In Whose Image?
Civil and religious disobedience is a result of sin. The author and finisher of this little three letter word is Satan. He will never force anyone to sin, but will rely on their response to his invitation. The phrase, “the devil made me do it,” is a silly fantasy that people kid about when a sinful action is initiated. Satan cannot make you sin, but he can influence you to consider an action that will result in sin. One of the tactics that Satan uses to entice people is getting them to elevate themselves in their own eyes. Scripturally, it is called “pride.” Notice that the middle letter of “pride,” as in “sin,” is the letter “I.” According to the Greek translation, pride is a self-confidence that originates from self-centeredness. It is self-conceit that results in a braggadocios attitude. (I John 2:16, I Timothy 3:16) Before Satan’s fall from the Heavenly realm, he was a high ranking angel that instigated a coup against God. The five “I wills” of this archangel showed his prideful intent. (Isaiah 14:13, 14) He was quickly defeated and he relocated to Earth, where he dedicated his existence to destroying anything or anybody that God touches. Satan’s aim is to get people to imitate his prideful existence. Jesus wants us to realize that we are created in His image, while Satan claims that through sin we are created in his image.
When God created Adam and Eve, it was to establish a stronghold of Divine rule on earth. Through their obedience, a Kingdom of Heavenly design would be created. Satan met the territorial challenge by playing upon the mind set of these two “prototypes.” He used the same tactic that he himself used against God: if they decided to do their own thing and eat what they wanted, they would “be like God…” (Genesis 3:5)
So much of our Biblical interest is centered on learning how to work the Word to get what we want, instead of letting the Word work in us to make us what God wants us to be. As one studies the different personalities in the Bible, one becomes aware of conflicts between their carnal and spiritual natures. When Peter heard Jesus say that He would be crucified and on the third day rise again, Peter immediately took Him aside and rebuked Him. Peter was so caught up with his own pride that he failed to grasp what Jesus was actually saying. (Matthew 16:21, 22) Many Believers have filters on their eyes and ears, and only allow that which fits their comfort zones to be heard. How many teachings have we missed due to our filtering system! Pride and self-centeredness cause conflicts between people. Believers need to realize that we are called to be a light to those around us. We need to be a lighthouse that beams our Father’s mercy to those drifting aimlessly in the sea of life. Jesus likened the Kingdom of God to little children. (Matthew 19:14) A child trusts and believes that his parents will take care of him and will provide for his every need. Somewhere along life’s journey, the child grows into a self-centered individual that promotes his own interests. When that happens, it will not be long before pride takes control and sinful behavior is experienced.
The Bible states that a Believer is “… not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think.” (Romans 12:3) James 4:10 says to “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up.” I Peter 5:6 exhorts us to “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God…” Galatians 6:3 warns us not to deceive ourselves with pride. James 4:6 states that “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” May we all learn as Jesus did: “Not my will, but yours be done.” (Matthew 26:39) Pride challenges, while humility experiences God’s Word!