Humor me if you will while I recreate a conversation that took place in eternity. Some folks would say eternity past but that wouldn’t be accurate because by saying eternity I mean outside of time, but I won’t get into that here.
God, of course, created all things and he even created an Archangel named Lucifer. Most of us agree it was he that eventually rebelled and became known as Satan. What if it happened like this?
God says, “I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides me there is no God.” Then we hear Lucifer announce “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”
If you remember the conversation that took place in the Garden of Eden it isn’t difficult to see where mankind got his attitude of independence. He joined Satan in his misguided attempt at being “like God” even while knowing he is “the Lord and there is no other.” Man’s religion seems to have its origin in the idea that we can be like God.
It is my opinion that religion is one of the worst things you could get wrapped up in. Religion is essentially mans attempt to make himself like God by trying to do “good” and avoid “evil.” His hope is that at the end of the day his ledger leans more toward the good side rather than evil. Sounds like the result of eating from the forbidden tree to me. Of course this kind of life is filled with self-effort, failure, try harder next time and condemnation.
If you look closely the bible tells us “our righteousness is like filthy rags.” No matter how smart or determined we are there is absolutely nothing we can do, in our own strength or effort, to make ourselves like God. Yet the religious world would have us adopt sayings like “WWJD” “what would Jesus do” as if we could then set about to do it. To me this is the height of deception, and most of the Christian world has taken a big bite of it. What was it that Lucifer said? “I will make myself like the Most High.” Attempts to make ourselves like the Most High (Christ) are the very thing that got Lucifer kicked out of Heaven wasn’t it?
I know some are saying right about now. Aren’t we supposed to be like Christ? Isn’t that the goal here? Let me put it this way. NO! He is the one and only and will forever remain the one and only begotten son of God. We were never meant to operate independently from him. Jesus said, “I am the vine you are the branches; he who abides in me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” We are to remain in union with Christ, by way of the Holy Spirit, and he will produce the fruit through us. He forever remains him and we remain us, but it is in a union of spirits. Paul told us “He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.”
To sum up then let me say this. The history of humanity reads: we are born sinners joined to Satan in his independent “I can make myself like the Most High” mindset. God gave man his Law, so we would know what it takes to be like him, and essentially told us “You think you can be like me then go ahead and give it a good try. Keep these laws perfectly and then we’ll talk.” Of course we know that hasn’t turned out so well. In fact God never gave us his law thinking we could keep it anyway it was just the way he would get us to see that. The law was, always and only, what Paul calls “a schoolmaster to lead us to Christ.” At just the right time God sent his perfect, one and only Son to rescue us out from under the law and grant us, who repent (have our minds changed), eternal life by entering us by his Spirit. We now are to abide (rest) in him and let him be him from within us. As we learn that we were never created to be independent of him we also learn to draw all of our life from the Spirit within, and we no longer look at life as though we are the ones living it. Christ is our life! “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me”