God’s Response to My Defiance
Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me… to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind…
Yesterday, I wrote of my willful defiance of God. I used painful language that may have been offensive, but I must ask, Which is more offensive, the language I used or my actual defiance of God? When I realize that God’s response to my rebellion is to offer forgiveness through the death of Jesus, I must understand that I am partly responsible for that death. I did not literally drive the nails and He did not die for me alone, but his crucifixion was in response to my rebellion.
In our pursuit of self, we all become me-addicts, enslaved to our own desires. We indulge in our own pride, appetites, anger, lust, greed, or status, to our own destruction. In our addiction, we cannot pursue God. We all turn our backs on him in preference to self. God certainly allows us to suffer consequences, but his response is not to abandon us to our destruction. Instead, in his love, He has gone to great lengths to return us to a right relationship with him.
Jesus, in this passage, quotes Isaiah in explaining his purpose, to proclaim liberty to the captives. He did not come to earth to free literal political captives. He came to set us free from our selves. He came, in response to our defiance and destruction, to offer us a way out. We would be lost, separated from God without him, but He came to earth, to proclaim good news to the poor.
When I found myself utterly addicted to my own destructive desires, I finally saw my need for God. It was only in allowing me to know the results of pursuing self, that He could get through to me. In that moment, I realized that as God had gone to great lengths to pursue me, I needed to respond by doing whatever it takes to abandon self and follow him.
If you are sick of yourself, if you cannot stop pursuing your own destruction and if you are tired of the consequences of being a me-addict, then God is reaching out for you. He is offering good news, freedom and healing. God loves you and longs for you to live in right relationship to him.
He offers the only adequate response to the problem of me. I could have found other ways to stop abusing pills. I could have moved to a desert island where no pills existed, but that would not have solved the problem of me. It would not have freed me from self and would not have returned me to right relationship with God.
God’s response to our defiance is not to smite us, but to forgive us and set us free. We do not need to live any longer in slavery and pursuit of destruction. If we will turn from self and follow him, He offers life and freedom where once we knew only the misery of ourselves.
The Seeds of the Spirit is a daily blog based on a walk through the New Testament. Written from the perspective of my own addiction, it explores the common defects of our flesh nature and the solution, our spirit life. If you find it helpful, sign up for the blog as a daily email, tell your friends and like/share it on Facebook.