“But mom, I just can’t fall asleep,” my 6 year old son, Finn, just told me.
He stayed home from school the past couple days because he’s had a nasty flu virus. Of course, being sick, his mom knew an afternoon nap would do him well.
Stop trusting yourself, Finn.
He’ll give you sweet slumber buddy.”
That, of course, was my answer for my sweet boy. And oh… how often I have needed these same words spoken to me as well. Not only when I have trouble sleeping, but every day, in all things.
WHY WE CAN’T TRUST OURSELVES
Today I want to talk about why we cannot trust ourselves in anything, despite the fact that we incessantly seek, strive, and are utterly determined to.
In the last Prepare the Way video message, I introduced the idea that human beings are intrinsically—because of the first man Adam—slaves of Satan. I taught that when Adam believed the lies of the serpent and ate the fruit, a sale actually was taking place. Truth was sold for a lie, and the whole human race, which Adam bore within him, was trafficked to Satan. On that day, human beings didn’t become bad, they became slaves of an evil slave-master. These two ideas may sound like one and the same thing, but they are actually vastly different.
If humanity itself became bad that day, they are the instigators of evil. However, if humanity became enslaved that day, they are victims of an evil perpetrator.
Do not get me wrong here. Human beings are capable of the most hellish evil, are we not? But that’s just it, it’s hellish. It’s source is hell itself.
AN EVIL PERPETRATOR
If you think about it, even in the Garden of Eden, the evil exchange that went down did not begin with Adam or Eve. It began with Satan. Satan introduced the lie. Satan conned them into doing what he wanted them to do.
Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Gen. 3:12-13)
It is true. It was the serpent’s idea! Here we see, even in the very first sin, Satan was the one organizing and manipulating the whole tragic exchange. Sin did not originate in the heart of man! It originated in the heart of Satan.
And hear this: nothing has changed since then! The only difference between then and now is the difference between the physical and the spiritual. In the garden, before the first sin, Satan could only speak to Adam and Eve from outside of them. From the serpent. But the moment they gave up the truth of God within them, and received into their minds and hearts the lie of Satan as if it were true, Satan gained direct access to their spirits. From then on, humanity has been able to perceive his lies in the inward man. (Many refer to this as “the sin nature”.) Once received as if true, we act upon those lies—in thought, word, or deed.
AN EVIL SLAVE MASTER
And friend, this is exactly how he sits as slave master over all humanity. It’s not that he “possesses” us (though, of course, Biblical accounts abound telling us this is possible). Rather, it’s that he lies to us. He manipulates us with his words of deceit. We are spiritual creatures living in physical bodies. And our spirits naturally discern the spiritual, though unseen dark world around us. This became possible that fateful day in the Garden. And today, we still discern, and even believe its lies far more than we realize (see James 1:13-16). It’s a terrible thing, isn’t it? But know this—such is common to all people.
Dear friend, this is simply why we cannot trust ourselves. These bodies underwent a change in Eden, in our forefather Adam. They became permanently opened and subject to the lies (aka: the sin) of Satan. These bodies cannot not hear them and act on them. See how Paul described life according to himself (take your time and read this slowly)…
For what I am doing, I do not understand.
For what I will to do, that I do not practice;
but what I hate, that I do.
If, then, I do what I will not to do,
I agree with the law that it is good.
But now, it is no longer I who do it,
but sin that dwells in me.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh)
nothing good dwells;
for to will is present with me,
but how to perform what is good I do not find.
For the good that I will to do, I do not do;
but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.
Now if I do what I will not to do,
it is no longer I who do it,
but sin that dwells in me.
I find then a law, that evil is present with me,
the one who wills to do good.
For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.
But I see another law in my members,
warring against the law of my mind,
and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin
which is in my members.
Does that sound like a familiar scenario to you? Moreover, does that not sound like a person who is being forced to do things he/she doesn’t want to do? Does it not sound like human slavery?
Such is the plight of mankind!
And this is why we cannot count on ourselves.
Let me give you a made-up (though totally possible) scenario. If a young girl, who was conned into sex slavery at the promise of work and a livelihood for her family, has it in her mind to make a simple supper for herself at 6pm, can she trust that she will exactly be able to make supper at 6pm? What if the despicable owner of the brothel comes home at 5:55 in “need” of a “favor”? Does that small, frail, victimized girl have the ability to say “No, my plan was to make supper for myself at 6. I’m busy, sorry.”? You and I both know that she will not get to do her will when and how she wants. She, devastatingly, has a horrendous slave master who gets to decide what she does.
I THINK WE ARE ON TO THIS
You and I have such a horrendous slave master. Our slave master might not use the same tactics to manipulate us as the brothel master just described likely does… but our slave master is terribly horrendous nonetheless.
Similar to how the girl sold under slavery cannot trust she’ll be able to do as she would like to do, you and I cannot trust ourselves to do what we want to do.
I actually think we know this. I think we instinctively understand that we cannot trust ourselves and this is the reason we struggle with being nervous, fearful, and anxiety-ridden. In our Adam-nature, we are sold as slaves to the lies (sin-commands) of Satan. What we don’t want to do, we have to do. “Believe in yourself” only goes so far, because there’s a ruler of self who gets the final say! Or I should say, the final lie.
“…but I am carnal, sold under sin.” (Rom. 7:14b)
OUR HOPE THOUGH
This is where our hope comes in. Friends, we can’t trust ourselves. But as I told Finn at nap time, we can trust Jesus. He is our hope.
Now, in the earthly human condition we can seek to discern lie from truth. We can seek to act from what we think is truth instead of lie. Yet, in this Adam-nature, we are utterly unable to perfectly discern truth from error. Sometimes it’s hard to know what is true, isn’t it? This is because our evil master is a master of deceit. He can make likes look lovely and sound like truth.
This is where the need for the Holy Spirit of God comes in.
But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. (John 16:13)
Jesus came into our situation and rescued us from it! His rescue of us from slavery applies to each of us personally the moment we receive—believe—the truth that 1) He took our sins (those controlling lies in us) upon Himself and brought them to death (1 Peter 2:24), 2) when we believe he took them to burial in the tomb, annulling sin’s curse upon us (Gen. 3:19), and 3) when we believe God rose Him from the dead by His glory via the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:4, 8:11). Simple faith in these facts, trusting they’re true, causes the Holy Spirit to come into you, transferring your origins from Adam to Jesus (Eph. 1:13-14, 1 Cor. 15:22).
As in Adam we became privy to and enslaved to the lies of the dark spiritual world around us, in Christ, we become privy to (via the Holy Spirit in us) and freed by the true thoughts of Jesus!
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)
So, friends, you and I cannot trust ourselves in the enslaved human-nature we exist in in these bodies of flesh. We both know we’ll only end up with hives! Haha! BUT we can abundantly trust Christ. We can trust Him to only speak truth to us, and through the energizing of the indwelling Spirit, give us victory—to conquer our enemy… in all things.
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)
Yes indeed, He did love us. So much so, that He came and rescued us!
LEARNING TO TRUST
Here’s the thing though… we have to learn to consciously trust Jesus. We have to learn to believe we’re in Him, and can now discern the truth through Him (communicated via the Holy Spirit). This does not come naturally to us. What is natural—in-born—is to trust ourselves. Yet any moment in which we trust He will give us the truth and strength we simply do not have, we will have victory. We’ll overwhelmingly conquer our enemy, as the verse above just said! GLORY Hallelujah!! THIS is our hope!! But trust we must.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (Eph. 3:20-21)
Yes! Amen! And Hallelujah!
BY THE WAY…
By the way, two minutes after I encouraged my boy to “Stop trusting yourself, Finn. Trust Jesus”, I went and peaked into his room… and guess who was sound asleep?