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Stopping making yourself bigger

Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 27:1-28:26 (additional reading: Psalm 111:1-10 & Proverbs 27:15-16 )

How could such a gifted and trusted being as Lucifer (whose very name means ‘light bearer’ or ‘son of the morning’) cause the first church split and take a third of the congregation with him? The Bible says that he was ‘the perfection of wisdom and beauty’ (Ezekiel 28 verse 12). His clothing was ‘adorned with every precious stone’ (v13), and God said, ‘I ordained and anointed you as the mighty angelic guardian’ (v14). So what went wrong?

Lucifer might have been wonderful, but he let it go to his head. He began to believe his own hype, as we might say today. He was amazing, beautiful, and great… but he wasn’t divine. Twice the Bible says that God created him (verses 13, 15); Lucifer may have been part of God’s wondrous creation, but he was not – and never could be – God. He did not exist before all else; he didn’t have the power to create incredible things – people, animals, plants, mountains, and seas – from nothing. Lucifer was subject to God’s rule and authority, just like anyone else.

In this passage, Ezekiel underlines time and again how pride went to Lucifer’s head. ‘Your heart was filled with pride,’ writes Ezekiel, ‘because of all your beauty. You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendour. So I threw you to the earth’ (v17).

It’s a stunning and shocking lesson for us all. Even in the place where you might think no sin could possibly be found, Lucifer began to nurture a sense of pride and self-centeredness. He took a long, hard look at himself in the mirror, and liked what he saw a little too much. He became captivated with his own ego, and he ‘lifted himself up with pride’.

CS Lewis once observed, ‘the surest way to spoil a pleasure is to start examining your satisfaction.’ We must guard against that. Take worship, for example. It can always help us to focus on God, as it captivates our consciousness and we look outward and upward instead of inward. We can only do things in God’s strength and Spirit; but If we take our eyes off God and focus on our own gifts, we can become so self-conscious that we end up self-obsessed. Consequently, we become self-obsessed, we push God to the side and put ourselves on centre stage. As we’ve seen with Lucifer, it’s the original sin against God. Not keeping God in His rightful place.

Reflection

Have you pushed God aside?

Do you think more of yourself than you ought?

Prayer

Father, Thank You that You alone are God. Help us to keep focusing on You and Your glory. Help us not to allow anything to cloud our vision on You. In Jesus’ name, Amen


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