We Need to Discern the Self Trap
God wants to lead us. The Bible continually refers to us as God’s sheep and to Him as the Good Shepherd. Yet in actuality, for many of us, the concept of being a sheep may seem unappealing at best. It may even hurt our pride. The kingdom of self wants to keep us from being able to submit to God at this level. It wants to pull us into self introspection and consume us with ourselves. Our overcoming journey is dependent on us learning how to discern the self trap.
We are God’s children
God also likens us to children. Children need parents to instruct them and to nurture them so that they may grow up to be functional adults. Likewise, as God’s children, we need to be able to submit ourselves to our Heavenly Father. When we do this, He can lead us in every good way as in Psalm 23.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. Psalm 23:1-6 KJV
There is a war for our lives!
This is where the war between the kingdom of self and God’s Kingdom begins in our lives. The kingdom of self drives us to forge our own way; it is self-willed. Its main goal is to separate us from God and others and surprisingly, even ourselves!
How does the kingdom of self separate us from our self?!
According to the Word of God, we were each created with a purpose to fill a specific place in the body of Christ. As long as we are teachable and willing to work with our Heavenly Father, we will be able to grow up into who God created us to be.
However, when we get entrapped in the kingdom of self, we try to form our own identity based on our own understanding. As a result, we miss out entirely on the wholeness of life that God designed us for. He cannot lead us if we will not be led.
An open door
This may be especially true when things don’t go our way. Naturally, as humans, we develop ideas about how we want things to go, or how we would like people to perform or treat us. We often have a specific idea in mind for how something should be. Then reality hits! We begin to reel with frustration, disappointment and all of the other feelings that come in with adversity. The question now is, how are we going to handle it?
The kingdom of self would love to join us in this instance and help us to develop thought and behavior patterns to control or manipulate the situation. It may cause us to try to force our circumstances to fit into our preconceived idea. Conversely, it may cause us to wallow in the disappointment of something that did not turn out as anticipated.
For many of us, this is the automatic place that we go to because we have been trained from our generations up until now to default to this mode. Some people remain stuck in this kingdom their whole lives and are unable to pull themselves out of its trap.
Why is this self-motivation so strong?
The key is in its name, “self.” The kingdom of self doesn’t come to us as an outside entity telling us what to do and how to respond. It comes from within as if it were our own voice and relates to us the woes of our life and tries to “help” us fix them. The deception is subtle and therefore without proper discernment, it can fly under the radar.
The kingdom of self’s main goal is to divert us from reaching out to our Heavenly Father as our source. It will try to make ourselves our source. This is self-idolatry. We become the most important person in our whole world. Everything else, therefore, revolves around our feelings, our needs, our expectations etc.
This kingdom includes the spirits of unloving, rejection, envy and jealousy, and self-pity. It also opens the door to fear, guilt, shame, pride, bitterness, and accusation.
Self-pity will fixate us on everything negative in our lives that did not go the way that we hoped for. It will try to catch us in a continual trap of being a victim with no hope of recovery because it wants to make our identity one with its self.
When self-pity is present, it will remind us continually of everything that has not gone right for us. It will replay every wrong done by us or to us that should keep us in this rut. Its goal is to keep us helpless and hopeless so that we cannot even dare to glimpse recovery or freedom. Self-pity will cause us to formulate reasons why no one can help us, yet it craves the pity and attention from others.
As long as we are in agreement with this spirit, we will look for God’s blessings but be unable to even recognize them when they come. If we let self-pity rule, we will never overcome.
How do we overcome this deceitful kingdom of self?
First, we need to recognize that what we have been listening to and agreeing with is not us and it is keeping us from God’s best for us. We need to develop a hatred for it yet separate ourselves from it. It is not who we are. When we recognize that we’ve fallen into the trap of the kingdom of self, we need to repent to God for listening to a way that is not His way and command that evil spirit to leave us in Jesus’ name.
We need to lay down our pride because the pride is not, in fact, ours! Why should we baby something that is not us anyways? Pride is also a spirit from the kingdom of self. God asks us to humble ourselves.
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7KJV
God wants to work on our behalf
This is the place that God can work with us and do His mighty works on our behalf! When we come out of agreement with the kingdom of self, including self-pity and pride and every other thing that would keep us from pursuing God’s ways, we will find that an incredible burden gets lifted off of our shoulders!
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30 KJV
Why should we submit to God?
Our loving Heavenly Father doesn’t ask us to submit to Him because He wants to control us! He wants us to submit to Him so that He can lead us out of the snares of the enemy into a way of thinking and living that will be the most healthy and satisfying to us because He loves us! Yet only He knows what that looks like because He sees the whole big picture.
He needs to be our source again because our own ways can at best only produce a counterfeit of the blessings that God has prepared for us as His children; as His sheep.
We cannot be victims anymore!
If we want to be overcomers, we need to remove all self-pity. We cannot be victims anymore in how we think, speak, and act. Our identity needs to be as children of God who pursue His heart and His purposes. We can decide to find joy and be grateful. This may take practice but as we continue to cast down the old thought patterns of self-pity, hopelessness, unloving, rejection etc. it will become easier and easier. As a result, we will develop new, healthy patterns of thought.
…for the joy of the LORD is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10 KJV
We can praise God for His goodness and faithfulness. And we can put off the hopelessness, oppression, and heaviness that tries to consume us.
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. Isaiah 61:3 KJV
It’s our choice!
We get to choose which kingdom we walk in! We become what we meditate on. If the enemy is able to cause us to focus on everything that has not or is not going right in our lives, (circumstances, relationships, health struggles or whatever it is) he can form our identity into that of a sufferer using self-pity as a crutch.
If the enemy can get us focused on ourselves, he can keep us from participating with God for His Kingdom and for His glory. But if we choose to immerse ourselves in the Word of God and to stand on His truth and promises we will receive a whole new vantage point high above our enemies!
And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD. Psalm 27:6 KJV
It’s not about us anyways
We may think that we are protecting ourselves or operating in our own interest but we need to humble ourselves and recognize and discern the self trap from the enemy that is diverting us from our true identity in Christ. We are His workmanship so we need Him to continue to do His work in us.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 KJV
Putting it all in perspective
We need to submit ourselves once again to our loving Heavenly Father believing that He truly does love us and has the best plan for us. His plan is far beyond what we could have created or imagined for ourselves. When things don’t go our way; when we are faced with struggles or adversity, we can believe what Psalm 23 says: He will lead us tenderly through it and set us up in victory over our enemies.
The Be in Health Team
A More Excellent Way:
If you are new to our ministry, Dr. Henry W. Wright’s book, A More Excellent Way is a great place to start. It supplies profound knowledge about the secrets of healing and the prevention of disease. Using sound scripture and scientific observation, Dr. Henry Wright leads the reader on a journey of personal responsibility, identifying root causes to specific diseases and offering pathways of healing and wholeness that were never meant to remain dormant in the body of Christ. Here, you will understand why mankind has disease, identify specific blocks to healing, and discover spiritual pathways to health.
Resources and For My Life:
In addition to reading materials and teachings, Be in Health® offers the For My Life® Retreat. This is a one-week getaway where participants can come and receive the insights and instruction that they need in order to be recovered in their spirit, soul, and body. The fruits of this retreat have been profound; tens of thousands of people have experienced healing not only in their bodies and hearts but also in their relationships. Our team members are excited to come alongside you in this overcoming journey to discovering God’s true heart and plans for your life and for your health.