When a child enters the world from the warm and secure environment of the womb he announces, “I have arrived, and I expect you – all of you to respond at once to my every need, whim and desire!” And we, the enthralled parents of this little bundle of cuddly “Goo-goo-ga-ga” joyfully comply. Immediately.
And thus the “kingdom of self ” is established as “Goo-goo-ga-ga” develops into a paragon of self-centered indulgence in a society where personal “rights” have been elevated to near deity status. And just how does the adult version of “Goo-goo-ga-ga” manifest itself ? In at least three ways:
The insatiable quest for self-gratification focuses on the greedy longings of the mind(uncontrolled imagination, greed, etc.), the physical craving of the body (uncontrolled indulgence in sex, food, sleep, indolence, etc.), and in the unquenchable quest for recognition. (1 John 2:15, 16)
The former CEO of a company that went belly up told me how he was hauled into court and queried by the judge as to why the corporation had failed. “It was my fault. I failed in running the company. I am responsible,” said he. Stunned, the judge sat in muted silence. Finally, after gaining his composure he uttered, “In my 20 years on the bench, you are the first person to voluntarily admit they were to blame.”
Self-protection says, “It‘s not my fault.” “I couldn‘t help it.” “You don‘t understand my background” (Thank you, Freud!) “The devil made me do it.” (Remember Flip Wilson?).
Self-pity declares, “No one appreciates me.” “I got the shaft.” “Why does it always happen to me?”
So what is the solution to relinquishing the enslaving “kingdom of self “?
How about a daily funeral for “self.” Better yet, how about a moment-by-moment funeral? “I am crucified with Christ… ” (Galatians 2:20). In order to die to self we need to win the battle on at least two fronts:
(1) Regular quality time alone with God in meditation on His Word, worship and prayer.
(2) Cultivating the art of living moment-by-moment in His presence.