Once upon a time, I came across someone who stopped me in my tracks. Anyone who knows me or has even been around me for a short amount of time knows that I LOVE JESUS!!! I ran into someone who was just as passionate as me, BUT ABSOLUTELY DID NOT LOVE JESUS and was just as vocal about there not being a God as I was about my adoration of Him. My initial thought was, “This should be interesting. Let me engage them.” I just knew that I could simply love anyone to Christ, even someone who rejected God’s very existence. It became a game for me that I just I knew I would win. As I began to have engaging conversations, I began to see less than perfect qualities in the person but I was determined to look past it just as God would. A part of me wanted to show the same love to them that Christ showed and continues to show to me, and another part of me wanted to “win”!
As I continued to engross in conversation, I was so sure to let my light shine. I was the same me that I am but with a goal in mind. “You’re going to see the love of Christ and fall in love with Him, like I did”, I would think to myself. Soon after, God began to show me my heart. It was pretty yucky. The scripture that got my attention was Romans 12:9 which says, “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them…” With a huge boom to my chest, I felt the conviction of my actions. Here I was making a game of this and simply pretending to love with a heart that was just eager to score a “I MADE YOU LOVE CHRIST” goal. From that moment on, I began to do what the scripture said and really love them. My heart ‘s desire remained for them to come to Christ and experience the awesomeness of His goodness, but this time it was sincere and separate from my own selfish motives. Or so I thought.
Back and forth we would exchange information and God would put it on my heart when to share certain things and when to shut up. I thought I always heard Him correctly so I was very sure that I was headed in the right direction. I prayed for them, fasted on their behalf and prayed in the Spirit (to the point that a neighbor inquired about it because they would hear me. Uhh awkward, but whatever. ) Talk about Spiritual warfare! During that time in my life, God was doing some crazy, supernatural stuff. He was showing me things that I never saw before and revealing Himself to me in greater ways. I just knew that with Him taking me to greater heights that my sincere efforts would be met by my greatest expectation, but things began to turn.
Everything didn’t pan out the way that I just knew it would and our communication came to an end. In my confusion, I finally gave my expectations to God. I surrendered them all at His feet and gave Him His rightful permission to do as He pleased in my life and their life as well. While my heart’s cry remained that they would discover the truth of Christ and His selfless gift for them, I finally accepted that no matter how much of a light that I was, no matter how much I prayed, interceded, fasted and used every spiritual weapon that I could think of, God would NOT override the human will. God’s given us this thing called free will and no matter how glorious and wonderful and life-changing it is to accept His unconditional love, He won’t force Himself on anyone. What type of God would He be to MAKE people worship Him? Exactly. He’ll only come and live inside those who willingly allow Him to. Everyone has the ability to freely choose life or death. It’s just so painful to watch someone who God loves so deeply choose death. I know how I felt so I can’t imagine how hard it is for God to watch. Well, He knows all, so even until the end of the earth, He already knows every soul that will freely choose Him.
So life went on. And on. And on. Then one day, the person from the past came to mind. With a new found perspective and acceptance of the fact that I can’t change them, I welcomed catching up. No attacks. No hidden motives. No secret agendas. The reality is, I enjoyed talking with them even though our beliefs and opinions were drastically different. Anytime I would interact with them, I would see two sides. I saw the one that seemed to go against just about everything that God stood for and I also saw a kinder, loving, purposeful side. That was consistent from our earlier communications. So, as we briefly exchanged words, out of COMPLETELY NOWHERE, things became a bit hostile and ended quickly. I was fully prepared to go back to my life that seemed to be moving in the direction that God wanted me to, giving no more thought to the person that quite frankly, I could do without. I was reminded of all of the attitudes, behaviors and depositions that were so offensive to God and welcomed not interacting with them. That’s when I was confronted with the Leviathan Spirit.
I began studying the Leviathan Spirit (see Job 41) and Job in general (see entire book of Job, yes all 42 chapters). Job 41:34 says the Leviathan is the king of PRIDE! As you can recall, satan, the devil himself was kicked out of heaven because of pride. King Nebuchadnezzar was kicked out of his kingdom because of pride. Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed because of the many sins that were birthed from their pride. Pride is a vile, silent, venomous killer. Every time I thought about Job in the bible before, I sympathized for him. Here it was, faithful, righteous Job that endured so much but in the end God blessed him with double. For the first time in my life, God opened my eyes to see just how PRIDEFUL Job was. I always looked at Job as just trying to figure out why all of those horrible things were happening to him, but his PRIDE rose up and was apparent to my heart. More importantly, MY OWN PRIDE ROSE UP AND WAS APPARENT TO MY HEART. I was just as blinded to my own pride and as I was to Job’s. I proceeded to repent as my heart broke with every highlight that God presented to me of my prideful thoughts, attitudes, behaviors and depositions. I got a new revelation on forgiving your brother 70x7 (490 times, see Matthew 18:21-22) because after my eyes were opened I felt like I needed to be forgiven 490 times A DAY!
It wasn’t long before God showed me something else that I failed to see before. As I thought about the person that I clearly identified so many less desirable characteristics in, God lovingly showed me that everything that I saw in them was either something that was presently or in the past, in me. My mouth was on the floor as I realized that that person was a mirror-reflection of me. The things that I thought were so exaggerated in them that needed to be uprooted, were the very same roots IN ME. WOW!!! God used this person to show ME…ME!!! It was a life changing moment, but it continues to be a life-long change. See the thing about PRIDE is that it isn’t this one-time “cast- it-out” type of thing and then you’re done with it. It is so determined to weave itself into people’s lives. Coming against pride is a daily, hourly, actually a minutely feat. (Hey I didn’t even think that “minute”ly was a word but it is. Interesting). You must take EVERY opportunity, EVERY DAY to humble yourself or it can and will easily creep back in. Take EVERY thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. I realized that majority of my humbling needed to take place in my thought life. Every judgmental, superior or self-righteous thought, I aim to capture because it only breeds PRIDE, which brings death and destruction.
Symptoms of Leviathan (The King of PRIDE)
· Lying, Twisting of the truth, Deceptions
· Gossiping, Slandering
· Superiority, Haughtiness, Arrogance, Disdain, Boasting, Condescending, Self-confidence
· Usurping authority, Dishonoring authority
· Critical attitudes
· Wanting a reputation or wanting to be served
Taken from The Other Side of Darkness: Exposing the Leviathan Spirit & The Root of Rejection
Proverbs 6: 12-15
Revelation 13: 1, 5-7
2 Timothy 3:1-6
1 Timothy 6:3-5
Proverbs 16: 5, 18
Make sure you check out A RIDE with PRIDE (Part 2: Exposed) next week!
Your sister in Christ,