Thank you to brother Marlin for sharing his heart with this writing. I pray that the manifold grace of God is also received by you –
Do you remember the moment that God first spoke to your heart and convicted you of your sin? Well, I will never forget the night the Lord opened my eyes to who and what I really was. For twenty-one years I had convinced myself that I was a sure enough decent fellow, “a good ole boy,” you know. My parents had raised me with manners and respect for others and I figured that was good enough.
When I was living a life full of selfish desires and a believer questioned my lifestyle, my first response was, “Who are you to judge?!” or “Who that is without sin may cast the first stone!” Basically, I used their belief against them in order to evade the truth that they spoke. It was an attempt at making them the scapegoat for my sin. This scripture was front and center in my life:
Romans 1:21-25 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
The fact is, I played a dangerous game of evading because the pride of life does not like wrongdoing to be revealed. The challenge is that my pride and self-serving ideologies did not make the truth all of a sudden untruth. It was merely scapegoating to keep myself puffed up and feeling ok in my sin – turning the truth into a lie. The problem with this is that I was holding onto the lie (the sin). It’s an attempt to remove my sin from the spotlight so I could feel better.
What is found in the midst of this is a portion of the gospel at work. My conscience bared witness to the truth and it made me uncomfortable. It did not feel good to be revealed, thus I glorified Him not as God, but became vain in my imaginations. My heart was darkened and was blinded by stinking pride. When truthfully examined, I wanted this feeling taken away. The only way I knew how to do this was to make someone else the problem. It’s evading, scapegoating.. It’s a redirection tactic to take the sin and try to make it the problem of someone else. This is exactly what I am attempting in such a situation –
Leviticus 16:8-10 And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.
It is an attempt to get rid of my sin by making someone else the scapegoat. It goes like this in my member: The truth of God hits, it’s uncomfortable, there is a need to eliminate this uncomfortable feeling, and I play the evading game by making another person or circumstance the scapegoat. “He/She made me…”, “Well, if this thing would not have happened..”, “You’re just acting all holier than thou!”, “Judge not!”, “Who is without sin may cast the first stone!”.. or, in simpler/more accurate terms: “I chose to act in this manner and instead of confessing my wrongdoing (humility/agreement with God), I’m scapegoating/evading the truth (pride/disagreement with God).” The problem with this is that it’s deception at its finest. I’m trying to cover my sin by using justifications v. agreement with the truth. We end up deceiving ourselves. We are trying to cover our sin through deceptive means. This is an internal spiritual response to the Light hitting our darkened areas, but we end up trying to atone for our wicked wrongdoings ourselves by hiding it and making someone else/something else the scapegoat.
There is only one Real Scapegoat.. His name is Jesus Christ. This Scapegoat takes our sin and replaces it with His Righteousness. The real Scapegoat has taken the sin –
John 1:29 The next day John seen Jesus coming unto him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.
Reader, if you believe in God, please examine yourself. Our pride will deceive us. I’ve done it, many others have done it, and Jesus has healed us of our blindness. There is a point of breaking through the pride and being humble.. being truthful. When we think we are above this and/or we think we are not partaking in this lie, we are blinded. Ask Christ to help with the correct vision. It takes humility.
In summary, God is Light. The Light is Truth. The Truth has been revealed in the Word of God/Jesus Christ. When the Light hits our darkness, it doesn’t feel good. At this moment, we want this not-so-good-feeling taken away, thus we must take action to cover it. We can only choose 1 of 2 paths to appease the conscience:
- Disagree with the Light – Remaining blind, full of self, pride, etc. We ultimately end in an attempt to fulfill the gospel ourselves by making someone else or something else the scapegoat. Fully evading the real Truth of the matter, which is the fact that we have incorrectly exercised our free will.
- Agree with the Light – Humbling ourselves, confessing and repenting of our sins, and trusting in Jesus as our Scapegoat.
1 John 1:5-10 This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and are not in the truth: But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
I highly recommend this book – The People of the Lie. –
A predominant characteristic of the behavior of those I call evil is scapegoating. Because in their hearts, they consider themselves above reproach, they must lash out at anyone who does reproach them. They sacrifice others to preserve their self-image of perfection. The evil do not serenely bear the trial of being displeasing to themselves. In fact, they don’t bear it at all. And it is out of their failure to put themselves on trial that their evil arises. – M. Scott Peck
During the past few weeks, the Lord has consistently brought across my path a common theme – Beware of the Philosophy of Man. In this context, the term “man” is defined as the ways and ideas of the world. The flesh. It can also be defined as the ways of our own thoughts, which are stemmed from the fleshly nature of man, i.e. self-reasoning.
Here are the main verses that He has placed upon my heart. There is much food for the soul in these verses, I pray for eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to receive.. in the name of the Lord our Righteousness, Jesus Christ, amen –
Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Thank you friend for helping to draw this out of my heart..
It seems people wonder why I do what I do. I guess they wonder why I post on Facebook or why I post blogs. I’m sure it wouldn’t be an issue if it wasn’t for the content of my posts. Some may say I should give it a rest. Some may ask why I don’t have anything else I could talk about. Someone may even go as far as to say that I should just stop because no one cares. Some may say that no one wants to hear it. Others have gone as far to verbalize it, ‘Jesus Freak’, ‘Religious’, ‘part of a cult’, ‘Crazy’, ‘a fanatic’, or the ever popular, ‘holier than thou’. Holier than thou I am not.. and very far from being perfect. So why do I do what I do? Why is the majority of what I communicate about Jesus Christ? Well, my life isn’t very interesting. There isn’t much going on in my personal life that deserves to be mentioned. The one thing that is worthy of talking about is Jesus Christ.
Are you ready for this Christian soldier? Buckle up the belt of Truth. We’re gonna get into some good tactics here. Regardless if we like it or not, we’re in the midst of spiritual warfare. The main battlefront of this war is our mind and the winner wins the soul. It’s time to get tactical and understand the tactics of the enemy in this spiritual war. I pray this lesson from God will help us all fight the good fight. First and foremost, let us get our armor on –