It was Jesus who outlined the total truth concerning how we operate as persons: “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise” (John 5:19). Everything else is a delusion.
It is the subtlety of the delusion that causes us to think that we somehow need to change in order to meet some indistinct standard. Notice Romans 2, “The gentiles who have no law are law for themselves.” This is the “indistinct standard”. In other words, the illusion of independence. And it is so no matter how it looks – whether it appears pious, good, kind or whatever. This is the “evilness” – the delusion: I am my own source.
Only the Spirit can reveal how far down the roots of the delusion goes and how we every day are tempted to think: “If only I had done so and so, or thought so and so….” We even try to correct our emotions when we think they are out of line, again gauged against some obscure standard. This temptation to improve or correct ourselves is so subtle.
There are no standards in the tree of life – only the Person living His life in the flesh….”the life I now live in the flesh….” (Gal 2:20).
To further hammer home the message Jesus exclaimed: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him” (John 3:16). We do not function any differently from Jesus. There is no such thing as an independent self. That’s the cross we have to carry and that is our rest and freedom as persons.