Oh, how the cunning serpent slithered his way into the hearts of Adam and Eve! He made a promise of life, to “be like God,” but he could not deliver on his promise (See Genesis 3:2-8). The life the devil promised lead only to death . . . it always has and it always will.
Adam and Eve were made in the image of God; they were his image-bearers. But evidently they were not satisfied with being made in the image of God; they wanted to be God. They traded the worship of the Creator for the worship of the created thing—themselves—and sent all of humanity into a hideous, downward death-spiral. They forgot who they were and what they were created for. Our first parents had “identity amnesia” and bought into a lie that they could live a life of autonomous independence apart from the One who created them. To be sure, this was both foolish and fatal!
Satan’s False Promise
The devil is still busily working to sell his lie to those who have been re-created in Christ. He promises that we can step outside of our relationship with our Redeemer and find more life. He tempts us to believe that we can find in created things what only the Creator can actually give. We begin to look for financial security in our finances instead of looking to the One who give us the ability to get wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18).We begin to look for good health in our nutrition and exercise program instead of looking to the One who holds our lives in his hand (Daniel 5:23).We begin to look for purpose in our work instead of the One who is our purpose (John 14:6). How quickly we forget that the Lord is our only security, health and purpose on this side of the grave!
But this is not for you. On the cross, Jesus crushed the enemy—and along with him, the promise of life that delivers only death. Because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, we no longer have to define ourselves horizontally. In other words, we no longer look to created things (finances, physical appearance, possessions, relationships, etc.), to get what only the Creator is able to give to us. Everything smaller than Jesus is fool’s gold, which looks valuable on the surface, but in reality is worthless and leaves us poor, blind and naked.
Jesus is the only One big enough to meet you in your place of every need. He is big enough in our marriages. He is big enough in our parenting. He is big enough in our professions. He is big enough in our recreation. He is big enough in our storms. Jesus promises more and delivers more than he promises. He dismantles our walls of self-protection and erects walkways of self-sacrifice. His history-changing death on the cross makes possible the life-changing death to self, which frees us to live for something bigger and better—and his name is Jesus Christ.
Only in his willingness to die do we find life. His death is life, and the death of the self he calls us to is the abundant life. We will never find life apart from our relationship to the One who created us. Because we have been created by God for God, we will only find true life when we are living in God. As we continue to surrender and submit to his control in our lives, he frees us from the control of the things that were never created to control us.
A full life was never intended to be found in anything smaller than Jesus. Every time we put the creation in the place of our Creator we find ourselves living a life that is no bigger than the life we are living. Rather than being an abundant life, lived out for the glory of our Savior King, it becomes an atrophied life, devoid of every lasting joy we were created to experience.
So . . . who and what have you been living for lately? Funny thing about living for Jesus; the more we die to the self, the more life we actually find!
This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!
Tommy Boland is the Senior Pastor of Cross Community Church in Deerfield Beach. Worship services are held on Saturdays at 6pm and Sundays at 10:30am., at 841 S.E 2nd Ct., Deerfield Beach. The church website is www.thecrosscc.org. For more articles by Dr. Tommy Boland, visit goodnewsfl.org/tommy-boland.