Perfection and Pride
The Story of Hope is a 40-lesson walk through the Bible that has beautiful new illustrations. My coworker and I are moving through this study with three Zulu women. It is going great. 🙂 Today we did the lesson on the Fall of Lucifer. Lucifer is given an incredible description in Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14. He was created by God, perfect in beauty and wisdom, had a covering of precious stones and worshipped God in God’s holy presence. He was originally blameless in his ways and even had access to Eden, the Garden of God on the earth.
But Lucifer became inflated with pride and started down the road of self-exaltation. He ended up not just wanting to be like God, but he wanted to be the Most High.
Th(i)nkful and Humility
In reflecting on the fall of Lucifer, I was hit with how often I personally try to be God. I want to control things in my life. Instead of humbly bowing before God, and deferring to His choices and wisdom in all my circumstances, I start to evaluate what I think is best, and what should have been done, and what would have been done if I was in control. I go on a little self-worshipping Lucifer-rant.
Being th(i)nkful is really about letting God be God and in humility accepting that fact. It is saying, “God, because you say it’s perfect, it is perfect, and I will thank you for it.” Hope, grace, and joy begin to surround my thinking as I download help from the Lord to think thanks in every circumstance in my life and express that thanks.
That choice is hard. Let’s be honest! For most of us, it is difficult to not control things. Our hands must go up in surrender and open in praise. We have to trust that God knows what He is doing. Of course, how can you trust someone if you don’t know them well? And this is a big key to life: know, love, trust. We can only build trust by getting to know that person, and then coming to love them.
Results of “Being” God
In our study this morning we read about the consequences of Lucifer exalting himself to being God. After some serious self-evaluation, he concluded that he should assume the position of the Creator instead of being second best, merely a created spirit. He caused the beginning of evil.
In philosophy, my husband tells me, there is no such thing as evil. Like darkness, cold, and falsity, evil is a term describing the lack of something that does exist, and all four of those things find their source in God’s character. God is Light. He is Fire. He is Truth. He is Goodness. In the beginning, God created choice. Lucifer had two options: the Creator or something other than the Creator. He chose something other than the Creator; he chose himself, and gave birth to the un-Good of evil, becoming known throughout all ages as Satan – “the adversary.”
If anyone had cause for over-the-top thankfulness, it was Lucifer, the anointed, powerful, and musical cherub who stood next to God’s Throne. But pride inflates our thoughts and ideas to become “the optimal standard of what is true and right.” He focused on what he thought was wrong and lacking. Satan did it. We do it.
Only God is God; We are Not
Psalm 52:8-9a gives a beautiful contrast to Lucifer’s debacle. “But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. I will thank you forever.”
Instead of trying to critique God, and instruct God, and be the God of your own circumstances … why not trust in the steadfast love of God forever and thank Him? Exercise your trust in God and revel in His steadfast love. His Word will stand the test of time and His promises will never fail. He is completely trustworthy. As we lean in trust on Him who holds all things together, we can yield control and express our thanks to Him who is the true God, the right God, the only one fit to be God, our great Jehovah.
God is God. God is good. God is good at being God.
th(i)nkful (adj) describing people who choose to download grace/strength from the Lord to think thanks about every circumstance in their life and to express that thanks orally or in written form.