Luke Chapter 10
I find it easy to fall into the trap of desiring the gifts without desiring the giver.
Power, even if it’s spiritual power, can very quickly turn into an idol. I imagine that the disciples struggled with pride and self-righteousness when they were given the gifts of the Holy Spirit… I know I would! If we exercise our spiritual authority over the powers of the enemy without remembering that it is not actually our power, we can easily fall into the trap of pride.
In Luke 10 we see the 72 being sent out to proclaim the Kingdom of God, and they return overjoyed because they’d done miracles and cast out demons in the name of Jesus. He celebrates with them but gives them a reminder: our joy should not come from the benefits we receive from Christianity. Our joy shouldn’t come from people thinking we’re generous or kind. Our joy shouldn’t come from being known as righteous people. Our joy shouldn’t come from an internal sense of superiority over people who don’t live the same way we do.
Our joy should come solely from the fact that we have been rescued from sin and not by our own merit. We should be awestruck and reverently grateful for the gift of eternal life, rather than reveling in the benefits that our walk with Christ sometimes brings.
Christ is the prize. Walk with Jesus, not because it feels good or makes you look good, but because He has graciously rescued you from sin and death. The giver is better than any gift.