they go through their ritualistic binding of the devil and confess the positive promises of the Word of God, nothing works. This seductive “faith teaching” is embraced by many Christians. It is far more popular to blame the devil than to see yourself as the cause of your own problems. To claim “the devil made me do it” is a cop-out.
In dealing with Christians, the devil does not operate through direct confrontation. While he is shrewdly working behind the scenes, the manifest enemy is not the devil, but our sinful, self-centered, and proud human existence. In the Garden of Eden, it was not the purpose of the devil to tempt Eve to make a choice between worshiping him and worshiping God. Eve would have never given into that temptation. The choice was between human pride—the desire to be like God—and worshiping and serving God himself. After Adam and Eve fell into sin, the devil drops out of the picture. You hear very little about him in the Old Testament. Once man is corrupted and turns in on himself, he will disobey God and destroy his fellowman without the devil reminding him to do so.
When Jesus determined to do the will of his Father in heaven and thereby deny his life, the devil appeared on the scene. The three temptations that he used in the wilderness against Jesus were not directed at committing and great sins against God but were temptations directing Jesus to live unto himself, to be concerned with his own comforts, and to preserve his own life.
Many people are concerned today by the increase in occult activities and the growing popularity of Satan worship. While these activities are certainly dangerous and destructive they also serve as a smoke screen blinding us to the real enemy in the church which is self-esteem, positive confession, and positive-self-image teaching. These teachings seduce the people of God into focusing their attention upon enlarging themselves, feeling good about themselves, and even in some situations, desiring to be like God. Many people today have fallen into this snare of the devil.
The devil doesn’t care how religious we are as long as we live for ourselves, remain consciously wrapped up in ourselves, try to feel good about ourselves, and cover up the nakedness of empty, meaningless lives through a spiritual charade. Martin Luther wrote concerning self-indulgence and human pride: “Against this secret villain we must pray God daily suppress our self-esteem.”