Conquer the Beast

Connecting Points

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Today’s Topic: Conquer the Beast

Today’s Text:  John 5:44 (ESV)  How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?   

 

The itch of self-regard craves the scratch of self-approval.

That opening line of today’s Solid Joys devotional (http://solidjoys.desiringgod.org/en ) by John Piper captured my attention. I kept reading.

That is, if we are getting our pleasure from feeling self-sufficient, we will not be satisfied without others seeing and applauding our self-sufficiency.

My heart was being pierced as I realized that the fierce beast of approval had appeared again and needed to be dealt with. You probably understand because this beast attacks all of us, and under the direction of the enemy of our souls he knows the perfect time to seek to devour us. He stalks us waiting for those moments of rejection and conflict, resulting in doubt of our identity. Immediately he is right there to convince us we are correct in our assessment of our worth. He offers us a solution that is ultimately destructive, but we choose the lure of the immediate that disguises the destructive outcome. We choose to seek self-approval.

The devotional continued.

This is ironic. Self-sufficiency should free the proud person from the need to be made much of by others. That’s what “sufficient” means. But evidently there is a void in this so-called self-sufficiency.

The self was never designed to satisfy itself or rely upon itself. It never can be sufficient. We are but in the image of God, not God himself. We are shadows and echoes. So there will always be an emptiness in the soul that struggles to be satisfied with the resources of self.

This empty craving for the praise of others signals the failure of pride and the absence of faith in God’s ongoing grace. Jesus saw the terrible effect of this itch for human glory. He named it in John 5:44, “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” The answer is, you can’t. Itching for glory from other people makes faith impossible… if you are bent on getting the satisfaction of your itch from the scratch of others’ acclaim, you will turn away from Jesus.

I immediately went to God’s truth. It was time to flush. ( https://lifelinkdevo.wordpress.com/2014/02/19/a-cleansing-word/ )

  • Colossians 1:11-14 (ESV) 11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
  • Titus 2:11-14 (ESV) 11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
  • 1 John 3:1 (NIV)  How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

 I belong to God through Jesus Christ my Lord. He has delivered me. He has redeemed me. He has qualified me. He has lavished love on me. I am His child. I need no other approval. I am zealous to do His work, and I am doing it.

Thank you Jesus for your grace.

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