Oct 5, 2015

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Replacing God

Replacing God

You are your own God -and are surprised when you find that the wolf-pack is hunting you across the desolate ice-fields of Winter” (Dag Hammerskjold, Markings)

“You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God” (Satan in Gen. 3:5)

There is always that primal temptation to pride- that lies in wait to surprise and hurl us down- to replace God with our “self.” We think we have cauterized that sin. Yet when we are in this condition we are also in a most dangerous state.

It is extremely hard to remain conscious of that weakness in human character, and our individual and collective propensity towards dis-obedience and revolt against God; and so, it is very easy for us to hiddenly replace God with self.

Do you see the trap? We are called to perform good deeds, yet the more Christ-like we become the greater this temptation grows. If that is the case, then does it follow that the more we are disgusted by our failures to do good and the more aware we are that we lack in godliness, the safer we are from pride? Perhaps we are safe only if that awareness of our good deeds rests on a foundation of true humility, and the yielded-ness to continue to seek and to follow God’s will as it is revealed to us.

Questions for individual and Bible study group discernment:

  1. Would the Crucifixion have had any meaning if Jesus had seen Himself crowned with the halo of martyrdom, or is that what we added to His experience that was not there for Him? Discuss.
  2. Some people believe that there is no God and others believe that God is dead. If either position is true, what or who replaces God in their lives? The political state; themselves? Discuss.
  3. “And the Spirit immediately drove him [Jesus] out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days tempted by Satan, and… the angels ministered to him.” (Mark 1: 12-13). Angels serve to communicate God’s messages. Do you wonder what they might have said to Jesus? When you are tempted to feel full of yourself and of your wisdom and accomplishments, how have, or can, you hear God and will you listen to the message? Discuss.
  4. “When the Devil had finished every test, he departed from him [Jesus] until an opportune time (Luke 4: 19) Was that future time Gethsemane? Have you, or do you think you will, face such a critical test in obedience to God’s will? If you think you are ready, are you really ready, or are you just prideful? How might you tell the difference?   Discuss.

Written by Heather Whitehouse, Ontario 1th VP/Chaplain, The King’s Daughters and Sons, October, 2015

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