Recently, I was blessed to be able to sit in on the Basic Bible Concepts Study my dad is teaching to my daughter, Grace and son-in-law Jake. Dad was talking about the following verses in the context of the characteristics of God and the law of sin and death:
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” 1 John 2:15-161 John 2:15-16
Dad noted that the “lusts of the flesh” and the “lusts of the eyes” are generally pretty easy for us to identify; but the “pride of life” is very, very sneaky. It often begins as something good, but morphs into something that takes us away from God; so we rarely realize when we’ve crossed the DMZ and are in enemy territory. Such was the case with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden:
“Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.”Genesis 3:4-7
Satan presented something seemingly good to Eve; that is, her ability to “know good and evil;” and thus, she did not recognize her prideful desire to “be like God.” That is the big problem with pride…it blinds us from truth. In fact, the most dangerous lies we tell are the ones we tell ourselves. Eve’s pride kept her from seeing the acute danger of living independently from God.
Ah, my friend, this is the essence of the “pride of life” and we ALL [even Christians] struggle with it. We deceive ourselves into believing we know as much or more than God and so we choose the desolation of sin. But there is hope! While Adam and Eve’s departure from dependence upon God plunged the human race into the spiritual gene pool of death [being “in Adam;”] through Christ’s sacrifice we have the opportunity to have His spiritual genetics and be made ALIVE “in Christ.”
“For since by man [Adam] came death, by Man [Christ] also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.”I Corinthians 15:21-22
Through receiving Christ’s gift of salvation we are endowed with the gift of eternal [spiritual] life. But that’s not all! We also have the ability to re-capture a bit of Eden on this earth.
What do I mean?
This is the “here and now” part of this “birthday gift.” What I’m about to say is not esoteric religious rhetoric. I know it’s real because I’ve experienced it. You see, as I decide to live each day, each hour, and each minute—in full surrender to God—as opposed to surrender to my pride, my circumstances, my desires, my feelings—I am drawing myself into the deepest sense of His presence. Let that sink in a minute. God’s presence. Here. Now. A piece of Eden amidst the brokenness of this world.
What a gift!
When we completely surrender to God in every area of our life—personal, private, public, relational, work, family, financial—we unwrap the priceless gift of His presence.
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”~Jesus John 10:10
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