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Discussion Forum : General Topics : A Tale of Selfishness

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Spitfire
Member



Joined: 2004/8/3
Posts: 633


 A Tale of Selfishness

It is 2AM. I was sleeping soundly till something woke me up. I thought it was a loud noise, but when I awoke and got up to see what I had heard, I couldn't find anything.

I went back to bed and began to think about a friend of mine. My heart was burdened for him so I began to pray.

I began to just let myself go in praying for him and I was just letting all that I could see in the spirit gush forth.

My heart has been deeply grieved and burdened over this man for a long time. I guess I really began to realize it about 3 years ago. We met in 2002 at a conference and we've been friends ever since. Since I've known him, I've had periodic bouts of being angry with him, yet not being able to put my finger on exactly what I was angry about.

This morning, I think I was really able to tap into the "thing" behind my anger and to earnestly pray for him.

As I let myself go in prayer, I could see that it is his selfishness and self-centeredness that makes me angry. I can see that I have longed for this man's approval. That I have wanted to be someone on his "friend list". I set out a long time ago to be his friend. This guy is alone. He's been married 3 times and now he is alone again. He's a great guy, but he's really lonely and I feel sorry for him. I saw that he was lonely and had no one to hold him accountable and I wanted to show him that I really cared and that I love him. My husband, too, was overcome with a deep love for this man. So...as a family, we have reached out to him and tried to really care for him and be his friends. We let him into our inner circle, often having him over for dinner and including him in our gatherings at holidays.

I suppose I can see his sin so easily because I have harbored the same spirit myself. I have befriended people for my own reasons, for what I could get out of it. I have justified myself by being "nice" and for doing the "christian thing". I totally recognize it!

So...I just got up and wrote down everything I saw as I began to pray...

The Lord showed me a vision of this man standing next to a large plowed field with a desire to reap a harvest from this huge field. And I could see this man going to one corner of this field and planting one seed right in the corner. And I saw that the rest of the field remained barren and that this man is disappointed by that barreness and he is lonely and sad and disappointed and angry because the field remains barren.

From that image, I could see that this man is selfish and unwilling to do that which God requires in order to reap a harvest. He wants to be loved and respected and to have his gifts and talents acknowledged and everything he does is toward that end. He loves others and gives to others in order to get. He maintains a mental list of indebtedness in his mind of what should be coming to him.

This man is a spiritual tightwad! He won't let go of what he's got. He hangs onto it for dear life out of fear of losing it. He is willing to go plant one small seed in the corner of the field, but he isn't willing to sell all that he has and give it away to follow Christ. This man won't let go of his self-preservation and cast aside all caution to plant that entire field. He has sacks and sacks of seeds, but he is afraid to sow them. He just keeps sowing them one at a time and he never reaps much of a harvest.

As I prayed, I stood in the gap for this man because I know he doesn't have a clue as to why his field remains barren, but I can see his sin.
And I realize that it is my own sin, as well. I repented for this man and myself. I repented of my selfishness and for manipulating others for my own purposes. I repented of seeking friendships for what I can get out of it and for only giving to the point of what I felt was safe without it costing me too much, because my motives were always, really, just about me.

I could see that my sin has caused me to just have to put on a front and to hide from God and become, just religious, because I refused to be real. So I've gone on in a charade, like King Saul in Chapter 15 of I Samuel. When Samuel came to Saul and told him that God was "wrenching" the throne and the kingdom from his hands, he wanted Samuel to go with him before the people one last time and put on a show that everything was alright. He was still looking for a way to continue his charade. He didn't see that it was his refusal to let go of his life and follow God unreservedly that had cost him the kingdom.

This is my friend's problem. And mine. Isn't it really true of so many of us? We're holding onto our lives with white knuckles while looking out over the barreness and longing to see "amber fields of grain". We feel cheated, and yet, we continue our charade. We continue to go out and sow one token seed in the corner. Oh, my God! Help us!

There is something that God wants from us and it is everything! He wants us to take all our hopes and our dreams and our desire to be loved and respected and valued for who we are. He wants us to take our desire to be cherished and appreciated and loved in spite of our faults. He wants us to take our desires to have someone "wait" upon us and to linger with us long enough to see the real value of who we are and what we have to offer. He wants us to take all of those sacks full of what we want to reap from others and he wants us to give them away...to sow them into the lives of other people...and to be willing, even to just abandon our own desire for a harvest in our own field and to come and work in his fields, like Ruth. He wants us to give up our life for his sake and he promises to take care of us.

The thing that we have to sow in the Kingdom of God in order to reap a harvest is our life. We must give up our life, not in pretense, but in reality, and we must do it for the love of God alone, without expecting anything in return except peace with God. So we can say, like Job, "The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord."

 2007/4/15 4:46Profile
Goldminer
Member



Joined: 2006/11/7
Posts: 1178
Alabama

 Re: A Tale of Selfishness


If this isn't a powerful testimony I don't know what it. It is a lesson for each of us to check our own pulse. God help us all.

Thank you for your transparency and willingness to be exposed. We need more real messages like this.




_________________
KLC

 2007/4/15 8:55Profile









 Re:

With variations that's my story too. It hit me this last week that I have an incredibly strong will - so strong that its power frightened me! I can't control it (sounds odd, but you surely understand). I want to do what [i]I[/i] want to do...

Gethsemane is the answer I can't control my will but HE can!

"Not my will but thine"

HALLELUJAH!

Jeannette

 2007/4/15 10:58









 Re: A Tale of Selfishness


LittleGift said

Quote:
I can't control my will

I don't agree, although you may break out in a sweat while you make your mind or your body come into line with God's word to you.


1 Corinthians 14:32
And the spirits of the prophets [u]are subject[/u] [b]to the prophets[/b].


John 19:30
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and [u]he[/u] bowed his head, and [[u]he[/u]] gave up the ghost.

 2007/4/16 16:48









 Re: A Tale of Selfishness


As ever, Dian, this is a challenging word.

Quote:
[b]The thing that we have to sow in the Kingdom of God in order to reap a harvest is our life. We must give up our life[/b], not in pretense, but in reality, and we must do it for the love of God alone, [b]without expecting anything in return except peace with God[/b]. So we can say, like Job, "The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord."

Amen. I receive this, Lord.


EDIT: from My Utmost for His Highest, Dec 18th.

'The idea is not that we do work for God, but that we are so loyal to Him that He can do His work through us - [b]"I reckon on you for extreme service, with no complaining on your part and no explanation on Mine."[/b] God wants to use us as He used His own Son.'

 2007/4/16 16:50
heartablaze
Member



Joined: 2007/4/12
Posts: 65


 Re: A Tale of Selfishness

Our human selfishness gets in the way of love. It is so true that when I am not thinking of my God first and brother after, I tend to let whatever I desire for myself truly come out. This is not the life that Christ wants us to live.
Instead:
"And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Matthew 22:37-39
And what does he mean by love? It does not seem to simply be an emotion that can be brushed aside if it is so great. No:
If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
1 Corinthians 13:3-7

These are just some of the thoughts your honest testimony provoked. Thank you for it.



_________________
Kelsey

 2007/4/16 21:44Profile
Spitfire
Member



Joined: 2004/8/3
Posts: 633


 Re: A Tale of Selfishness

Quote:
I have befriended people for my own reasons, for what I could get out of it. I have justified myself by being "nice" and for doing the "christian thing".


I want to say something right here that I've been meditating on alot lately. For about the past 3 years or so, I've found God re-adjusting my attitude about friendship. When I was a carnal Christian (assuming I'm not still one :-? ), I used to choose my friends based on my feelings about them. If I liked them, I would be their friend. If I didn't like them, I would not be their friend. If I had a friend and they started behaving in a way I didn't like, I would cast them aside, after all, that was my perogative. But for the past few years, I've found God standing in my way of casting people aside for my own reasons. I've found God challenging me to befriend people I don't like or that I wouldn't normally spend time with. And I've especially found God challenging my reasons for not wanting to be someone's friend.

Now, all of this is about my heart and me thinking I have a "right" to choose my friends. I wonder, do we have a right as Christians to choose who we want to be our friends? Cause I'm finding that God isn't giving me a choice. He is holding my feet to the fire of loving the unlovable and being longsuffering and thinking only the best about a person and forgiving others when they offend me and don't even know it.

The thing that has angered me about my Christian friend is his stinginess in doling out acceptance. He only hangs out with people who he wants to hang out with and he avoids all others like the plague. Is that true Christian love?

Maybe we should think about this. Who have you avoided just because you can? Just because you don't like some way that they are or their doctrine doesn't completely match up with yours, or they just make you uncomfortable? So...you'll just get as far away from them as you can? Is that ok with God? Just thinking......Dian.

 2007/4/17 16:48Profile









 Re: A Tale of Selfishness

Spitfire said

Quote:
Is that ok with God?

I think you already answered that question with your earlier paragraph. I'd like to say that it may be ok with God for a season.... like this is what you used to do, but God.....
Quote:
[b]... isn't giving me a choice[/b]. He is holding my feet to the fire of loving the unlovable and being longsuffering and thinking only the best about a person and forgiving others when they offend me and don't even know it.

Your honesty is always revealing. I would never have guessed you had ever been capable of thinking otherwise. (I mean that!)

 2007/4/18 16:45
SeanHobson
Member



Joined: 2005/12/9
Posts: 150
Cleveland, OH

 Re: A Tale of Selfishness

At the first I was tempted to do as most do politely when someone we know starts a thread, responding in the common way: “good post” or “great word brother!” But upon reading it the Holy Ghost blessed me with his most precious gift—conviction of sin.

The vision of the barren land and fields, how broken you were in prayer and how you only kept friendly relations with those you could profit from—this was profitable to pray upon. Some spiritual excerpts read to do away with friendships that you don’t profit from, but love (as you detailed it) is to befriend men even of low estate and usefulness.

For him to reveal this light to you, and you to share both sides so transparent is wonderful to behold. And when I beheld this light I saw:

Quote:
He wants to be loved and respected and to have his gifts and talents acknowledged and everything he does is toward that end



The SINFULNESS of Selfishness was just utterly incomprehensible in my spirit Diane. I couldn’t sleep and I didn’t want to pray, and for three days I moved in a loathsomeness and melancholy state because my greatest sin was uncovered.

This selfishness is like humanism, its [i]meism[/i]. Everything is about Sean.

[i]My[/i] future

[i]My[/i] gifts

[i]My[/i] spiritual advancement

[i]My[/i] recognition

[i]My[/i] rewards and honors

It even permeates in my posts Diane. It’s like I have tunnel vision and I can’t see past my own reflection, and all I care about is [b]me[/b],[b]me[/b],[b]me[/b].

But blessed hope, God did not just slash a wound leave it to grow infected with guilt and depression. He gave a strait and narrow way out:

Quote:
to sow them into the lives of other people...and to be willing, even to just abandon our own desire for a harvest in our own field and to come and work in his fields, like Ruth



No statues will be erected for my spending time hearing my grandmothers stories over and over again.

No books will be written praising my submission to my mothers’ authority.

No one will give me a plague for sacrificing my wants to improve the quality of life of my nieces and nephews.

No one will make a wikipedia biography about how I sacrificed time to show love towards my sisters learning what their hobbies, goals, and dreams are—and actually caring enough to support them therein.

No one will notice…. except….God.

What a FOOL I’ve been. Oh how my heart and the devil hath deceived me.

Quote:
We must give up our life, not in pretense, but in reality,



Indeed, blessed are the feet of those that bring Good tidings, and the gospel of peace.
I don’t doubt your own obedience to this heavenly vision Diane, and I thank God you were the one to receive it and not I, for knowing my laxity I would have stayed in bed. These are the gems on SI. We subconsciously run from posts like these because they cut to close to the marrow (I.E. 100 views and 3 replies).

The night is far spent and I am not promised another season. God help us to sow seeds and cultivate them.


_________________
Sean Hobson

 2007/4/21 20:32Profile
yuehan
Member



Joined: 2011/6/15
Posts: 510


 Re: A Tale of Selfishness

It's been a while - but I found this thread to be very edifying. Thank you Spitfire for posting this, as well as others who have contributed to this thread.

 2012/6/23 18:38Profile





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