Your Own Personal Jesus?

There's a song by 80's New Wave band Depeche Mode called "Personal Jesus." It's a simple and catchy song, and, if you're not careful, it can get stuck in your head all day (If I did that to you, I'm sorry!). On its surface, it might seem like it's trying to get people to consider faith in Christ, especially if you just listen to the repetitive lyrics: "Your own personal Jesus

Someone to hear your prayers

Someone who cares

Your own personal Jesus

Someone to hear your prayers

Someone who's there"


Really, though, the writers of the song were more inspired by Priscilla Presley's description of her husband: "It's a song about being a Jesus for somebody else, someone to give you hope and care. It's about how Elvis Presley was her man and her mentor and how often that happens in love relationships; how everybody's heart is like a god in some way, and that's not a very balanced view of someone, is it?"a How close, and yet how far away can these writers be? The heart being the song is very right, but the motivation is so wrong. What do I mean? Consider the fall of humanity: isn't that what the serpent promised Eve and Adam, that if they ate the fruit, they would become like God? And that, by nature is the world without God, everyone choosing what is right in their own eyes and trying to fill the throne, but equally sharing in misery. Romans 12:2 warns us about this very thing:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. We're not to be conformed to this world. We can't all be gods. There is ONE God, and through His word, He can transform us to restore us back to the Image of Himself that He created us to be. We won't find that in the world. It is through the Word of God, the Bible, and through following His commands among His people that we become transformed, and then conformed back to what He designed us to be. It is when we are in the Spirit, or, rather, the Spirit is in us, that we produce the qualities of God. It isn't something we can do on our own; it's through Christ Himself, and the Holy Spirit that we become what the Father calls us to be. Galatians 5:16-25 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who doe such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.


If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.





a Fox, Marisa (4 July 1990). "Pop a la Mode". Spin. Vol. 6 no. 4


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