|Let the River Flow
By Greg Sanders
John 7:38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.’”
This week we are learning how to best keep the river of God’s Spirit flowing freely into and through our life. Here is today’s lesson.
Step 3: Deal with selfishness quickly.
James 3:14But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. 15This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. 16For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.
Have you ever been working outside or maybe exercising and you caught a whiff of yourself and thought, “Man I stink!” Now if you’ve never smelt yourself stink that may mean that you stink all the time. My mother used to have this saying, “When you smell yourself stink, everyone else has been smelling you for three days.”
The same is true with selfishness. Usually by the time we realize there is selfish activity in our lives, our selfishness has been creating chaos for quite a while. Selfishness creates disorder and compromise in our own life and most likely our selfishness creates disorder in the lives of those we love. Therefore, we must deal with selfishness as soon as it surfaces.
James said that jealously and selfish ambition brings disorder to every thing we do. This is a huge problem today. Our society is in love with themselves. A “selfie” is not just a picture you take, it’s an attitude of the heart.
John Ortberg says, “The world’s solution to every problem is all about ourselves. All of our language reflects this mindset.
If you’re empty, you need to fulfill yourself.
If you’re stressed, learn how to take care of yourself.
If you’re on a job interview, you have to believe in yourself.
If you’re at the tattoo parlor, you must learn to express yourself.
If someone dares to criticize you, you have to love yourself.
If you’re not getting your own way, you have to stand up for yourself.
What should you do on a date? You ought to be yourself.
But here is the problem: What if your self is a train wreck? What do you do then? Self is a stand-alone, do-it-yourself unit, while the soul reminds us we were not made for ourselves.”
You were made for God. Only in Him will you find significance that is greater than yourself. Sometimes you may think that if you could just have your own way life would be better. If people would just let me do my own thing I would be fine. However, doing things your own way brings only results that you can produce in your own power. Nothing compares to what God can produce.
James said if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart realize that this did not come from God. We must understand how toxic the poison of selfishness really is. Did you notice that James said that jealousy and selfish ambition is demonic? The enemy does not have to make us evil to destroy us. He just has to make us selfish. Selfishness is a trick of the devil to stop the flow of God that is in your life.
Today’s Challenge: Deal with selfishness quickly. Nothing stops the flow of God’s Spirit from flowing through you as quickly as selfishness. Pray today that God will remove any selfishness in your life and follow the example of Jesus by preferring others above yourself.
Today’s devotion is an excerpt of a message recently preached at CFA. To listen to the message in its entirety please go to www.pastorgregsanders.com