Works of the flesh series: Factions

Updated: Dec 1, 2020


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The word faction is used to describe a factious attitude, one where there is jealousies, selfishness, disputes, selfish ambitions, a jealous spirit and so forth. Additionally, it also speaks of parties that stand as a rival to others.

Now, I believe everyone is ambitious to a certain extent, even if it is just a tiny bit. . .

Everyone, probably, has that one dream or picture of their future, of where they want to end up, who they want to be and how much they want to achieve.

We are allowed to have ambitions, to dream, but, when our ambitions get over our head, things start to go a little bit south. Actually, scratch that. . . They go south pretty dang fast.

You see, as Baruch Spinoza said:

Ambition is the immoderate desire for power

You see, power is not bad or good. Yet, as Erin Hunter said: Power is neither good or evil, but its users make it so.

People can corrupt power or make good use of it, perhaps to help others in need or make a change.

When we selfishly seek power, maybe to exalt ourselves as great beings, women that should be recognised, admired and praised, we are stirring so off-course that we may just crash and burn in that need to be known as something we are not.

When we let our ambitions get too strong or be selfish, not aligned with the Will of our precious God, we begin to lose focus of what truly matters (God) and shift it to us. We place our dreams, ambitions and desire for power, recognition, praise above giving glory, praise and doing our best for God, not us.

When we become too self-centred, we begin to neglect those around us for our minds are so closed and our sight narrow that we only seek our own glory.

When we focus on us, when it's all about "me", we begin to get too corrupted by our own desires, our own selfish gains and image that whoever so much as poses a single threat to those, we declare war on them.

Even if we don't shout on top of our lungs, we still find that person or persons as a threat to our grand masterplan and then anger rises, jealous springs and rivalries are birthed.

We start seeing whoever is doing "better" than us as rivals, as people that are stealing the spotlight from us, and then our stomachs twists and boil, our minds submerge in toxic thoughts and our hearts pump out dark emotions into our systems.

We get nasty.

We get super nasty when we don't our desires with God's will, character and plan. We get nasty when we feed our selfish ambitions, when we seek to exalt ourselves and collect praises from others, when we consider ourselves as girls that should be placed on a pedestal for the whole world to see.

We get nasty when we let selfishness, selfish ambitions, rivalries, jealousies and so forth corrupt us. When we let the devil play with us like that. . .

You see, by nature, we are selfish people, we focus too much on ourselves and not others, we seek to stand our above others, to indulge in our glory and shout to others "Look at me, I do this, I am this, therefore, you should follow me, love me, praise me and, glorify me".

That's us by nature.

It reminds me of the Devil.

I read this post from Desiring God that helped me understand more of what happened with the devil, and it appears that he stepped out of bounds and did something stupid.

Let's look at scriptures that may help us understand what happened for certain angels to fall:

“The angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day.”
- Jude 1:6.

From my understanding of Jude 1:6, there were angels (assuming that the devil was one of them) who stepped out of their boundaries, of their position of power and I believe they tried to exalt themselves above God. God did not let that happen, of course, and they were cast into gloomy darkness until the judgement of the great day.

In my understanding, the angels (the devil, included), got too ambitious and sought to gain more power than God had given them, therefore, their desires were no longer aligned with God's desires, will, and they fell from the beautiful presence of God, from His light to gloomy darkness.

Power got in their heads and that led them to sin. That led them to step out of bounds, to defy God and rebel against Him.

Well, things didn't quite work out for them, did they now?

The same goes for us.

When we let out selfish ambitions, nature and so forth crowd our judgement, stir us away from the purpose God has given us, we are walking straight to damnation. It's a path of destruction coated with shiny promises.

However, if there is a path of destruction, clearly there's a path of life.

"Jesus answered him, 'I am the way, the truth and the life; no one goes to the Father except by Me.'"
- John 14:6

Jesus is Life, through Him all things were created (John 1:3-4), He is the truth, the Word of God, (John 1:1) and He is the way to God.

Jesus is the way to God, to the beautiful, amazing and overwhelming presence of God, and, as far as it goes for me, there's nothing more gratifying, to be more desired and enjoyed than the presence of God.

When we walk in the right path, when we walk with and in the presence of God, when we let the Holy Spirit dwell in us, we recognise that we don't need recognition from the world, we don't need their praises and glorification.

We recognise that we are a whole lot faulty, we are sinful (it's our default nature) and we need God to transform our hearts, to shine away with His perfect light our darkness, the dark emotions, thoughts and urges in us. We recognise that it is through Him that we have breaths in our lungs, that thanks to Him we have every single thing we enjoy in this life.

Thanks to Him I have my parents, I have a beautiful home, I have access to so many things, I have the desire to change for the best Nicole He has in store for me. . . Thanks to God, I have access to God and in this existence, there's nothing greater, more satisfying and more important than God.

Knowing just how much we depend on Him and owe Him, we begin, thanks to Him, humbling ourselves, recognising that everything we have it's because God has given us.

After humbling ourselves and recognising that, dang, God has got our backs, He has our best at heart and He will never leave or forget us (Hebrews 13:5), we rejoice, we starting boiling up with happiness and through that happiness, we don't cower away when it comes to telling the world that we are who we are, we have what we have, because of God.

We shift from "Hey, look at me. I'm great and I do this," to "Hey, look at God and how amazing He is. Following Him and staying in His love is the best thing ever!"

We shift from wanting recognition for us to giving all the credits to God.

We step away from wanting human praise and glorification for ourselves to giving God all the glory, praise and worship of our hearts.

That's all thanks to God, sugar coats.

That's walking in our salvation, in step with God's will, plan and love.

How to watch out for it?

Here are a few tips to keep you away from factions:

  • Whatever you do, and I do mean WHATEVER you do, do it for the glory of God (1Corinthians 10:31) and (Proverbs 3:6).

  • Align your dreams, desires and ambitions with God's desires, plan/will.

  • PRAY! We cannot carry out a spiritual heart transplant on our own. We cannot change how we are on our own. . . Only God can change our hearts, His Spirit pushing away our sinful nature and helping us walk in the right path. We need to pray for God to keep showing us our sinful nature so that we can go to Him and have Him shine that dark stuff away from us. We need to cry out to Him for help for only he can truly help us.

Additional content to help you out

  • Desiring God (Book) - I'm currently reading this book, by Pastor John Piper, about Christian Hedonism, a concept that vouches that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. it urges us to see God as the most desirable thing in existence, as the source of pure joy and happiness, and our biggest Treasure/Pleasure. It's a nice read and I encourage you to grab a hold of it.

One more thing:

Next stop: Divisions

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