“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” –John 10:10
I had a conversation over the weekend with someone I love and care for deeply. The conversation lasted over 90 minutes and at the end of it I was deeply saddened and depressed. I don’t speak with this person very often, probably less than once a year, for that very reason. No matter how much I love him, no matter how much I care for him, there is really nothing I can do for him other than pray, fervently. And ask everyone I know to pray for him also.
A little bit of an explanation here… I have known this man, who shall remain nameless, all his life. I know his dysfunctional family. I know his childhood pain. I know the obstacles and challenges he had while growing up, I shared many of them. I completely understand why, at 10 years old, this man turned to drugs and alcohol in an attempt to alleviate the pain of his life. I do not agree with many of his choices and he does not agree with many of mine. Despite all that, I love him, deeply and unconditionally. However, I do not let him into my life very often. He tends to wreak havoc and destruction wherever he goes. After an interaction with him I am left saddened and depressed for many days. However, I will never completely cut him out of my life and if he ever needs me, I will do anything within my power to help him.
Right now, more than anything in the world, he needs my prayers. He needs the prayers of anyone who will pick up the challenge to pray for him. I will be honest, he is difficult to pray for. Although he has not been drinking and/or using for about 7 years now he is still addicted to drugs and alcohol. He doesn’t use because his employer performs random testing and to fail the testing means he loses his job. However, since he has never sought or received help his addictions still have him by the throat. He is rude. He is crude. He swears up a blue streak. He lies, or, as my mother says, he has a very vivid imagination. His imagination is so vivid that he believes everything he makes up. But here is where he needs prayer the most… He is very mixed up about his faith. In a 90 minute telephone conversation his statements regarding his faith changed several times. He is lost. The enemy has burrowed talons deep into this man’s heart and has a stranglehold. I believe the only way to free him from Satan’s grasp is to pray him out.
I want to address several of the statements he made Sunday evening here. I want to do this for a couple of reasons, primarily because when he made these statements I was unable to refute them. Familiar with the nature of our relationship I know they will come up again and if I address them here I will be more prepared next time they come up. There are several statements so this will likely be a series of posts. I have started with the one he quotes to me the most often.
Statement #1: We were made in the image of God and therefore, when we die, we will become gods ourselves.
Argh! How many times have I heard this? Not just from him but from other people who do not understand Genesis 1:27 — So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God does not have a body so we were not created in His physical image, rather, we were created in His nature, we have a soul and a spirit. We have been given dominion over the things of the earth, but we do not have dominion over heavenly things. We were made in His image in that we were given free will, we are not unintelligent automatons. We do have intelligence and choice. We are not gods and we never will be. The best analogy I can think of is this: I can make an image of a $100 bill. It will share some characteristics with the real thing but you cannot spend it because it is not the real thing. The image of the $100 bill is counterfeit. Believing that man can become God is believing in a counterfeit god. This is not saving faith. The Bible says over and over again that there is one God. If we become gods ourselves when we die then the Bible is not reliable. If the Bible is not reliable, then we have no hope of salvation.
Fortunately, I believe the Bible is utterly reliable. I know in my heart that there is ONE God. Yes, there are three beings in one entity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That is the topic I hope to address in my next post.
Oh, and why my opening quote? I believe the thief is the one clouding the mind of my loved one. And we all know who that thief is, don’t we?