There’s an old movie that I recall that I think will start this point off well. Doctor Jykle and Mister Hyde. If you have never seen the movie it showed two completely different sides of the same man. Isn’t, what we call Christianity somewhat the same way? We live in a body of sinful flesh but, at the same time we have the actual Spirit of God living within this sin cursed body. The objective is to allow the Holy Spirit of God to be seen above the sinful flesh that we live in.
On of the first and foremost problems I see with this scenario is how each individual defines what the spirit of God is and how we react to the voice we hear from within. My quest here is to place thought on what is truthfully real whether we like it or not. One of the first things that pops to my mind is a verse of scripture we see in the Bible. ( 2 Peter 1:20-21 ) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. ( 21 ) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
If you will notice; the key words here are ( Holy Ghost ). That is singular, it’s not but one. Therefore, if we say we are born again, washed in the blood of Jesus Christ then, that one single Spirit is going to teach each of us the very same thing, if we are willing to hear him. There is no private interpretation., meaning; I cannot create or form my own opinion, neither can any religion or denomination. Do we have a problem with that fact? First of all, let me ask you a question. Right this minute, do you feel you are where God would have you be in a spiritual light? Do you ever consider that fact? Most people, Just like me, have a mindset that if every person were just as they were then the world would be perfect. We don’t say that but, we live like that would be the case. In reality, within that statement lies the true problem. All of us are just alike, there is no difference. Help me LOrd, to realize that if all men were like me, then all would be sinners.
I often use the metaphor of a choir. A new choir director takes charge of the choir we are in. He lays out a set of guidelines that we must obey if we desire to sing in the choir he directs. We all think about it, realize we truly want to sing in the choir so, we decide to submit to his guidelines. Neither one of us are any closer to God, as led by God’s Spirit are we? We simply know what it takes to satisfy a choir director. Isn’t the average Church setting the same way? We all look good to one another but we are not led by God’s Spirit. We are uniform but not in unity of the Spirit of God. It’s not that it’s not a good thing to have guidelines to go by but, rather that we understand where we are in the spiritual light of the gospel; that’s important. Far too we often we leave that aspect of our life completely untouched, as long as we are pleasing the people around us.
I once told a young person that had parents that were faithful to the Church they attended, if you, as a young person ever choose to get right with God then, your parents or the Church they attend probably won’t like you very much. That wasn’t meant to be derogatory toward his parents or anyone but rather, to shed light on the general mindset of most people.
I see this as a great problem within our societies. We can’t see the spiritual darkness that we are in because we confuse the satisfaction with others with the mindset of God, we don’t know the difference. I’m afraid we are in for a rude awakening when we stand before God.
Let me share a true story with you to make the point. As a child growing up, my mom took my sisters and I to a little local Church. My dad hardly ever went with us and, he also had some characteristics that were not very Godly. These things were defining. It was a contrast between what my mom was and what my dad was. My mom was a leader in our Church, even became Sunday School superintendent at a later point .
As we all grew up we began to visit another Church as their children. This Church was Spirit filled and the pastor preached with the power of God on him. Finally, my whole family actually became members of this Church, even my dad.
One night in a business meeting, my mom started to raise her hand to gain the floor. My dad softly laid his hand on hers and said to her in a soft voice; I’ll handle this Margaret. For the very first time in my life my dad had began to take the spiritual helm of the household. My mom, well, she didn’t like that, even missed the next service. I stopped by to visit her the night after she missed service and told her I missed her at Church last night. I could tell she was still upset.
This is what I told her: I said mom. I’ve seen the time you would give your right arm to see what you seen last night. Now that it’s happened, dad has began to be a spiritual man, you don’t like the fact you don’t have that control. I also said; I tell you what, you just stay at home if that’s what you want to do, I just walked out and left. The next meeting she was back in Church and never missed again that I remember. I’m sure there were struggles but it’s a learning process to seek to be in God’s will. The point is we are satisfied with saying we are Godly as long as we don’t have to change anything, You see what I mean?
One might ask if I believe it’s wrong for a woman to speak in Church? Actually that’s beside the point. I really don’t see a problem with it but, even if I said I did that neither makes me right or wrong. It’s the leadership of the Spirit that My desire is to get you to see. If you simply chooses sides with what I think you still don’t know how God fells about the issue. That’s why I say we become our own worst enemy. We never truly seek to know truth. We fall into the trap of the world and simply follow what a pastor teaches or, a denomination or religion.
What is the beginning of the cure for the sickness we have? It is the understanding that we have a disease. That disease is sin. If we cannot see ourselves in the condition we are in then we can’t see that we need help. Once we see our sickness then we must understand where we find the cure and seek that cure. We become our own worst enemy when we look as good as everyone around us and assume we are cured of the sin disease because of what we see or hear around us.
( Luke 18:11 -13 ) The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. ( 12 ) I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I possess. ( 13 ) And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
We all are just like the publican, beginning with me. This publican seen very well the sin disease he had and understood the cure for that disease, so to speak. The Pharisee had become: ( His own worst enemy ). Not because the cure for his sin disease could not be cured but, because he couldn’t his need for a cure.
On a personal note; I’ve been on both side of that coin. Even now, as a born again believer; I have self righteous tendencies. I am nothing more than a publican, unworthy of anything from God the Father. However, it’s very easy to become ( my own worst enemy ) because of the weakness of my flesh.
I love the study of God’s word and, I also love to teach his word. Does that mean that I’m always correct in what I teach? The truth is; the more I study, the more I realize that I don’t have all the answers. Remember? I said that if you are born again, then you have the same Spirit within you that I have. That means, you can teach me as well. The day that I stop hearing you and researching what you have to say is the day I once again ( become my own worst enemy ).
Sometimes, God the Father, by his Spirit has to gently lay his hand on mine and remind me, Just wait a minute son, I got this. It’s nothing wrong with having a great passion for sharing God’s word and seeking truth but we, ( I ) must never forget that God, through his Spirit is the only true teacher and he knows all the answers. I just need to stop being ( my own worst enemy ), die to myself and, hear him, especially when he is speaking through someone else.
I’m a piece of clay on a potter’s wheel. I often teach that salvation is in all three tenses. Past, present and future. I have been saved from the penalty of sin. It’s under the blood of Christ. That’s ( past tense ). I am being saved from the practice or presence of sin in my life. ( present tense ) And one day I will be with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, my salvation will be complete. ( Future Tense )
As I seek to ( not ) be ( my own worst enemy ) I am often reminded of these verses. ( Romans 12:1-3 ) I beseech ye therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service. ( 2 ) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. ( 3 ) For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
As I seek to yield my body to Christ, which I truly believe is a very reasonable expectation. As I try not to conform to this world but have a desire to be transformed by allowing God to renew my mind; I also always try to remember that I’m just a sinner, no better than any other person and, when I think I am them I am less than I should be in Christ.
All this is a part of seeking not to ( become my own worst enemy ). Lord, Help me to teach but, not only to teach but allow myself to be taught. Help me to have a listening hear and a yielding heart, to every person that speaks. Help me to exort people with my words yet, teach with the power of your grace and wisdom. Teach me, O Lord, to learn from each person that speaks, to have discernment to know right from wrong as I hear teaching and study your word. Help me to be transformed by ther renewing of my mind to be all God desires me to be.
Help me not to be ( my own worst enemy ) in Jesus Name. Amen