Godliness is to selfishness what righteousness is to iniquity.
One thing leads to another, and the denial of self is what will lead to righteousness. Preferring self is the epitome of iniquity. Stubbornness is the iniquity of the idolatry of self.
“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” 1 Samuel 15:23
Saul was king because the Lord chose him.
Saul ceased to be king because he chose himself.
It is no mistake that the qualification exam from Jesus to be a disciple was the simplest of statements and yet the hardest of tasks.
“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23
The difficulty is not simply in being able to check this off the list, “Done that.” But the requirement for this to be a daily requirement. Wow. That makes it more challenging. We qualify ourselves daily to be his follower by constantly recommitting ourselves to subjugating our whims to His.
Are we willing to set our criticisms and preferences to recognize the goods and strengths of others, even when they are different than what we prefer and like?
Having a favorite food and things we will not eat is one thing. Practicing this kind of preference for people and their abilities is another thing.
The story in scripture where there was a golden image erected in the image of the King and the decree was that all would bow down and worship this image is a Bible story many learned in Sunday School.
Sadly, some grow up from Sunday School and fall prey to the same sin of Nebuchadnezzar. The demand for all to conform to your preference, agenda and manner of ministry is just another manifestation of the sin of Nebuchadnezzar. Resist the urge to worship yourself and demand others to do the same.
(Think on this and how it might apply to you.)
How you respond to those who refuse to conform to your decrees illustrates the depth of your iniquity and worship of yourself.
Through my years I have known some pretty awesome people chosen by God that fall prey to in the end choosing themselves and disqualify themselves for the same reason.
Humble Yourself in the sight of God. How you ask? Choosing, honoring and promoting things and people who might see it differently than you.
When this becomes second nature, we truly qualify for the daily requirement of being a disciple of Jesus.
Encourage Someone Else