The 19th century philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, believed that our desire for success, money, or love really went back to our “will to power.” Whereas other philosophies focused on calibrating our internal state to accept reality, Nietzsche focused more on conforming reality to our desires. Although it’s terribly out of fashion to admit one desires and pursues power, this counterfeit god is alive and well. We can get so involved with a political party, a social justice issue, or advocating some cause that we begin to live for it rather than God. We seek to make the world better and this often takes heroic sacrifice and commitment, which, in turn, can easily lead to removing God from the throne of our hearts and even defying how he says to live in the process. The solution is not to divest ourselves of power, but to submit our wills to God. Humility is the way God can redeem our influence for his purposes. In his earthly ministry, Jesus was powerful, but he did not let it go to his head; instead, he constantly recognized that God was the source of his words and works. In the end, God exalted Jesus, bestowing on him a name that is above everyone else. This is our example.
Notes and Links:
- Episodes in this series on Counterfeit Gods:
- Check out Off Script 16: Christians Discussing Politics
- For an excellent overview of this topic, listen to Tim Keller’s talk on Podcast 41: Counterfeit Gods or watch it on YouTube
- To purchase the book this series is based on by Tim Keller, go here
- Intro music: “Protofunk” by Kevin MacLeod. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.