Self Vs.God: Who Do You Serve?
I love “self-serve” options. Self-serve gas stations, ice cream parlors, buffets, and even checking out at the grocery store. I’ll admit that for the most part, I like to be in control.
Which brings me to the topic of self vs. god. Who do I serve more? Me? Or the omnipresent spirit of Love?
Here I am on this planet, two “kingdoms” vying for my attention, my loyalty, my time, and my energy.
- The Kingdom of Self
- The Kingdom of God
I spent my first two decades living in the Kingdom of Self. I was not raised to know the difference between the two, and so by default, I became pretty good at letting my “self” (carnal nature) lead the way.
Then, I found the concept of God in college, when I was living in inner turmoil. Found a good church and spent a decade learning about God, God’s ways, seeking to please God, and learning the Scriptures. I was all in at the consciousness level I was at.
Then, my seeming wonderful world crashed when I decided to end a marriage and hop into a toxic relationship. All emotional hell broke loose, which I’ll spare the details here.
And then I reverted back even deeper into “The Kingdom of Self”, mainly because I was so eager to find out who my true self or identity was. Who was I outside of what others or society wanted me to be?
And as I journeyed to find my “authentic self”, somehow I forgot about “God”. In fact, I wasn’t even sure I believed in a god anymore. Not in the Christian kind of God anyway. I became absorbed in my “self” and purposed to create an amazing life without a higher power…but with positive affirmations and book knowledge.
And I have grown leaps and bounds. Through the last decade, I’ve learned incredible lessons about myself, people, relationships, God, religions in general, consciousness, life on Earth, science, finances, and so on. Lessons I might not have learned had I not gone through some tough times. And for this, I’m grateful.
But there was something in me that was putting off “God”. Putting off the Scriptures. Putting off faith in something greater than myself.
Those wandering in the desert
I’ve seen this in the new age camp plenty. Those that leave the church for one reason or another and wander off on their own quest for salvation and peace. Now, this is great if this is for you, but there are plenty out there who are wandering in the desert with a clear idea of their “selves”, but lacking faith in much else. And, they’re kind of miserable, and feeling empty, trying to bear fruit while not realizing they have very few or no roots.
I also see many of the youth who have no idea what they believe in. They crave freedom, peace, and joy, but aren’t sure what all ingredients go into getting that. They’re not really into organized religion, and I can say I understand. In this post-modern era, the message of the gospel has lost much of its appeal to the youth. But still, many are lost.
The Kingdom of God
Jesus talks about the Kingdom of God. He tells us that we can live in this kingdom NOW. That it’s within us. That this kingdom is about God; not our selfish desires.
Because in all honesty, left to my own, I’m pretty selfish. Sure, I have a huge heart, but I don’t always want to share it. In fact, I’ve got some bricks up around it at times. I’m very giving, but I’m not always paying attention to how I can best serve humanity.
This is why I’ve taken a new stand for putting God first. Putting God’s Kingdom first. Putting a relationship with God first. This means getting up in the morning and rather than getting right to work…I take time to pray. To meditate. To study holy literature. To ask, “God, what do you want to do through me today?”
And, to be more mindful of God’s presence in me throughout the day. Paying attention. Listening. Saying “yes” more to love. To service. Saying “no” more to fleshly desires, worldly pursuits, lusts of the flesh.
Surrender the “Self Life”
Jesus says, “Put on the new self”, which is the likeness of Jesus. This means that I can get up each day and purposefully decide to deny my “old self” and take on the “new self” in Jesus. To identify with Christ Consciousness. To manifest Christ Consciousness throughout my day.
The Self Lies
The selfish nature promises all sorts of things, but they turn out to be lies. Just look around… you’ll see people pursuing money in the hopes that they’ll find happiness in it. All the while, they’re not really happy, burned out, and lost.
There are those drowning in emotional pain, self-sabotaging, numbing out with alcohol and drugs. That’s the “old self” lying and promising a “feel good” through chemicals.
There’s those addicted to all sorts of things: the internet, social media, games, work, gambling, shopping, food, porn, etc. All “The Kingdom of Self” and leads to darkness, misery, brokenness, etc.
“God Centered Living”
I’m finding more and more that God centered living is the only kind of living I want to do. “Love Centered Living”. By God, I mean the all-knowing, all-powerful, creative life force that created everything and everyone. The Almighty, Cosmic Intelligence, Universal Spirit, Life Force!
It’s in the inner life. The inner thoughts and emotions that come from God’s Spirit. From Christ Consciousness.
As human beings, we have this “mind” that thinks. Renew that mind according to God’s Word. To holy literature. According to Love. Light. Take time daily to close your eyes and get quiet. Think about God and God’s Kingdom within you.
Begin to entertain the idea of a new way of life on this planet. The kind of life where you can trust more than just yourself.
I’m on the verge of a new path in several areas of my life right now. I’m trusting that God will show me as I listen with an innocent heart. The doors will be opened and connections will be made that will bring forth more light and love on this planet. I don’t have all the answers and I don’t need to.
But this one thing I am doing is going within more often. Acknowledging a power greater than myself. Deciding to rely and trust on God’s power and living in this Kingdom. And I know as a result, Christ consciousness will expand in me, and my spiritual branches will bear much more fruits of the Spirit, but not just for me.
I ran into a clerk yesterday who called me things like sweetheart, babe, love, sweetie. You could tell there was something amazing about this woman. Joy was radiating from her, and kindness. Before I left I told her that she was the most positive person I’d seen in a while. She looked at me and said, “Thank you. It’s Jesus in me.”
Ah. I’m paying attention. May we all allow more Jesus to shine through us consistently.
“Seek first God’s Kingdom and righteousness.” (Right standing with God).