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Your Fix (And How to Fix It)

Situation ethics, hedonism, individual rights, humanism, the New Age… To convince Modern Man of his desperate need for a savior can prove to be a formidable, if not a seemingly impossible, task. Man is his own god, his own master; his creed is self-reliance, or as William Ernest Henley put it in his poem, "Invictus": I am the master of my fate/ I am the captain of my soul.

I, me, and nothing of you. When we showed up on planet Earth, we arrived with certain factory-installed qualifications (or should I say, imputation), one of which was complete self-centeredness, or utter selfness. If you are hungry, you demanded to be fed; if you were uncomfortable, you demanded that others appease your discomfort; if bored, you screamed until you were entertained. And what about "playing cars’ with your five-year-old playmate? Or playing "house" with your little girlfriend who lived next door? If you did not get your way, then, more often than not, you let everyone know that your way had been violated. Through all of this, you had not one thought for those around you, save that it was their job to leap when you said "frog."

How do we account for this innate, self-centered nature of mankind? Where did it come from?

When God created the First Man, he said something to this effect: "Now Adam, Eve, I am God and My job description is this: I run things. That is what gods do; there is only one true God, and you’re looking at Him. I created everything you see (including you), and I’m proud of My accomplishment. All this I have created for you to enjoy; you can do anything you want to do here.

"You see, since I am a beneficent God and I run things, I have designed all this for your good. I am not a party-pooper; I deeply desire to do what is best for you, and for this reason I have established certain laws, certain standards and limits for you. For instance, one of these laws is gravity. It’s a great law in that it keeps your house on the ground, makes your water slide work, etc. But if you violate it, you’ll go splat.

"I want to be your God, Adam and Eve, and even though I run things, I will not force you to obey Me. These laws, as I have said, are for your good, but there is no imperative determining that you be obedient to Me. I find no pleasure whatsoever in that; I’ve got the birds and the rivers and the trees for automatons, but I want a different relationship with you. I want you to love Me as I have loved you—voluntarily. So I have instilled in you the freedom of choice, for it is only by choice that we can build and maintain a love relationship together. And this is why I hope you will choose to allow Me to fulfill My role as god through your submission to Me.

"So how do you submit to Me? What does submission to Me entail? Here is rule number one: You must not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The moment you choose to do so, you will have established yourself as god. You will have chosen to run your own life and to leave Me in charge of the weather, the seasons, and seeing that the sun rises on a daily basis. You will have declared that you don’t need Me (unless you get into a pickle you can’t handle) and that you are able to determine better than I am what is good and what is evil. Your attitude will be one of total self-centeredness: "Well, I don’t see that this is hurting anything. It’s nobody’s business but mine, and I have every right to do it my way." I warn you: The very day you eat of this Tree, you will spiritually die. Not only that, but all your children will be born spiritually dead. You will produce an entire planet full of individual gods usurping My role; this will be their nature in that they will be born this way.

"With time, such people won’t even be content to let Me be in charge of the weather. They will gripe, figuring they could do a better job. Many of them will kill, rape, steal, cheat, lie, start wars, and commit countless other atrocities… and I will be blamed for creating such a messy world. Some will declare that if they were God, they would end starvation in India. They will actually conclude that I derive some sort of pleasure out of watching people suffer and will thus blame Me and reject Me for ‘causing’ such injustices; they will refuse to recognize that the problem is rooted in their disobedience, in their refusal to submit to Me.

"In latter days, most people will eliminate Me from their lives altogether. They will consider Christmas a holiday just for holiday’s sake; Easter and Thanksgiving will be all bunnies and turkey. And the intelligent people whom I have equipped with brains superior to that of the average person will call me Fiction, the Great Hoax, a Fabrication for the weak. They will be so blinded by their own opinion that they’ll fail to recognize that even the very years of the calendar are reckoned from My Son’s earthwalk. These will all be consequences of your choice should you eat of the Tree, Adam and Eve; and, as such, you will be responsible."

As I’m sure you know, Adam and Eve did eat of the Tree… but think before you blame them for your predicament. All of us have been guilty, at one point or another, of running our own lives. A friend of mine says this: "If you want to get along with God, stay out of His chair." Alas, it is too late. The damage has been done. God says that we are all guilty of sitting in His chair, that we are spiritually dead and destined to spend the eons of eternity in the penalty box for having declared ourselves god. And hell? Well, it is described in the Word as a bad place—an industrial-strength bad place that would make even General Sherman retract his famous description of war. But the wonder of it all is that God didn’t create hell for people; He created it for eh original usurpers, Lucifer and his fallen angels.

In order to go to hell, a person must choose to bypass Jesus. Jesus volunteered to come to earth and, during His entire earthwalk, he never once sat in God’s chair. He was never guilty of any sin, nor did He ever do anything to merit the "penalty box." In spite of accomplishing this, he ultimately chose to accept the death penalty on our behalf. As rebels, we deserve death, and yet anyone who chooses to accept by faith His free gift of salvation will be spiritually born into God’s family via the incredible gift of His grace. Don’t you see? It is the chance to erase the slate and start again!

This is how it all works: Since Jesus died in your place, the "death price" has already been paid, right? All you have to do is take advantage of it. By choosing to believe in Christ and submit your will to Him, He immediately causes you to be spiritually reborn as a new person with an entirely new (godly) life. It is that quick, and that’s what it means to begin with.

But just what steps does "beginning again" require? Well, it is not, as many mistakenly believe, only an intellectual exercise. One must make the decision with his teeth gritted, and he must choose with all sincerity to follow Him. First he must agree that he is hopelessly guilty and that this is one fix he can’t handle; he must agree with God that he deserves the "penalty box." Second, he must ask God to forgive him for sitting in His chair, for living independently all those years. Third, he must agree that he wants to make an "about face" and allow God to be his God. And fourth—and this is so important to the Christian life—he must recognize that he is, as a result, a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), that he has been justified and redeemed (Romans 3:24 that he is a child and heir of God (Galatians 4:6,7) and is righteous and holy in God’s eyes (Ephesians 4:24). Without this realization, a Christian will never enjoy the ultimate in living the victorious Christian life.

It is after "beginning again" that the Christian moves on to what A.W Tozer called "the glorious pursuit of knowing Him."

How incredible it is to experience the joy of coming to know and experience God as our heavenly Father. It is my prayer for you that you will come to realize more and more the immensity of His love for you; that you will allow whatever doubts you may encounter to serve only to strengthen your faith (resolve) and reveal Truth, who is still standing unmoved by change. I pray that you will strive to know God still deeper with each day, and that your relationship with Him will blossom, however slowly, into maturity and into the realization that it is His life through you that takes you through each day. And I pray that if you haven’t already, you will realize today his unflagging acceptance of you, and that you are new in Him. This is living, my friend.

About the Author

Bill founded Lifetime Guarantee Ministries to encourage people to experience the reality of Christ as life. His transparent, humorous, down-to-earth style and sense of humor made him one of the most effective teachers of his time. He communicated with great clarity the full extent of what God accomplished in Christ and what that means for the Christian identity. Although Bill passed away in June 2011, his messages are timeless and will continue to impact generations to come.