Imagine somebody comes into your house with a knife. They brandish it about and threaten to hurt you if you don’t do what they say. You’re in a bad spot. You don’t have much choice but to obey the knife wielding person or else get hurt. But what if an ally of yours comes in and they have a gun? They walk into the room and point it at the person with the knife and order them to stand down. The person with the knife can no longer hold you hostage. They are in check.
Now, after a little bit of time, you aren’t in fear of the person with the knife anymore. You see that they are under the submission of the person with the gun. They’re not so tough.
So you tell your ally with the gun they can go home. And as soon as they leave, the guy with the knife is in control of you again.
I think this is frequently how we deal with sin and the devil and our own fallen human nature.
We struggle under the oppression of sin and our flesh and the devil, but at some point we cry out to God and he comes to our rescue and puts hell on lockdown within our lives.
But after a while, we’re like, “Okay God, it’s all good now. You can leave. I got this.”
God, who chooses to be involved in our lives only to the degree we permit him - rather than forcing himself upon us, accepts our foolish request and withdraws.
Here’s the thing about Christian life: Christian maturity does not involve becoming independent from God…it’s just the opposite.
You will never outgrow your need for God.
The devil isn’t afraid of you by yourself. Sin is stronger than little old you. You, on your own, aren’t going to knock down the gates of hell.
Samson made the mistake of thinking it was all about him, that God was freeloading off of Samson’s awesomeness. But when he decided he could run the show on his own, it led to his destruction. (see Judges 13-16)
No matter how spiritually mature or awesome you become, you need to remember that it’s still not about you.
My toaster does a great job making toast, but not when it’s unplugged. The most beautiful flower starts to die the moment it’s cut.
The goal of Christian life isn’t to get to a point where you can do it all without God’s help. It’s that you don’t do anything apart from what he does in you and through you.
God is the elephant, you are the flea. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you shook the bridge.