Skip to main content

Slander against God

Remember, Satan is an awful being, he is able to deceive us on the right hand and on the left, and the first beginnings of his deceptions are along the lines of self-pity. Self-pity, self-conceit, and self-sympathy will make us accept slanders against God. –Oswald Chambers
This morning I read about “Man’s Unmaking” in “Biblical Psychology” in The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers (from whence comes the above quote—page 144). Chambers quotes liberally from the Bible but I find many of his conclusions to be a stretch. It all makes sense, but I’m not convinced the Bible supports all he says. To be fair, it doesn’t contradict it either.

However, the quote above hit me quite powerfully. I have lived in self-pity and self-sympathy for most of my life. I thought it justified—people were unfair, unjust, cruel—and I was the helpless victim unable to change her circumstances; the noble martyr who endured her pain and soldiered on for God in spite of it all. How arrogant—though it is only in the last day or so that I have recognized that arrogance.

And I’m only now seeing, in the past few days, that perhaps I’ve been the victim of my own wrong choices rather than that of others’ behaviour towards me. It’s a frightening realisation because suddenly I find myself responsible for the pain and anguish I blamed on others. Have others always been noble and upright before me? No. I have been wounded in many ways; but I’ve also had a choice in how I responded and, sadly, more often than not, my choices have been self-focused, self-protective and full of “poor me’s.”

Is this what God wants from us? No! This sort of response takes my eyes off of Jesus and onto myself—a place where Satan is eager for me to be. Job’s wife told him to “curse God and die,” but he refused and “In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing,” nor “in what he said.” “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” he asked his wife. (Job:1:22; 2:10 NIV)

We know from the story of Job that the trouble, pain and affliction that came to him was expressly permitted by God, but Job was confident in God:
“[God] knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” (Job 34:31 NIV)
Often our difficulties come from God himself:
I will refine them like silver and test them like gold (refining hurts!). (Zechariah 13:9)

Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you. (Deuteronomy 8:5)

For you, O God, tested us;
you refined us like silver.
You brought us into prison
and laid burdens on our backs.
You let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and water,
but you brought us to a place of
abundance. (Psalm 66:10-12)

Son of man, with one blow I am about to take away from you the delight of your eyes [his wife]. Yet do not lament or weep or shed any tears.” (Ezekiel 24:16)

“When disaster comes to a city, has not the Lord caused it?” (Amos 3:6)
Think of how God flooded the earth and killed all but eight people (who were forced to live in the confined quarters of a boat with a bunch of stinky animals for a whole year); how he chose to give Israel 40 years of painful wandering through the wilderness (which the righteous Joshua and Caleb had also to endure); how he brought trouble to Naomi in the deaths of her husband and two sons; how he allowed Saul to pursue David to kill him even though he had already anointed David as the next king; how he caused a huge storm when Jonah ran away (Jonah not being the only one who suffered from the storm)! Think of all the disasters predicted in Revelation! They come from God.

If this is true; if trouble and pain come to us either by God’s permission or by his direct intent, then what is my self-pity? It is the very rebellion against God and his will that Satan is luring me into. And when I rebel against God, I say that he is wrong and I am right. I believe the slander that Satan is bringing against him and thus break relationship with him. I separate myself from unity with him and begin to oppose him. This is the work of Satan.

Lord God, I have bought into the lies of the enemy. I have listened to his slander against you and believed it. I have not trusted you: that you are in control of all things—even the evil that befalls me—and that all things work together for good for those who love you. And so I have fostered and nurtured self-pity:“Woe is me for all that has been done against me!” I have not trusted you for the good that you promise and have even refused to see much of the good you have already given me. Forgive me, Lord! Continue to open my eyes so I can see Truth and believe it instead of the lies constantly fed to me by your enemy and mine. Open my heart so that it too will know the truths my head has already acknowledged. Make my spirit, will and desire to be one with yours. Heal me in every way. Thank you, God. I love you.


Popular posts from this blog

Monogamous, Homosexual Unions--My Position and the Story behind it

I've been asked to be one of two participants at church each representing opposing views on the matter of monogamous, homosexual unions, moderated by the pastor.  In preparation, I have written the following.  In the comments, please do not post any vitriol--from either side. If I think any comment is hateful, I will delete it. Respectful disagreement or questions are welcome, however.

My Position and Values:
I believe that sexual relations between two people of the same sex is contrary to God’s will.I would like to say otherwise but I find nothing in Scripture that allows me to do so.BEING homosexual, having a longing or desire for someone of the same sex, is not condemned in the Bible.  We all have desires that are contrary to God’s will.  The sin occurs when we feed those desires, like Jesus talks about when he calls lust adultery (Matthew 5:28).Much cruelty to LGBTQ people has happened because of the stance of the Church. We have not acted with love, compassion and listening ear…

In My Prayer Room

Oh God
You surround me with your love,
with memories
of who you are
of what you've done
of promises you've made
of who I want to be
of who I am because of you.

You give me hope and joy,
peace and gratitude.
You convict me
and teach me
encourage me
and remind me
of what it means to follow you.

You listen to my prayers
and grant my requests
in your time.
You give me insight
and knowledge
and words to write
to share your presence
your goodness
your love
your admonition
with others.

You expand my love
to pray for friend and foe
near and far
family and stranger
people as pins on maps
clustered and scattered
who know you and reject you
for those in need
and those too full to need.

You draw me close
and then release me
to bring you close to others
to serve
and love
and give
all I have received.

You fill my heart with joy
that warms
and glows
and bursts
into laughter,
and even dance.

You wrap me in your arms
and tell me
"You are mine"
with intensity that burns
and smoul…

Eulogy for Mikael

It's 3:13 a.m. as I write this, just hours before Mikael's funeral. I've slept 2 1/2 hours already but when I woke I couldn't get back to sleep. I am so full of joy I have no room for grief. I lay in bed two hours ago, feeling this joy well up into near excitement, undergirded with a peace and contentment that to most people would make no sense. I'm not sure it makes sense to me but I know it's real. God has been so good. He has poured out his blessings on us this week and I feel like we are the most blessed family in the world right now.
I can't imagine life without Mikael. I'm still in shock, running on adrenaline and the drive to give Mikael the best farewell ever and not wanting to miss a moment of the flood of family and friends who have been pouring into our home with cards, flowers, meals, goodies, more meals and goodies, love, prayers and memories. I've been sitting in an armchair where I have a straight line of sight to the front entrance, a…