Scripture: Luke 11:23
Key Verse: “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.”
All of us are working for somebody’s kingdom, the real question is whose? If Christ was to return in this exact moment, could you honestly say that you were gathering or scattering? That’s a serious question we all must ask ourselves. If you are reading this, you are probably with Jesus, but the second half of the statement is what we must to focus on.
Jesus makes this statement against the backdrop of His declaration that a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand, therefore He could only evict demons and take dominion over Satan’s territory if He was stronger and had already overcome Satan and the armor in which Satan trusted. God began to reveal three things to me about our key verse.
First, I was led back to the study of Satan and how we ended up in this mess. Ultimately, Satan was cast out of heaven because of his vanity and pride that led to selfishness. His vanity and pride attracted a third of the angels of heaven who attempted to make war in heaven. Revelations 12 paints the picture of that war. His vanity and pride led to the selfishness and foolish failed uprising in heaven that not only resulted in Satan’s eviction from Heaven, but also that third of the angels who fell with him.
That same vanity and pride in which Satan used and trusted, is the same armor that Satan uses here on earth to make us think that we too can create our own kingdoms on earth. But this is false, there is only the kingdom of Satan and the Kingdom of God. The trick of the enemy is to make us think that we are building our own kingdoms, whose foundation is pride and vanity, but manifest themselves in the form of sinful selfishness. Selfishness is at the root of every sin. Every sin we commit is because we want something more than we want to be obedient to what God has instructed us to do. That was the original battle in the Garden of Eden where selfishness made Adam and Eve eat the fruit of the forbidden tree, believing that they were doing their own thing, but ultimately, they were surrendering to the kingdom of Satan by being disobedient to God. That is the armor of Satan, pride and vanity, that lead to a sinful selfishness and rebellion against God.
Second, was that vanity, pride, and selfishness only have one solution—death. Jesus was stronger than the strong man Satan because He overcame the temptations of vanity, pride, and selfishness through full submission to the will of God the Father. That full submission is what led him to the cross at Calvary, on the cross Jesus overcame pride, vanity, and selfishness in that God the Son, fully endowed with power of Godhead (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost) would humble himself and be obedient, even to the point of death on a cross (Philippians 2:5-11). Jesus overcame the armor of Satan through the eternal demonstration of what surrender looks like—death to be born again.
The first revelation began to show me how pride, vanity, and selfishness always keep us from being gathers unto Jesus, because they make us gather unto ourselves rather than unto Jesus. This whole journey has been about surrendering to the Lord, which can only happen on the other side of death. Satan was filled with pride and vanity because he had so many things going for him. The Bible in Ezekiel 28 says that Satan was the “seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” and later on that he was designed as a musical worship instrument, “The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes Was prepared for you on the day you were created.” The revelation was that the more we have going for us the more susceptible we are to the armor in which Satan trusted: pride, vanity, and selfishness. But just like that armor failed Satan in the war in heaven, that armor fails us here on earth if we too trust in it. As Ezekiel tells us, Satan just like us are created beings and need to know our place.
Third, that Satan trust this armor because it works so well. This is abundantly clear in today’s world of pride, vanity, and selfishness on steroids. Social media, the age of internet and mass communication, combined with a church in the midst of an identity crisis have created a troubling situation. The full revelation was that unless you identify your own issues of vanity, pride, and selfishness it is difficult to be fully with Jesus and gathering rather than scattering. I believe that is why the world is suffering the way it is, even the church of Jesus Christ and especially our leaders have been caught up in vanity, pride, and selfishness that does more scattering that gathering in the eyes of God. Always remember that God doesn’t see things the way we do that’s why we must constantly seek the presence of God for understanding about how to see things the way God sees things.
The dangerous thing about pride, vanity, and selfishness is that they are often subtle and shrouded in sinful self-righteousness that distorts the truth of a situation. God allowed my heart to be broken through relationships where I saw this manifest so that I would understand and be able to share with others, how much this too breaks the heart of God. God began to show me the areas of my life where I had to die to myself or no matter how well intentioned I thought I was, how much good I had done in the world to worldly acclaim, and how much I thought I was on the right path—it was all vanity, pride, and selfishness without full surrender.
The hardest part was letting go and walking away when I was confronted with the reality that I was on a path to gain the whole world, but I saw that I was going to be destroyed or lost in the process. It was because I had so much going for myself and so many skill sets that I was being pulled in too many different directions, but the hard part was that I saw unprecedented success and achieved things there was no way in the world I should have. The allure of Satan is that success in the world is no substitute for full surrender to the Lord. I used to sit and try to rationalize to myself about all of the alleged doors being opened, opportunities before me, and what logically made sense. What I ultimately realized is that I was naïve and deceived.
For Day 35 I will go more into detail about the death to self process, because that is the only course correction to ensure that we indeed are gathering and not scattering. But keep this in mind, one day we will all die and the things that the world celebrates about us are not the things that God the Father gets excited about. He gets excited about the gathering, because the gathering is the only thing we can take with us to heaven—God’s children who we help to find their way home. In all your seeking, start asking God what would make Him the most excited about your life. That’s when real life begins.
CPR Kit for the Soul:
Centering Theme: Center yourself and meditate on the areas in your life where the subtle tactics of Satan’s armor of pride, vanity, and selfishness have shown up
Prayer Topic: Ask God to show you the areas of your life where pride, vanity, and selfishness are causing you to scatter rather than gather
Reflection Thought: Have I allowed God’s blessings and grace in my life to be surrendered in my own Garden of Eden into the hands of Satan to be manipulated in the form of vanity, pride, and selfishness?
T3 Prayer Booster:
- Father God, I thank You that because Jesus overcame pride, vanity, and selfishness on the cross I too can overcome . . .
- Lord, I realize that I can only overcome the armor of Satan by doing what Jesus did, being obedient to the point of death to myself that I may be reborn in You. . .
- Lord, please reveal to me the areas in my life where pride, vanity, and selfishness are causing me not to gather for You, but scatter through my lifestyle and interactions with others. Lord I want to get excited about what You get excited about, Your children finding their way home . . .