Mark Affleck

He Was Named Mr. YOUniverse For 2020, But Lost.

February 1, 2021
Spiritual Growth

Last month’s focus on the imperative (what must be done) of FULLY RELEASING CONTROL of our life to God has us moving rhythmically down life’s lane. But that lane cuts right through the WORLD and its hazards, hardships, and hurts. That’s why the natural next step this month is to stress a second imperative I call REJECT THE WORLD.
The best way to kick off that imperative is by realizing we are all born self-centered. We grow up self-centered. And we navigate the waters of life as an adult self-centered—even while we are working hard to release control of our life to God.
Making matters worse is our INSTANT-GRATIFICATION society that could be called a YOUniverse!
Today’s cultural force field acts as a filter through which the media promotes self-centeredness. The vulnerable people under this attack are chasing success, money, hedonism, and power. That chase, which I used to be part of, leaves no time or room in the heart for God, let alone others.
The common thread running through and dominating this frightening self-centeredness narrative is ME, MY, AND I–I want…MY needs…What about ME?
When we live by this narrative, we look at everything we encounter through this lens: What can I get out of it?
Self-centeredness is rooted in our fleshly desire to please our own interests more than we want to please God. Every act of self-love is rebellion against the authority of God.
Jesus created us to do great things well beyond our comprehension and imagination for him and his Kingdom. But unless and until we reject all vestiges of self-centeredness, we will come up short on that goal and sacred responsibility.
God doesn’t want that to be our fate. He wants us to step off our self-absorbed pedestal and elevate him into his right position of Lord. He wants us to channel the energy we’ve been spending loving ourselves to loving him and others. He wants us to shutter the “church of self” and disconnect from the YOUniverse.
I ask God to help me REJECT THE WORLD’S call to focus on me in my YOUniverse. To give me the courage to fight off the temptation to be selfish rather than humble. To show me the value of helping others and putting their interests above mine.
Are you living in a YOUniverse? If so, when will you start packing your things and move out?
“Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.”  Romans 8:8

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