Posted by: Rina | November 5, 2009

The Exaltation of Self

“For whoever exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  (Luke 14:11)

Selfishness has always been and still remains the central concept of satanism.  Charles Spurgeon once wrote, “It is ever the Holy Spirit’s work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus; but Satan’s work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ.” (1)  The focus on self, either how wonderful or how worthless, is still a focus on self.  This focus is a strategy of the enemy and is a leading cause of depression and other afflictions.

In dealing with psychiatric patients for the last four years, I have noticed one common denominator between my patients.  The constant focus on self.  This blocks us off from the flow of God.  Bill Johnson describes this type of self-focus, “It’s a perversion of true holiness when introspection causes my spiritual self-esteem to increase, but my effectiveness in demonstrating the power of the gospel to decrease.” (2)  The spiritual focus on self does not yield the fruit of the Kingdom.

Whatever occupies the majority of our thinking is what we are worshipping.  When the entire focus of our mental energy is on self, self-worship becomes our religion.  Satan has sought from the beginning to get humans to exalt themselves above God.  He has sought to establish his church through the worship of self.  Think of the dialogue between Eve and the serpent in the garden.

“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.  And he said to the woman, ‘Has god indeed said, “You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”  And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’  then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You shall not surely die.  For God know that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  So, when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise,     she took of its fruit and ate.  She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.     (Genesis 3:1-6)

First, the enemy suggests “God is telling you a lie.”  This plants seeds of unbelief regarding God’s commandments.  Secondly, the serpent lies and accuses God of oppressing them and keeping them from obtaining all of their potential.  Her soul has become convinced that God has been oppressing her from a greater destiny. The serpent accuses, “He is holding you back from your true potential.”  Lastly, you can be your own god.  The serpent’s council was ‘you will be like God’.  What a lie!  Notice the extreme focus on self.  satanism, as a religion is founded on the worship of self.  The high holy day in satanism, is your birthday.  “The highest ritual holiday is the member’s birthday.” (3).  The majority of satanism is not the black-mass, urine baptism, etc… it is simply the worship of self.  Satan has always attempted to get us focused on self.  The focus on self opens the door for jealousy, anger , resentment and envy.  The enemy knows that when humans disbelieve God, they will destroy themselves.  Tragically, this has been an effective strategy for the forces of hell.  Fear is not from God, we have not been given fear, we have been given love, and power, and a sound mind. (2 Tim 1:7)

Saul was focused on self.  He was never focused on anything except exalting himself and his kingdom.  Because this was his focus, he was riddled with jealousy, fear, and anger.  This also opens him up for a demonic attack.  We read in scripture:

“So the woman sang as they danced and said: ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.’ Then Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him; and he said, ‘They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed only thousands.  Now what more can he have but the kingdom?’ And it happened on the next day that the distressing spirit from God came upon Saul…”  (1 Samuel 18:7-10)

It was the next day, that the onslaught of the enemy began against Saul.  Saul was only focused on preserving his own kingdom.  Saul knew that God had called David to be king (1 Sam 20:31) and that David was a threat to his rule.  If Saul was focused on God, he would have stepped down as ruler.  Instead, Saul was going to kill David to preserve his own kingdom.  The same principle is evident in the life of King Herod when he attempted to destroy Messiah to protect his own kingdom.  This focus on self and the intent to destroy the plans of the Lord illustrate the spirit of the antichrist.  The anti-Christ spirit is rooted in selfishness.  In the end, Saul was handed over to the tormentors until he takes his own life.  Saul had been given a new heart by God (1 Samuel 10:9), he was filled with the Spirit (1 Samuel 10:10), but his continual focus on self distorted all of his gifts.

Selfishness distorts our giftings and leads to our own demise.  Kris Vallotton writing about the distortion of these gifts states, “Suspicion is the gift of discernment being used by the sprit of fear.  It leads to bitterness, un-forgiveness, and torment, and it results in our going into a spiritual prison where all guards work for the dark side.  The spirits who guard the walls of this prison have names like sickness, depression, hatred, and murder.” (4).

Humility is the other kingdom principle that defeats self-exaltation.  Humility before God comes from the brokenness of self.  When one is broken before God and admits that in their own power they can neither become holy nor accomplish the kingdom destiny, they humble themselves before God and say, “Not my power but yours.”  In humility, we ask for knowledge of God’s will and the power to carry it out.  God does all the work through us.  He only needs us to be a willing vessel and He will accomplish His purposes through us in His Power and not that of ourselves.  Once the Lord has accomplished His goals through us, He gives us the credit for it.

Humility is evident in the life of young King David.  Before slaying Goliath, David tells King Saul, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” (I Samuel 17:37).  David was a man who was killing lions and bears with the implements of a shepherd.  In actuality, it was David’s faith in God that sent David running after bears and lions to rescue his sheep.  After God had destroyed the lion and the bear, David got all the credit for it.  The same was true with the slaying of Goliath. All Israel thought David had killed Goliath when David himself readily admits, “Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with the sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.” (I Samuel 17:47)  It was David’s humility before God that gave David great victories.  It was God working through David’s faith in Him and then David getting the credit for what God had done.

Endnotes

1.  Spurgeon, Charles Haddon, Morning and Evening Daily Readings, Grand Rapids, MI, Zondervan Publishing House, printed 1962, page 360.
2.   Johnson, Bill, When Heaven Invades Earth A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles,  Destiny Image Publishers, Inc. 2003, page  147.

3.  Information regarding birthday as the high holy day found at page 48.
http://members.cox.net/lop1/SRAcalendar.html

4.   Vallotton, Kris, and Johnson, Bill, The Supernatural Ways of Royalty, Destiny Image Publishers, Inc. 2006, page 48.

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