(excerpts from Desperate Dependency by J. Kirk & Melanie D. Lewis)
Habitually we choose to dwell in the comfort zone of believing the lie that we can be complete without God. But this self-sufficient delusion only reinforces our bondage of living in servitude to our flesh. Oppression erodes our emotional fortitude and leads to death in all areas of life, because death is the result of living independently of Christ.
“Jeremiah, say to the people, ‘This is what the LORD says:
“ ‘When people fall down, don’t they get up again?
When they discover they’re on the wrong road, don’t they turn back?
Then why do these people stay on their self-destructive path?
Why do the people of Jerusalem refuse to turn back?
They cling tightly to their lies
and will not turn around.
I listen to their conversations
and don’t hear a word of truth.
Is anyone sorry for doing wrong?
Does anyone say, “What a terrible thing I have done”?
No! All are running down the path of sin
as swiftly as a horse galloping into battle!
Even the stork that flies across the sky
knows the time of her migration,
as do the turtledove, the swallow, and the crane.
They all return at the proper time each year.
But not my people!
They do not know the LORD’s laws.
“ ‘How can you say, “We are wise because we have the word of the LORD,”
when your teachers have twisted it by writing lies?
These wise teachers will fall
into the trap of their own foolishness,
for they have rejected the word of the LORD.
Are they so wise after all?
I will give their wives to others
and their farms to strangers.
From the least to the greatest,
their lives are ruled by greed.
Yes, even my prophets and priests are like that.
They are all frauds.
They offer superficial treatments
for my people’s mortal wound.
They give assurances of peace
when there is no peace.
Are they ashamed of these disgusting actions?
Not at all—they don’t even know how to blush!
Therefore, they will lie among the slaughtered.
They will be brought down when I punish them,
says the LORD.
“Oh, why have they provoked my anger with their carved idols
and their worthless foreign gods?” says the LORD. (Jer. 8:4–12, 19b NLT)
Perversion traps the unrepentant in the pathology of the sin nature. Regrettably, the deluded self-righteous soul chooses empowerment apart from Christ’s redemptive process and becomes ensnared by legalism or is lulled into leniency. Neither excessive adherence to the law nor subscribing only to the permissive, merciful, and tolerant attributes of God encompasses God’s design for a relationship with His children.
God does hold us accountable for deviance from His divine standard so we may have fellowship with His holiness. He also offers merciful forgiveness to the repentant that authentically choose Christ’s way instead of continuing to follow their own desires.
God’s design places Him at the center of our existence and makes Him responsible for our physical life, quality of life, and eternal life. Man’s desire, however, places himself at the center of his own existence, and he expects God to revolve around him while he pursues his own inclinations for physical life, quality of life, and eternal life.
One deluded soul was so convinced of his deception that he stated, “I don’t believe God is okay with what I am doing; but when I die and stand before God, I do believe I can explain it to Him and He will be okay with it.”
“Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?” (Rom. 6:1–2 NLT).
The self-sufficient soul seeks empowerment through God substitutes. Every attempt to find empowerment through any means other than Christ’s redemptive process through Christ’s redemptive work results in self-delusion and destruction. It is only through finding Christ relevant to every aspect of our lives that we can be freed from the power of sin.
Do you need to stop being comfortable?