Monday, August 13, 2012

Disqualified For The Prize

There are a lot of spiritual people out there but it doesn't make them right. Just because they mention God or say something about Jesus does not make them a follower of Jesus Christ. Consider somebody like Oprah who teaches universalism, believing that all gods are the same God and that there are many paths that lead to him. I have no idea how she started out but she is heading in the wrong direction now. She's not alone.

You are going to come across a lot of people who will tell you that they have studied the original language of the Bible and that we have interpreted it wrong. In the original language there can be several meanings attached to a word so the context is important to understand. Even more importantly is the guidance of the Spirit in these things. It is his purpose to teach us and without him we can make the Bible say whatever we want. So we get a lot of people doing their own thing, teaching what they think is right. Apostle Paul gave us a warning about that:

Do not let anyone who delights in false humilityand the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. (Colossians 2:18)

He warns us not to let these people disqualify us, to throw into confusion what we have already gained by the Spirit, to interrupted our progress and to cause us to choose a wrong path. Good teachers can convince us of anything but we have to remember that there is only one authority we bend our knee to, only one we worship, only one we follow and trust. Anyone who leads us away from Jesus and his instructions has lost connection with the King:

He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow. (v. 19)

So often the enemy is there to plant doubt in our knowledge of God, "Did God really say ... ?" Did God really say to love those who hurt you? Did God really say that homosexuality is an offence to him? Did God really say there is only one path to come to him? Did God really say we have to die to self? Did God really say that the only acceptable place for the gift of sex is inside of marriage? So many things are being questioned and reworked just so we can try to have both Jesus and the world, but it doesn't work that way. Those who are possessed by the Spirit of God know the truth and there is no wiggle room.

If the authority who you are listening too is consistently teaching contrary to the Word of God, the conviction of the Spirit, and the authority of Jesus, you need to run away. Occasionally all us teachers make mistakes. We too get tired or distracted and speak from our flesh. It shouldn't happen but it does. However, when it does the Spirit is quick to correct and we are quick to apologize. We know that we do not own this truth and the revelation of it is not from us but from the Spirit so we must always be attuned to the Spirit. Without the Spirit we are nothing.

So, take caution, not everyone who claims to be a follower of Jesus is a follower; not everyone who claims to be a teacher is a teacher; not everyone who claims to know the Word knows by the Spirit. You have been given discernment through the Spirit of God in you to know the difference. Know the Word, stay sensitive to the Spirit, keep Jesus as the only authority you bend your knee to and you will be well protected from the lies of the enemy. Do not let anyone disqualify you for the prize.

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