"But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away. " Psalm 37:20 (KJV)
"A puff is the end of all their puffing" was once aptly stated by C.H Spurgeon when discussing this verse. Those who love themselves more than God have one thing to look forward to (or not look forward to if you know what I mean). I don't understand why this is the case with God, but if He is truly the loving, just, caring, all-knowing God that He says He is in scripture, than I have to trust that what He does and considers eternally good is better than any idea that I can come up with on my own. Regardless if what I read Him saying in His word appears "mean" or "out of touch", I recognize that I have a God who gives all of those created in His likeness an opportunity to let go of being an enemy of His in exchange for becoming a "son" or "daughter". It's in repenting of this wicked life to take on the life of Christ that we become "born again" so that we may inherit the promised eternal Kingdom of God.
With so much self-promotion, so much blatant blasphemy, so much trying to nudge (or should I say shove) God off His throne in this culture it's hard to imagine who isn't exactly an enemy of God. Personally, I don't find much comfort in this Scripture (other than reminding myself of my own justification by Christ) when I also fight the constant battle of trusting myself into a true friendship with God. Like most people, I find it hard not to "puff" up myself in order to get what I want in business, relationships, friendships and any other place I can "get ahead" in my short stay here on Earth. Even though Spurgeon reminds us what happens to the "puffers," my short term fears are in a Spiritual MMA fight against my own eternal perspective.
When it comes to getting over myself, I've been having a terrible time lately putting an end to, "what I think" about everything. It makes life tough as I let go of what I personally aspire to become and take on the uncertain pursuits of what God calls me to. I go through stages in which this life seems so meaningless, so hard to find joy, and so hard to not become apathetic even as a follower of Jesus Christ. I find myself angry all too often, typically with "Christians" about the same things I don't like about myself. It is a lack of patience, a lack of trust, a state of fear, and more than anything a clear lack of the Spirit in their life (regardless if they say that right things) that has me wondering who really loves Jesus enough to not become like the wicked who will fade like "smoke".
The more I read through this Psalm and all of God's word, I recognize that my fears from the paragraph above are also meaningless. Everything in Scripture leads up to Christ and grace. We can't do anything on our own to get us into a right relationship with Him. Furthermore, the free will God gives us is to be offered back as an act of obedience instead of an act of sacrifice. When we give it back as an act of obedience we are responding to who God says He is and acting in a trustful manner that He will provide as He sees we have need. When we give up our will as an act of "sacrifice" it actually becomes about us and what "we gave up" because we think something "better" may be in it for us. The difference is small but it's clear. I urge all of you followers of Christ who are reading this today to get over yourself. It's not about the service and "things" you can do for God He's after, instead, it's about what God can do through you as you submit with obedience and trust your will to Him. If you want to be certain that you will not burn up and fade away like "smoke", get over yourself, get over trying to "save people", get over TRYING to do the Jesus thing, and remember what Jesus says to His disciples in Matthew 16:24-26,
"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?"
All you need to "DO" is let go of your life for His sake, stop the puffing and striving and trust that in letting go of yourself, the Spirit of Christ will get the things of God done through you so that you don't have to guess if you're doing them "right" yourself.