I happened to see this one mentioned as related to what I published today, and I couldn’t remember what I had written. I went back to read it, and I think it’s worth posting again. The first time, I was still learning the ropes and didn’t know much about publicizing, tagging, and so on. First published in 2012)
Well, maybe more of a musing. I’m not sure yet.
I’ve been thinking a lot about yesterday’s post; thinking about the arrogance of the Man of Sin who will presume to place himself above God. In his arrogance, he will demand to be worshiped above all other gods. His evil will be unsurpassed in the annals of human history. His spirit of lawlessness will be unmatched.
It’s that “spirit of lawlessness” part that’s really lodged in my heart. The Apostle Paul made it clear in II Thess. 2 that this spirit is already working, and has been working, in the hearts and minds of all humanity.
Adam and Eve gave in to the spirit of lawlessness, and condemned the entire human race to a constant battle between obedience to God and obedience to self.
Cain allowed the spirit of lawlessness to overtake him because he was jealous and felt sorry for himself.
The people of Noah’s day ate, drank, and married in a complete spirit of lawlessness, which God drowned in the Flood. And yet, very soon after that cataclysmic event, the spirit of lawlessness was still alive and well in Noah’s son who saw him drunken and naked, and mocked him.
If I were to recount every example of the lawlessness in the heart of man recorded in the Bible, we’d be here for a very long time. So let’s take it to where the rubber meets the road.
How about you and me? Aren’t we just as guilty?
I had a client who is in imminent danger of doing jail time for shoplifting. Her attitude has been, “Well, if the people in the store are too stupid to watch me, then they deserve to get ripped off. And I shouldn’t have to spend time in a checkout line, anyway. I have better things to do with my time.” She also admits to road rage, to finding ways to avoid the rules of the road; and finally, that all her life she has felt she is above the rules that other lesser people have to obey. When I pointed out the arrogance of her thinking, she was startled and upset. She denied thinking she’s better than others. Eventually, though, she saw the truth and was horrified to realize that she did indeed harbor a spirit of lawlessness, holding herself above the law because the law is inconvenient.
She’s not the only one. The Bible warns us of thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought to think. Isn’t that the very thing that got Lucifer kicked out of heaven?
There are so many way this spirit of lawlessness manifests itself. In churches, there are pastors who hold themselves above their people; there are people who hold themselves above their spiritual leaders. Chaos is the result of such lawless thinking. In government, when one man or a group of men deem themselves better able to do our thinking for us than we can possibly do for ourselves, chaos results. In personal relationships, when one person believes his own need, opinion, or emergency supersedes everyone else’s, then he is guilty of the spirit of lawlessness. In families, when one member deems his own importance more than all the rest of the family, he is guilty of lawlessness. Parents who put their own desires before their children’s needs; children who refuse to submit to the authority of the parents; husbands and wives who refuse to submit to each other’s needs—-it’s all in the spirit of lawlessness.
What I’m trying to say here is that no one is immune; no one is beyond the influence of the most lawless one of all, Satan, who has made every conceivable effort to overthrow God and who will not give up until God Himself says, “ENOUGH!” We cannot in any way point the finger of righteousness at anyone else, because our hearts are all deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9).
Ephesians 4: 17-32 is a powerful, convicting passage that we should all meditate over, pray over, and obey. We are, as believers, to “put off the old man.” We are to take off the old nature as we would take off a coat or an outfit; we are to destroy all the evil of the old clothing, and replace it with the new nature of the Holy Spirit that indwells us when we are born again.
Some of the things we need to take off include stealing, lying, sinful anger, corrupt talk,bitterness, wrath, clamour, evil speaking, and malice.
Here are some definitions of clamour: