Your mind is a field in which truth or non-truth will be cultivated. If you do nothing, lies will root and weeds will grow. You will begin to believe things that are not true just as man has been tempted to do since the beginning of time. You will begin to believe yourself wiser than God and in need of no higher authority beyond yourself.
Consider however the possibility that the Bible is not merely an outdated text, but is rather the sustaining truth of life provided to us by our everlasting God whose perfect words were penned by imperfect authors, and then preserved for thousands of years that we might know and live by them.
And then consider Peter’s words, which is to say God’s words, and His directives:
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
He [the devil] was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9
Lies exist and a foremost liar exists, and he seeks to feed your and my deceit-prone hearts.
Being Wrong, Feeling Right
Like you, I like to think myself right. I like to make good points and make profound observations. In writing, I often have to be reminded that my words apart from God’s truth hold little authority. Pridefully, I want to be right and I want to take credit, and it is in this spirit of self-adulation that I am most vulnerable to the enemy’s lies that seek to feed my high view of self.
You are probably not much different.
Therefore, because we are sin-inclined sinners, we must be sober-minded and watchful. We must identify and refute falsehoods be they blatant or whispered to us from the dark recesses of our own minds.
This applies in many ways. I can think of two.
Lost in Self-Deprecation
But [Moses] said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” Exodus 4:13
In the church and among some of God’s most equipped believers, you will find many able workers who, maybe because of their sins or circumstances, think themselves unable to do that which God would have them do. They do not often admit themselves as believers because they are too overly concerned with their own crimes. They are too embarrassed by their struggles to suggest anyone do anything, let alone submit themselves to the same God.
Though saved by Christ, they are those who have been unfaithful. The divorced. The vengeful. The murderers and the abusers. They are thieves and liars. They have records and they have scars; some self-inflicted. They are sinners no more or less in need of God’s grace than are you or I, but they are enveloped in disgust at the things they have done, so much so that they often cannot comprehend how God could ever use them to his glory and for their good.
Praise God though that he does not depend on our being good enough to do his work in and thorough us.
Like any lie useful to the devil, the notion that you are insufficient–that you are not good enough–bears some truth. Alone, you are not! Apart from Christ you can do nothing of eternal value, and in isolation you will falter.
For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… Romans 3:22-23
But it is in our weakness that “[God’s] grace is sufficient for you” (2 Cor 12:9), so that you may do the work of the Father into whom, through Christ, you have been grafted.
Therefore, if this sounds like you, I humbly encourage you to repent. Christ’s offering at the cross was wholly sufficient, and though we should lay down our lives, we need not lay before the cross our shame and our guilt thinking it necessary for our salvation. You have been forgiven. Deal with it, friend. Like Paul, you too have an obligation to the unsaved, and while remorse for your sins is right and understandable, you do have the right to opt out of the good work to which you have been called because you think your sins are too great. Though serious, your sins are not that special.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
Lost in Self-Glorification
Conversely, you are also not that awesome.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. Romans 12:3
Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord , and turn away from evil. Proverbs 3:7
Our Father is as rightly confronting and challenging as he is comforting. That you are not always right and that the Holy Spirit would make that known to you should be of great comfort to you. You are not God, and your truth is full of holes.
Given the opportunity and put in the proper circumstances, you are capable of greater evils than you think. That thing you could never do–you could. You just may not know it yet. And hopefully you never will. But if God is good (and he is), be humbled knowing that God may use your sinful heart as a means of revealing to you how imperfect and in need of him you really are, not that you would live in shame, but humility. I pray that it not what God deems necessary for you, but if it saves you, then let it be so.
Pray this prayer then, knowing that it may be answered and that it may hurt, but for your good:
Father, forgive my pride. Complete in me the work that needs to be done. Give me the strength to endure the death I need to die that I may live in you. Break me where I need to be broken, that you would be glorified, and sinners like me would be saved. Amen.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10
Freed then from both lies that would lead you to believe yourself too much or too little, too wise or too wretched, go therefore and make disciples, equipped with the truth or God, humbled by a proper view of self, and not in search of freedom but on mission in freedom; for the freedom of others.
And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20