October 6 - The Self and the World
Self-centeredness is still the major cause of all sins in our lives. If our self is there, we cannot take in all the fullness of Christ but have to take things from the world and from the devil. This buffet type of Christianity often leads to Christian syncretism or Christian humanism. When the self invites and welcomes things that are not from Christ, the Christian would not be satisfied but always be in wanting because we still do not have the whole fullness of the deity in Christ.
In order to receive the fullness of Christ, we must subject our self to the cross again and again, to do the circumcision without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ. In the rite of baptism, we have declared that we have died with Him on the cross, thus allowing the resurrection power of God to come into our lives. When we are filled in Him, there is no need for anything else for Christ is our all sufficiency.
On the other hand, if we are not filled in Him, empty places are still in different parts of our lives, requiring our constant attention. This is when the things of the world would become very appealing to us. Humanistic philosophies as empty deceit, human traditions according to the elemental spirits of the world, begin to make sense to us. We are drawn to those things that claimed to fill our voids. There is no need for God’s forgiveness for there is no sin or rebellion to talk about. Many just uphold God’s love but not His righteous demands.
Under such a spiritual condition, Christians would turn legalistic and ritualistic, doing things just to pacify their conscience and to show off their spirituality. They put on rules and regulations about food and drink, festival, new moon or Sabbath. They insist on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about dreams and visions, puffed up without reason by their sensuous mind, drifting further and further away from the Head, Jesus Christ. This kind of religion is self-made, its observance is to satisfy the demands of the flesh and not Christ. We begin to do those things because they make us feel good and significant.
What is at the center of your faith? If it is not Christ, then it must be you. Idolatry is to invite other powers to serve the self and Christ could just be one of the many idols in your life. Do you go to the world for answers instead of going to Christ? Is Christ meeting all your needs or you are dependent on something else to fill your life’s voids? When things of the world begin to make sense to you, watch out! Ask Christ to circumcise you with His circumcision now. May all ideas and thoughts that have their origin in the flesh be cut off by the power of Christ. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal these things to you as you do so.
Ps 109:16-31 Jer 6:15-8:7 Col 2:8-23 Prov 24:26