Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.”
From the teaching series, “Lessons from Isaiah”: Lesson No. 34
There is nothing evil about desiring to be like God. Paul exhorted the Ephesian saints to “be imitators of God, as dear children” (Eph. 5:1). Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I tell you that, of himself, the Son has no power to do anything beyond what he sees the Father do. For whatever He does, these things the Son also does, in the same way” (Jn. 5:19). Jesus imitated the Father. He wanted to be like his Father – but with a completely different attitude from that of Satan, whose desire to “be like the Most High” sprang from a self-serving desire for glory rather than from admiration for the Father’s wisdom and power and goodness.
So, if the goal of both Satan and Christ was to be like God, how can you discern when a person is motivated by one spirit or the other? If people motivated by Satan make efforts to “be like the Most High”, as he did, how do they differ from those who are motivated by Christ to “be like the Most High”, as Jesus did?
Those who are simple-minded in spirit are impressed with all religious activity because all of it claims to make people more like God. Solomon pointed out, “The simple believe every word but a prudent man looks well to his going” (Proverbs 14:15). This is true in the realm of faith more than in any other. And because there are many similarities, as far as appearances are concerned, between Satan’s way of “being like the Most High” and Jesus’ way of doing it, Jesus could have warned his followers that “if it were possible [Satan’s ministers] shall deceive the very elect” (Mt. 24:24). Are you deceived?
I could give specifics concerning differences between the way the spirit of Satan inspires men to “be like the Most High” and the ways the Spirit of Christ does so. [There are many differences from which to choose.] But it is up to you to keep your own heart clean enough to sense the difference, so that you will not be misled by what appears to be holy but is actually devilish. No one can save you but Jesus, and he will only save you if you hear his voice and strive to be like God the way Jesus did.