Lenten Devotional Day 11

Overcoming the Delusion

2nd Corinthians 5:14-15

For Christ’s love compels us, since we have reached this conclusion: If One died for all, then all died. And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised.

Lent is a great exposer of our deficiencies and delusions.  Self-sufficiency, self-interest, and self-righteousness are all delusions. But for today we are going to focus on self-sovereignty.

 Our “self” is the problem. You may have heard the statement, “We have met the enemy, and the enemy is us.” That is the truth when it comes to living out the gospel.

Our self-centeredness keeps us from obeying, serving, and loving like Jesus commands.

When it is all about us, it can’t be all about Him. And let’s face it – our world preaches to us constantly that it is all about us.

The death of and resurrection of Jesus changes everything. His death was not just some grand act of Divine expression. He was giving His life as a ransom – a redemptive price to purchase our very lives. That means we don’t belong to ourselves anymore. 

1st Corinthians 6:20 says, “Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.”

You are not your own. You were bought at a price.

What price? 1st Peter 1:18-19 says, 

For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from the fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish.

You have been redeemed, purchased with the very life of God the Son. That tells me something: Self-sovereignty doesn’t exist. It is only a delusion.

You are His. You belong to Him. That changes everything. It changes how we see ourselves. It changes how we view our existence. It changes what we do and what we are. It changes how and for what we should live. 

Now we don’t just live for ourselves – we live for Him. It changes the answer to the question “Who is in charge?” 

How do I begin letting go of the delusion of self-sovereignty?

Start by letting go of today.

Every day is a gift from God. I think we too think it is ours to direct. We seize the day. We go for the gusto. We want to make it happen. But we aren’t really in charge of today. 

Someone said “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift – that’s why we call it the present.” 

If you are really practicing surrender to God, you have to let today be the present.  

I am not saying that we should sit back and not attempt to be intentional – but the ultimate control is out of our hands. 

I learned a long time ago that if you hold onto control with a clenched fist, God has ways of prying your hand open- but it can be a painful experience. Hold onto everything He gives with an open hand. How do you hold onto today with open hands? 

You thank God for it. You let God lead it. You look for God in it. 

This is the day that the Lord has made – will you rejoice and be glad in it? 

If you want to give up something for Lent, give up the delusion of self-sovereignty. Make Jesus the Lord of your life by acknowledging today that your life is His. He bought it, and He can now command it. He can use you – or not – at His will. He can bless you – or not – at His will. 

Overcome the delusion. You will find that the reality of belonging to Jesus is much more dynamic than self-sovereignty. 

Chris Lohrstorfer, Ph.D
Chris Lohrstorfer, Ph.D
Dr. Lohrstorfer is the Vice President of Academic Affairs, Assistant Professor of Wesleyan Theology at Wesley Biblical Seminary.