“I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”
These are the two final lines from William Earnest Henley’s famous poem, “Invictus.” You have undoubtedly read this poem, perhaps studied it in school or at the very least heard it quoted in a movie or by a motivational speaker. I think the notoriety of such literary “achievements” shows just how off track the world really is in its understanding and view of God and how we are to relate to the world. Just like I mentioned in my last post about our society and its entitlement complex, I believe this poem also oozes with pride and displays the arrogance we have to think we are creators of our own reality.
There are countless quotes and platitudes thrown around today, especially in the personal development, success, achievement and new age arenas that are wildly appealing to us as human beings. They make us feel we are ultimately in control of everything in our lives and have the ability to create our lives in any way we see fit. However, anyone who has successfully made it through high school should know that these ideas have no basis in reality. The last lie and temptation is just like the first–the world has fallen for the deception of that old serpent once again and believed: “ye shall be as gods.” (Genesis 3:5)
Napoleon Hill almost single-handedly laid the foundation for the entire personal-success movement and was one of the first promoters of the law of attraction deception. I recently stumbled upon a quote of his which powerfully illustrates the error in thinking being perpetuated by poems like “Invictus” and countless other similar works:
“You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.” – Napoleon Hill
If this is true, then why do people starve to death? Why are countless children sold into sex-trafficking each year? Why is the world full of poverty, suffering and disease? If you do just so happen to focus on and “attract” some kind of “blessing” in your life, I believe it’s only because the devil gave it to you to try to keep you living in a lie. No friend, we are not the master of our destiny or fate and we are not the captain of our souls. God’s Word has much to say about the nature of our reality and who is ultimately in charge of it:
“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” – Proverbs 16:9
“I know, LORD, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course.” – Jeremiah 10:23
“A person’s steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand their own way?” – Proverbs 20:24
“The path of the righteous is level; you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth.” – Isaiah 26:7
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” – Proverbs 14:12
The bottom line is that the world today is full of new-age teachers and false prophets trying to appeal to our intellects and selfish desires. They are leading us to death by a way which seems right to us, by basically saying we are our own gods. Yet we are warned against this many times in the Bible:
“Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead.” – 1 Timothy 4:1-2
“For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.” – 2 Timothy 4:3-4
“Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.” – Colossians 2:8
Do not be deceived my friends. Everywhere we look in the world we are being tempted and tested to see if we are going to believe Satan’s lies or stand on God’s truth. What God has planned and is able to do in our lives is more than we could ever ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20) There is no reason to try to be our own god. Who needs that kind of pressure anyway?
How can you more fully surrender to God’s will for your life and allow the Lord to guide and direct your steps?