The Fight For Self

Uncivil War

Pastor Jerry Gillis - April 16, 2023

Community Group Study Notes

  1. Have someone in your group give a brief recap of Sunday’s message, highlighting the primary Scripture points and the main idea of the message.
  2. How did this message strengthen and/or correct your previous ideas about “surrender of self”? Did you learn anything new about God or yourself this week?
  3. Read 2 Timothy 3:1-4. Which of these misdirected loves (lovers of self, money, lovers of pleasure, without love, not lovers of good…) do you struggle with most? 
  4. What is your response to a family member or friend who says (or lives their life like) “I am what I feel” or “I believe in doing what is best for me”? What is your response to an acquaintance or stranger who says or believes these statements?
  5. What is the danger in entering into marriage or living in marriage with an “I do what makes me happy” mentality? How can a selfless mentality influence a marriage?
  6. What does a life that is unconditionally surrendered of the self to love and live for Christ look like? 

Action Step

Spend at least five minutes at the end of each day reflecting on your thoughts you had and actions you took throughout the day. Make a list of everything you did that was in your own self-interest, rather than for the sole purpose of loving Christ and living like Him. Spend time in repentance of this list and ask God to continue to mold you into His image. 


Mobilization Challenge

Decide on a mobilization challenge as a group this week. How can you bless someone? Serve someone? Be intentional in blessing or serving someone for the purpose of building a relationship with them. Decide on a challenge for the whole group to complete and be prepared to share your experience at your next group meeting.


Sermon Transcript

Recently, I was reading an essay by Barbara Walter, not Barbara Walters, the interviewer, but Barbara Walter, who actually served on the US Government Political Instability Task Force and is a professor of political science at the University of California San Diego. And it was an essay that was kind of amended, a little bit, excerpted, I could say, from a book she wrote in 2022 called "How Civil Wars Start." And she said that civil wars are kind of really infrequent in history, right? Just if we look historically, civil wars were not really a big thing. They didn't happen a lot. Now we've got some pronounced ones that we all know, right? The American Civil War, and the English had a Civil War, by the way, and then the French Revolution, we know that as well. But generally speaking, there were not lots of civil wars until after about 1946, kind of toward the close of the World War II. After that timeframe, Professor Walter actually noted that there were 250 civil wars globally since that time, which really what that amounted to, she kind of argued for the fact that there are 50% more civil wars now globally than there were in 2001. So she talks about the frequency of this occurrence and the increasing nature of this occurrence so much so that she concludes that the fastest growing form of violence in the globe is actually civil war, global civil war. It's a remarkable thing. As I was reading that, and of course, I was thinking maybe what you're thinking. The term civil war, when we hear it, it sometimes doesn't make sense. It's like a curious term to us, 'cause we're like, really? How civil is the civil wars that are being fought? They don't seem very civil, right? We don't have a spot where we remember reading about in history with the American Civil War, where guys were shouting across the field, "We'd like to shoot a cannon now. Is that okay?" You know? "No, please, you first," right? We don't have that going on in our history books, but it's because maybe we misunderstand the term a little bit. The word civil is actually from the Latin civilis, which is talking about civilians, and so the idea of civil war is civilians taking up arms against one another. That's where the term civil war comes from, but the idea of civil meaning courteous, so to speak, also comes from that term, because civilians were supposed to conduct wars differently than soldiers conducted wars and was supposedly supposed to be maybe more courteous in the way, I don't know how you conduct a war in a courteous manner, but nonetheless, maybe more courteous in that regard. But all said, we could probably still say this without any tongue-in-cheek nature at all, that civil wars are uncivil, generally speaking, right? Well, the New Testament knows a bit of the idea of war and the Old Testament knows more about maybe the idea of what we think of war. But obviously this idea of war is not unknown to the context of the scripture itself. Now, in the Old Testament, it was talking about wars like we would know them, like people fighting against one another. There's even chronicles of a civil war because Israel and Judah actually had a break where the Northern and the Southern Kingdom with Israel and Judah had somewhat of what we would call a civil war, and then the Old Testament noted wars that were happening all over the place, that Israel being the focal point of some of those wars. But the New Testament actually talks about war in a different way. The New Testament talks about war that is happening between unseen kingdoms, the kingdom of God and the kingdom of the power of the prince of the air, the kingdom of Satan, right? That there's this clash of kingdoms that's happening. Or the New Testament might talk of kind of these wars that are happening in the realm of human thought, that like Paul writes this idea of taking every captive thought and taking every thought captive. I did that at the first worship gathering, too. You know how you do it? You get it wrong, and then you just keep getting it wrong. Let me try that one again. Taking every thought captive is what Paul said, right? And he uses this kind of war analogy because he's talking about a war of ideas, a war of philosophies, a war of worldviews. The New Testament talks more about that idea, but it also talks about the idea of the war of creatures against creator. Like you can read Paul's writing in Romans chapter one and find this idea of the warring, kind of rebellious spirit of those that have been created versus their creator. But Paul actually taps into something else additional. He talks about the war that is happening with ourselves, like inside of ourselves. Paul references that idea, particularly when he's talking to Timothy, and we'll look at that as you find your place in 2 Timothy chapter three. Now, for some of you, you may be thinking to yourself, "Man, I don't know Timothy. Never met him, never seen him at Starbucks. I don't know what we're talking about," and you may be new to all of this. No problem at all. 2 Timothy is a book in the New Testament, and if you don't know the difference between Old Testament, New Testament, Old Testament's kind of the first half of what we call the Bible, and the New Testament is the second half part of what we call the Bible. Kind of from Jesus forward is what we call the New Testament, speaking very broadly, and everything that was kind of leading up to Jesus and the history of how God dealt with humanity and Israel specifically is what we have in the Old Testament. And now if you're saying, "You know what? I'm trying to find this, but I don't really have..." Well, there's Bibles that are in front of you, maybe in the seat backs, and you can find one there. You can also download a Bible app if you wanna do that on your device. If you want to do that, that's perfectly fine as well, and then you can just look it up. By the way, in those Bibles, there's actually tables of contents and you can look that up. 2 Timothy, 2 Timothy, look that up, and you can go right to the page number if you find that in the table of contents. And now that I have sufficiently tap danced long enough to give you time to find that very place so you don't feel weird or out of place, you're welcome. Now we are in 2 Timothy chapter number three, and listen to how Paul introduces what he's going to speak to Timothy about. Here's what he says in verse number one. He says, "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days." Now let me pause for just a second here and unpack a couple of terms that are in this phrase here. The first one being terrible times. That word terrible is probably what you think it means. It means harsh or difficult or violent or hard to bear, and Paul is saying that there are going to be these very difficult, hard to bear, violent, harsh times, and when are those going to occur? In the last days. Now some of you hear that phrase and you immediately think kind of apocalyptically that we're talking about really the very few days right before Jesus comes in judgment and all of that, but that's not really what the New Testament is referring to when it uses the terminology of last days. Certainly there is going to come the consummation of history. That is coming, right? But the last days when it's used in the New Testament is typically talking about the time between the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus to the Father, and ultimately when he returns again. That intermedian time is what the Bible in the New Testament typically refers to as the last days. There are some places in scripture where it starts to speak a little more specifically and maybe a little further afield, but that generally is what's being said, which makes sense, right? Paul is writing to Timothy not about something that's going to happen millennia from now. He's writing to Timothy about something that he needs to deal with in the now, right? And so just as it was relevant to Timothy when Paul says there are gonna be hard to bear times, there are gonna be harsh times, there are gonna be difficult and violent times in these last days, he's talking about the time after Jesus' ascension to the Father and before he returns. That's generally what he's referring to. So Timothy had to experience those. Every generation since Timothy has had to experience those, and we are experiencing those as well, and the generations after us, if the Lord tarries his coming, they will experience this as well. But then what Paul does is he does what he does a lot, he makes a list, and that list is basically talking about the characteristics of people that exist in these terrible times in the last days. What makes these times so terrible in the last days are some of the characteristic nature of what he's going to talk about in a list in just a moment. Now, Paul makes a lot of lists. In the New Testament, you can read lists where he makes what they call vice lists, or when he says, "These are the acts of the flesh," and then he begins to articulate what those acts are. Or when Paul says the fruit of the Spirit, and he makes a list of what that is, right? It begins with what? Love is the answer. Let's try it again.

- [Congregation] Love!

- Love, right? Now all of you were going, "I already knew that. I just didn't wanna say. I was just, teacher called on me and got nervous, stage fright and I didn't wanna say." Right, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, right? And it just kind of moves on from there. When Paul made lists, Paul had a very specific thing in mind, often when he was making lists, because the very first thing in the list is typically the lens through which you look. So when Paul talks about walking in the Spirit, the very first characteristic he talks about is love, right? Paul in other places said, "There are three things that remain, faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love." Why? Because God himself is putting some of his self in us, and this love that is characteristic of being filled with the Spirit is the fountainhead from which every other thing flows, okay? So when Paul is talking about the nature of what's characteristic of the last times or the terrible times in the last days, he's writing about Christians or professing ones, and even is referencing teachers, because he talks about that in verse number six, and we won't get to that today. So Paul talks to these professing Christians, but says, "Yeah, there's some bad characteristics that happen here." And notice what he says in this list that he makes, and notice what's first. "People will be lovers of themselves," okay? That's what leads the list, and then he says, "Lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God." And we're gonna come back to this list, not unpacking it in full. We're gonna come back to it in a moment, but everything in this list flows from Paul saying, in these, mark this, in these terrible times of these last days, people will be lovers of themselves. Now, listen, that's what you think it is. When you hear lovers of themselves, that's what you think it is. Selfish, self-centered, utterly self-interested. That is exactly what Paul is referring to. Now, Paul, what he's not saying, he's not saying, "Oh, what I'm referencing here when I say don't be a lover of yourself," he's not saying be a hater of yourself. He's not saying, "Hey, you should try self-loathing. It's awesome." It's not what he's saying, because there is a healthy way in which we actually love ourselves. That can actually happen in a healthy way, right? When Paul talks to husbands, he says, "Husbands, love your wives as you love yourself," right? There can be a healthy instead of an unhealthy love for self, but Paul here is talking about that unhealthy preoccupation that we have with ourselves, where we are utterly self-interested. Now this is easy to see, isn't it, right? In the world that we live in, is it hard for us to see that people are lovers of themselves? Some of you maybe just went, "No, it's super easy for me to see, and I hope all these people that you're gonna be talking to today, they get it." Not the point. The point is that we're talking about ourselves, and we need to put ourselves under the microscope to be able to understand this, right? This isn't just about, you know how that deal is? We come to church and we're like, oh, you find the content out of the message, and you're like, oh, "This is gonna be good. I sure hope so-and-so's listening." Jesus hopes you're listening, right? We kind of all need to be in this space, but it isn't hard for us to see either outside of us or in us, because self has become the highest good and self has become the highest love in our cultural context. It used to be that theology and philosophy were the lenses that people looked through to make sense of the world, and in the world that we live in, it's psychology. That's not a shot at psychology, by the way. We have a number of people that practice that discipline. My contention with it is that it shouldn't be left alone. It shouldn't sit in an arena all by itself, because it just functions at the level of self and kind of how we are wired and what we think and how we emote and all of those kinds of things. It also needs to be joined with theology and other things, right? But that's kind of the world that we live in. It used to be that the sacred documents of a community of people were the authority outside of themselves upon which we built the foundation for how we viewed the whole world. Like for for Christians, it's been scripture, right? Scripture is the foundation upon which we understand truth and we discern truth, and we build a foundation for our very lives on scripture. But in today's world, even sometimes in the church, it's self. It's how I feel, what my desires are, and what my experiences are that dictate to me what I do, what I think, what I say, how I believe. You see, the world has changed and we are living in perilous, terrible, dangerous, violent, harsh times in these last days, and this applies to us. And I think Carl Trueman was right on the money when he diagnosed this problem in a book that is an award-winning book titled "The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self." Carl Truman's a Christian, and he's a professor at Grove City College and he's brilliant, and he got it right, and it's a dense read for sure. And he's really good with words because he's not from America, and so he doesn't have this all messy English, right? He's like actually English or whatever he is, Scottish or Irish or whatever he is, I can't remember. But you can see how this just affects everything. Lovers of themselves, lovers of themselves. It affects everything. First of all, it affects our identity. And you know what it means now? Lovers of themselves, to understand their identity, say this. I am what I feel. That's where we are in the culture that we're living in. I am what I feel. See, when self is the boss, we can actually do away with objective reality and we can determine that we are what we feel. So even if we are objectively in this particular sexed body, we can say that we are not that, but we are other than that. I was born in a biological male body, but I am a woman. And see, this is now the separation of body from person, and which is a dangerous place to be in, because when we start to talk in terms of I am what I feel, then we make ourselves the singular authority on everything, and there is no objective reality outside of that. This is in part what Paul is talking about here, because it is actually holding up the self, lovers of self above all things. It becomes the arbiter of truth, how we feel. I am what I feel. And now we've gotten to a place in the world that we live in that people are actually now separating out their bodies from their personhood. And by the way, the same line of thinking is also applied to those who like to justify the infanticide of children in the womb, 'cause here's how they do it. They do the same separation. It's almost like a new neo-gnosticism now that was dealt with back in the time of Paul, where body is bad and soul or spirit is good, but now it's like body is bad or we can separate out body from personhood because it's really about how I feel. And so now what they'll say about children that are in the womb is that nobody's actually arguing the science of whether they're human. Everybody knows that, everybody knows that. But because now they're faced with the consequences of going, okay, they're human, but they're not, they say, a person. You see how this goes? They're human but they're not a person. This is the exact same line of thinking. What happens when we begin to elevate self above everything and now our identity is actually wound up in this? I am what I feel. Or you see how it affects marriage. I do what makes me happy. Now listen, I'm coming up on like, I'm in 30 years of marriage. My wife was here in our first gathering, and I just said, "Hey, has everything that I've ever done, Edie, made you happy?" And she just looked. She didn't respond. She just looked at me. Of course not, right? Has everything she's done made me happy? No, of course not. If we consider that the primary goal of marriage is our happiness, and by the way, I'm so happy in my marriage and my wife is happy in the marriage, and we thank God for that. I think happiness is a wonderful thing, but if we think that that's the soul outcome of marriage, as opposed to holiness, which is what God's designed it for, our holiness. By the way, as we are being made holy, we're happy in that, right? But if we think it's just about our happiness, then the second that we don't like some things, we decide not to persevere, we decide not to commit, and it can be challenging because every marriage has its rough spots, but perseverance and commitment need to be in place. Why? Because it's not about us by ourselves. This is not just about me making myself happy. It's bigger than that. You can see how this idea affects morality as well because now we say things like, "I believe in doing what matters to me and for me." This is what the being a lover of self actually does. It infiltrates even how we view morality, because there's now no authority outside of ourselves. We are the authority. And by the way, it doesn't even matter if we contradict ourselves in what we say about the world, about ourselves. It doesn't matter if we're hypocritical, because it stops and ends with us. And so even though other people are saying that's a hypocritical position to take. No, it's not. Why? Because I said so, because I am the highest arbiter of truth, because I am a lover of self. And so it really doesn't matter because I'm the one who makes... I was reading this blog from an author named Mark Clark, and he was talking about a friend that he had, who is by his own definition, he said he was a sexually liberated atheist. And this friend actually told Mark this, and I jotted it down 'cause I was like, what? He said, "You, Mark, cannot tell me what to do with my body, but I can tell you what you need to do to protect the environment. You cannot tell me who I can or cannot sleep with, but I can tell you you should never go to SeaWorld." This was the inherent contradiction in here, and guess what? That guy didn't even care. He knows how contradictory what he just said was, but it didn't matter to him. Why? Because he's the authority. That's where it ends. So this affects the way that we view morality, and oftentimes, we're choosing postures of morality and we're virtue signaling online because it's going to benefit us, 'cause we're lovers of self, right? It also affects, as you can imagine, religion. In other words, I can make God or church into my own image. This is where we find ourselves. If in these last days people become lovers of themselves, then we can create a God to suit, right? We can just make God in our own image. Well, my God would... Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Your God? What about the God of the Bible? What about the God who's revealed himself? What about the God who's done that and defines himself before you? What about that God? What about Jesus, who is the revelation of God? What about that, not your God. People talk about my God and my Jesus. You don't own him. He defines himself. You don't get to make him up. He's already revealed himself. So we can sometimes craft God into our own image and make him what we want to be, right? God's never upset with our choices, because we've made God into a God who's never upset with our choices, right? Or we make church into whatever that is that we want it to be, because it's just another consumer product that we utilize as consumers. I'm so glad, by the way, that we have the ability to stream what we do, because it impacts a lot of people, some that are out of the country, some that are out of state, some that have just moved and haven't found a church home yet, and they're streaming with us, some that are home bound, some that are sick or ailing, some that they got a sick child and they gotta stay home, and we're able to connect with them in that regard. There's so many reasons that this is a wonderful technology that we utilize, and we should, by the way, and I'm so grateful for that. So those of you that are watching online today, thank God for you. We're so glad. But, but if the goal of watching online is simply your own convenience. You know, it's just me and Jesus and my coffee and my PJs. Which, first of all, I don't need the mental picture. But second of all, how can you really practice the one anothers of scripture? Love one another, forgive one another, build each other up, encourage one another. How can you practice the one anothers of scripture when there aren't any others around you? You can't. We were meant to be together. We were meant to encourage one another. We were meant to gather together. The scripture tells us that. But there are a bazillion reasons why sometimes that can't. You're on vacation, you're on a business trip, you're stationed overseas because you're military, you're homebound, you're ill, whatever. So whatever those reasons are, thank God for it, and we wanna stay connected in that very purpose, but if it's just a consumer convenience, rethink that. And no matter where you are in the country or in the world, find a place, a flesh and blood people that you can engage with and build up and serve. You heard that in love, didn't you? Okay, I just wanted to make sure. And you did, too, right? So does this kind of living make us better off, this being lovers of selves? Does it actually deliver on the promise of being satisfying and being liberating for us? Let tell you, it does not, and in fact, the reason that it does not is because there's an uncivil civil war inside of us, and actually when we live for self, listen carefully, we're miserable. We're miserable.So does this kind of living make us better off, this being lovers of selves? Does it actually deliver on the promise of being satisfying and being liberating for us? Let me tell you, it does not, and in fact, the reason that it does not is because there's an uncivil civil war inside of us. And actually when we live for self, listen carefully, we're miserable, we're miserable. I love how Colin Smith framed this, because he talked about this idea of being at war inside of ourselves, because inside of ourself you've got a king or a queen and you've got a subject. The king or the queen self makes demands that the subject self has to somehow meet, and no one's ever satisfied. So you end up just being miserable when you live for yourself. Think of it this way. Your queen self determines that you must be beautiful, but your queen self can only see all of the imperfections that need to be dealt with. My nose is too big or crooked. My body shape is a pear and I want it to be a apple, or it's an apple and I want it to be a pear, or whatever, right? And so the queen self beats up on the subject self, to say, "You better eat different, you better get to the gym, you better have surgery," and nothing you ever do actually satisfies the demands of the queen self. So you know what you are? Miserable. Or the king self says, "You better have good grades, you better be popular, you better do it all right," and when it's not going that way, the subject self actually thinks, "Now I'm getting pressure from the king self that I've gotta study harder, I've gotta change my friends, I've gotta do this, that or the other," and you're never satisfied. Or the queen self as a mother has expectations for their kid's success in school, or their kid's success in athletics, or their kid's success in dance or theater, or their kid's success in work, or their kid's success in life, and when their kid doesn't make the choices that they wish that they would make, the queen self now puts all of this pressure on the subject self, such that you're crying yourself to sleep, because of what you feel like are all of your failures, your inability to measure up, and acting as if it was all in your control to begin with. You can't satisfy it. Or the king self at work determines, "I'm gonna have money, I'm gonna have possessions, I'm gonna have success, I'm gonna have status," and then all of a sudden, that's what the king self is demanding, but the subject self has to deliver on that, but the king self is also looking around at all of the friends and neighbors and thinking to themselves, "I'm falling behind. They're actually, they're getting into a new house and they're getting new cars and they got a promotion," and so the king self starts putting pressure on the subject self that, "It doesn't matter what it takes, longer hours. I don't care about your relationships. You can throw all that away, 'cause we've gotta play catch-up," and you're never, ever satisfied. Is this any way to live? It's miserable. Living for yourself is miserable. There is always a king or queen to be served and there is always a subject that has to try and satisfy, and you know what it devolves into? Because it never happens, you know what it devolves into? Let me tell you. Boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unforgiving, slanderous, lack of self-control, brutal. That's what happens. You know why? Because when we're lovers of self, it devolves and Paul tells us where it goes, all into these places, because we're unsatisfied, we can't meet the demands even of our own self. So what do you do? Well, what Paul's doing is he's showing us the problem, and you know what the problem is that Paul is helping us to see? Misplaced love. That's what he's helping us to see, misplaced love. See, he talks about being lovers of themselves, right? And what Paul does is he actually uses this phrase love four different times when he uses philos or philos, depending on how you wanna say it. It's a Greek word for love. By the way, the Greeks had lots of words for love. They had like five. We have one. Like, you know, I love pizza, I love my wife. Not the same thing, right? You have to kind of understand the context, right? I do love pizza, but not in the way that I love my wife, and you have to understand that contextually, but Greek actually had lots of words. They had like five words to be able to choose from to describe the type of love that was being experienced. And Paul actually uses, four times he uses philos, which is talking about brotherly love. City of Philadelphia is the city of brotherly love, right? Phila, that's from that Greek word. That's where it came from, right? Phileo. And then there's another one, storge, which talks about kind of warm affection that we have for people, like we can actually be affectionate toward people as opposed to being hardhearted or kind of dead in spirit, right? So there's two of those. There's one time storge's used and there's four times that philos is used. Watch what Paul unpacks here. Verse number two, he talks about lovers of money. When we are lovers of self, we become lovers of money. What else does he say? We're without love. That's when, that's storge. That's talking about without warm affection for others. Hard-hearted is kind of the idea there. What else does he say? Not lovers of the good. What else does he say? Lovers of pleasure. See, these are all the things that come about when we become lovers of self. But when Paul makes this list, he's teaching us about misdirected love. Notice how he begins the list and how he ends it. He bookends it perfectly. Notice how it would play. "People will be lovers of themselves," that's how it begins. And how does it end? "Rather than lovers of God. People will be lovers of themselves rather than lovers of God." So do you see the war here? Do you see the war between creature and creator? Do you see the war that's being talked about here inside of our very selves? And do you know why it's there? It's all because we've put love in the wrong place, all because we put love in the wrong place. Brothers and sisters, we can only be who we were meant to be when love is directed in the right place. What does that require? What does that require? I'm gonna tell you, here it is. The unconditional surrender of the self to love and live for Christ. That's it. The unconditional surrender of the self to love and live for Christ. In fact, what's interesting is that Paul actually notes something in another of his letters, which is kind of the reminder of how we get out of being lovers of ourselves. Here's what Paul said in 2 Corinthians chapter five. Listen to this very carefully. It's the Word of God. "For Christ's love compels us because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." Christ's love compels us. You see, we love him because he first, what? Loved us. It's his love that compels us. When we recognize, brothers and sisters, what God has done for us in Christ, that one died for all, that all of us who have sinned and come short of the glory of God, which is all of us, have sinned and come short of the glory of God and who could never save ourselves. Yet God in his infinite mercy and grace loved us, and that was demonstrated by Christ's death on the cross so that the sinless one would take upon himself our sins, our judgment, and he would drink down to the dregs the cup of the wrath of God on our behalf. And then he would die, be buried, and would resurrect on day three to demonstrate that his sacrifice was sufficient, that he had overcome sin, hell, the grave, judgment on our behalf, and that now by faith in him, we can be rightly related to God, not because we have the ability to do that on our own, but because of the merits of who Jesus is, and that great grace and that great love has been poured out on us, and because it has, it compels us to respond in surrendering ourselves instead of living for ourselves, because Jesus has died to restore ourselves to what we were made to be. This is what this passage of scripture is helping us to be able to understand, the unconditional surrender of the self to love and to live for Christ. So do you wanna find your true self? There's so many people that are running after everything in the world, right? They're reading every self-help book, they're going to every seminar that some guy tells you, you know, "I've got 10 things, and it'll make your best self," right? You got all that stuff. They're running everywhere, but you'll never find your true self running from God or running into your own arms, which is what a lot of people are doing. You'll only find it running to him. He's the one who made you. He knows how you're supposed to operate. He knows who you were designed to be. This is where you discover who you really are and what you were really made for, is you're only gonna find that in him. So you know what needs to happen? Listen carefully. Queen, uncrown yourself, king, uncrown yourself, and lay them at the feet of the King of every king, the Lord of every lord, and wave the white flag and say, "I unconditionally surrender to love and live for the one who died for me, who rose from the grave, and who alone knows how to bring me into the place of wholeness in my true self." This is who God made us to be. This is also when the uncivil civil war ends, because in Jesus, we can have peace with God. That's what Paul writes. We can have peace with God because God has made the terms of peace in Jesus on our behalf. And now when we surrender, we're now, listen, we're now loving and living for a good King. We're terrible kings and queens friends, terrible. We make terrible gods. God is a good King. So uncrown yourself and surrender. I want us to actually, I want us to just reflect on that because I think God is speaking and I want us to just reflect on that. The band is gonna come, and they're gonna sing a song over us, and as they do, I want you to just reflect and let God speak. I don't know what the Holy Spirit may be saying to you, but I want you to let God do what God is gonna do, and listen carefully. As the band sings this over us, I'm gonna follow up that song by coming back up here, and I'm gonna close us by asking us to respond to God, all right? So Father, I pray that in these moments together, that your voice would be the loudest in the room, that we would not let the voices that are going on around us, outside of us, in our own head space. We just let your voice be the voice that speaks to us by your own Spirit. I pray, Father, for every single person in this place, including myself, that we would learn what it means to unconditionally surrender, to love and to live for you, that we respond to the love that's been given to us, and that we would do away with being our own kings and queens who are our own authorities, but we would uncrown ourselves and we'd lay it down at your feet. I'm just gonna ask you to remain in a spirit of prayer and reflection as our band just leads us in this time. So just allow for God and his Spirit to speak to you in these moments.

More From This Series

Watching Now

The Fight For Self

Pastor Jerry Gillis Part 1 - Apr 16, 2023

The Obituary of Self

Pastor Jerry Gillis Part 2 - Apr 23, 2023

The New Self

Pastor Jerry Gillis Part 3 - Apr 30, 2023

I Could Never Forgive Myself

Pastor Jay Perillo Part 4 - May 7, 2023

New Self-Forgetfulness

Pastor Jerry Gillis Part 5 - May 14, 2023

Share This Message

Share This With A Friend

Subject: The Fight For Self

Sharing URL:

Send Email