TO CHEW ON: "...you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who being past feeling have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness." Ephesians 4:17-19
Michael Leehan was mad at God. After a difficult childhood and a painful divorce he made a decision:
"One Saturday afternoon as I sat on my red corduroy couch, my heart filled with anger toward a God who seemed distant even cruel. My tiny snatches of knowledge about this God of the Bible had built the picture of a tyrant in my mind's eye: a God who is never satisfied, just waiting for one of His followers to step out of line ....
Hadn't God created a fear-based system with the threat of hell that forced people to bend their knees to Him, not out of love, but out of self-preservation? What did free will mean in all this? I was consumed by my tortured thoughts.
Finally, I said, 'God, I will not serve You. I will not serve a God of fear and punishment who forces His victims into submission. I will serve the dark side.' And I blurted out, 'Satan, come into my life. You are now my god. Use me, have me, and control me for your purposes.' ....
Immediately, a power swept over me" - Michael Leehan, Ascent From Darkness, Kindle Location 486.
Leehan tells that story and what followed in his memoir Ascent From Darkness. His activities included multiple affairs, cutting (as in self-mutilation), and performing animal sacrifice. He particularly had it in for Christians and would do things like join Bible studies or attend church singles groups with the intention of sowing doctrinal confusion and seducing women.
Admittedly Michael Leehan is an extreme example of someone given over to lewdness.* But as I read his story, I got more than one 'Aha' moment as I saw traces of what he was and did reflected in the behaviors of unbelievers I know—indeed in my own behavior during the years I was backslidden.
Let's keep in mind the fact that Satan is still behind such rebellious attitudes and actions in whomever they occur. Let's not give ourselves over to any of them. And let's pray more fervently for our unsaved family members, friends and acquaintances, that they will be free to "learn Christ" - Ephesians 4:20, to "put off ... the old man" - Ephesians 4:22, and to "...put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness" - Ephesians 4:24, Amplified.
PRAYER: Dear God, it is easy to rationalize rebellious attitudes in myself and others as a natural human response to authority. Help me to recognize its roots in the enemy Satan. Please continually renew my mind. Amen.
[*Lewdness - aselgeia means "Total debauchery, unashamed indecency, unbridled lust, unrestrained depravity. The person with this characteristic has an insolent defiance of public opinion, sinning in broad daylight with arrogance and contempt" - Dick Mills, Word Wealth, New Spirit-filled Life Bible, p. 1768.]*********
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.