“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” (Jn. 10:14)
From The Second Half of the Cross
The Bible set into words, and the journeys-of-faith callings portrayed therein, are the epitome of perfect unselfishness pushing power downward. The incarnation of Jesus Christ is this expression in living form. The gift of the Holy Spirit leading and guiding us into all truth from within our born-again spirits is at the height of well-intentioned thoughtfulness in the deepest moral sense.
A God-composed biblical journey of faith is an individual one-on-one training mission. God’s program is to set-up the circumstances unique to each one of our lives, whereby we can learn through first-hand experience to reach the point in wisdom that we knowingly and willingly choose the right, the noble, and the commendable course of conduct as a natural response of our improving Christ-like characters. God wants us to grow into mature sons and daughters of light, who can react in partnership with His Spirit to every situation in this fallen world environment with the quality of character that will produce joy and peace for ourselves, for others, and for God, now and for all eternity.
Lucifer’s classically deceptive temptation in the Garden, that people apart from God could become “as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5), was of the most destructive and diabolical nature. Lucifer had nothing to offer that was genuine on its own merits. Lucifer saw the good thing that God had intended for mankind, seized the opportunity, and actually stole God’s idea, corrupting it for his own purposes. By preemptively stealing God’s creative idea of a journey of faith, before God could establish a solid relationship with Adam and Eve, Lucifer effectively short-circuited the beneficial intentions of God’s program. By replacing God with “self” in the spiritual equation, Lucifer created a counterfeit “journey of self” to match his own fallen attitude of self-worship, that is completely out-of-sync with the original plan of God for mankind.
This is why the temptation in the Garden was a deception and a lie, rather than a commendably viable alternative approach to life. Lucifer stole and corrupted God’s idea of a joint-venture walk of faith with Him, making it into an autonomous and solitary “walk of self,” because Lucifer does not have a better plan of his own other than rebellious revolt fueled by pride-filled ambition. In reality there is no alternate plan for life in all of existence. The “walk of self” is merely a lower, fallen, corrupted version of the higher walk-of-faith fellowship that God created us with the capacity to enjoy. The current, worldly conventional modern-day version of a “walk of self” displaces the walk of faith that God designed for us as the vehicle whereby we could get to know Him.
By getting the human race to depart from God through his upside-down deception of making rebellion as autonomous individuals appear as if it was commendably liberating, Lucifer effectively erased the apprenticeship training program that God had planned for us. By going-it-on-our-own apart from the Holy Spirit, we shortchange ourselves from the character lessons that would enable us to happily and responsibly exercise our God-given capacity to learn to use power rightly for the good of ourselves and others.
Lucifer wanted power for its own sake, without being accountable to God or anyone other than himself. By getting mankind to join his rebellion against God, Lucifer has instilled this same lust for power within the character of fallen mankind. This explains why there is so much push-back against the gospel message of repentance, spiritual rebirth, and surrendering our will and way to God. Being broken upon the living Stone that is Christ (Matthew 21:44) means giving up power. But what is so sadly deceptive about sin, is that in willingly giving up self-sovereignty, the Spirit-led Christian is really only transferring power over to Jesus Christ, who intended all along to give back this self-same power to us, repackaged in a beneficially crafted individual journey of faith.
This ingenious creation of a walk of faith is a divinely guided set of life circumstances, originally designed to enable us to learn to use the power of our individual gifts and abilities properly. The irony is that it is Jesus Christ who created mankind with the express capacity to be able to use spiritual power rightly and correctly. Sitting upon the throne of our lives in spiritual rebellion frustrates the loving intention of God to fulfill our created purpose.