Open Heavens Daily Devotional – THE GOVERNMENT OF SELF (Wednesday 8th August 2018)
Memorise: And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Luke 6:46
Read: Luke 15:11-21
11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:
12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
The story of the prodigal son can aptly be summarized as what happens under the government of self. Although man was created to have dominion, he was not created to be governed by self. This truth accounts for the instructions God gave to man in Genesis 2:15-17:
“And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
One can safely assume that the purpose of these instructions was to let man know that he is under divine governance. It is unfortunate that the devil sold the idea of self-government to man. This same idea was what led to the devil’s fall from grace, and as a matter of fact, has continued to be the problem of man even today (Isaiah 14:12-15). The Lord is asking you today: are you living under the government of self or planning to detach yourself from the governance of heaven? Please don’t trend this path. None of those who did it before you have ever had a good story to tell. Psalm 2:1-5 tells us that God is sorely displeased by attempts to rebel against His Lordship.
People tend to see obeying God’s instructions as slavery, just as the prodigal son saw the control of his father as slavery. The prodigal son wanted his “freedom”, and so he decided to break away from his father’s control, not because his father was wicked or because he was suffering or lacked anything. All he wanted was self-rule, and he suffered for it. Every story of self-rule initiated against God’s governance ends in chaos, regret and unbearable suffering. The unfortunate thing is that the government of self is finding its way into Church. Today, any church leadership that tends to be built around the governance of God’s Spirit is often maligned, ridicule and condemned. From the onset, the Church of God was designed to be ruled by the Holy Spirit. He is the Vicar that Jesus Christ sent to us after His ascension into heaven. Whatever we do outside the Holy Spirit is invalid. I have said this several times, and because it is the truth and the truth is constant, I cannot retract this statement. Years ago, when certain brothers demanded more freedom from the leadership of our church, I told them that any freedom more than what they had already under God would amount to bondage. Those who did not believe me then, who found a way of getting the freedom they desired, understand this truth better now. Beloved, voluntarily put yourself under the governance of God; it pays now and it will also be worth it in the hereafter.
Father, please forgive me in any way I have sought self rule, and take control of my life from now onward in Jesus’ Name.
Bible in one year
Sing hymn 2
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE