Last week, I was able to go back to my home town and spend a day reminiscing. It had been 34 years since I saw the homes I grew up in, schools I attended, fields where I played ball and places I worked.
As Joani and I drove through the town, I had fond memories of friends, teachers, coaches and bosses. But I also recalled some not so happy moments. Times when I was a jerk (I know, it's hard to believe), not such a good son, brother, friend, student or employee. Thank the Lord for His mercy, grace and forgiveness.
One thing I was not able to do in Oregon was to return to George Fox College, where I attended for a few semesters. I write "few semesters" because I WORE OUT MY WELCOME pretty quickly while I was there. While at G.F.C., I discovered there were two "Dean's Lists". One for academics (good list) and one for disciplinary concerns (bad list). I was on the latter and was invited by the Dean to attend another college.
Have you ever worn out your welcome? Maybe not in as dramatic a case as mine, but in some way? There are many reasons why we wear out our welcome and I want to show you five ways Lucifer (the Devil) wore out his in Heaven. Isaiah 14:12-14 says, "How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been case down to the earth. You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly... I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High."
Wow! That was some nerve Lucifer had. God had exalted him to be the Guardian Angel - the highest of His created beings - but Lucifer wanted MORE. He thought he could be God. It was this price that caused the five "I WILLS", dooming his relationship with God and sealing his fate for eternity.
These same willful attitudes can doom us as well, such as:
1) Self Reliance (I will ascend to Heaven) - Wrong, Acts 4:12 says, "Salvation is found in no one else."
2) Self-Exaltation (I will raise my throne) - No, Matthew 20:28 says, "Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve. We are to serve one another and not serve ourselves.
3) Self-importance (I will sit enthrones on the mount of assembly) -Really? "The mount of assembly" referred to here was the seat of judgement. This was where Lucifer felt he belonged- as the judge. Jesus commanded in Luke 6:37, "Do not judge".
4) Self-Governance (I will ascend above the tops of the clouds) - People have always wanted to run their own life. The problem is, once "I" (that'd be you) is added, "run" becomes "ruin". Solomon said in Proverbs 3:5, "Trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding."
And finally, 5) Self-Worship (I will make myself like the Most High) - Self made men worship their maker, but Jesus told the devil in Matthew 4:10, "Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only."
We must guard ourselves and not wear out our welcome with God.