I am getting back to the Word. I have realised afresh this week that if you do not have the Word of God inside you – you have already lost the battle! The Word needs to be the standard against which we measure everything. The Word needs to be the plumbline. When we do not value the Word of God and give it priority in our life, we are apt to have excesses in our lives which result in unbalanced people who just look and act weird. Or we end up in serious error. Both are bad and not fruit I want to bear in my life.
But how easily we forget the Word. When there is a new revelation or an amazingly dynamic preacher, we run to hear them and forget to weigh their teachings against the Word of God. We just swallow everything and do not check it out in the Word which is what we are instructed to do. In order to keep learning more about God, we should expose ourselves to a variety of teachings. Rick Joyner said that only listening to one voice is dangerous as cults develop that way. A cult leader wants his followers to only listen to him. A real leader that wants to see people mature in the faith will continually encourage them to listen to teachings other than their own. But this is a catch 22 situation because other people could preach error… Remember, nobody has all the truth. Not even us! We all see in part and prophesy in part . (1 Corinthians 13:9) But if we do not expose ourselves to fresh and new teachings, we may miss something that God is releasing because we refuse to move from our opinions and standpoints that God gave us 10 or 20 years ago! So what now?
The searching out of the scriptures and weighing the words of man are part of a process that is necessary for maturity. Let us look to the Bible for a model –
Acts 17:10 – 11 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily [to find out] whether these things were so.
Notices that they received the word with readiness – this demonstrates a teachable spirit. We should always be ready to learn from anybody! BUT, they did not just accept everything. They searched the scriptures DAILY to determine if what Paul and Silas were preaching was in the Word of God. We see the result of this in verse 12: Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.
As we continually examine each teaching and hold it up to the Word, we will gradually sharpen our discernment. This means that when we hear a teaching, our ear becomes attuned to picking up comments and points that do not line up with scripture. We are the able to go back and examine the scripture and make an informed decision about whether this teaching is biblically sound and whether I can receive it into my life. If it is, I can believe it and be blessed by it because the Word will set us free. If it is incorrect – I can shelve it. We all have to learn to do this in our lives, because we all need discernment. We must learn to discern for ourselves and not continually expect our pastor or leader to do it. But many of us do not want to learn to discern anything. That way, when we receive a wrong teaching and it bears bad fruit in our lives, we can turn around and blame someone else. Maturity means growing up and taking responsibility for your own decisions and dealing with the subsequent consequences!
God wants us to grow up, He never intended for us to remain babies. Hebrews 5:13 – 14 For everyone who partakes [only] of milk [is] unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, [that is], those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
God wants to be able to give us meat – but as long as we do not become skilled in handling the Word (that means weighing every teaching), we are just babies. Mature people are able to listen to a teaching, find the meat and separate out the wrong doctrine . Because as I said, no one has all the truth, but every one has SOME truth. We have to be able to sift through a message and keep what is of God and shelve what is not. This is discernment and we only ever become skilled in it when we pratise a lot!
Yes we are going to make mistakes along the way, but what child ever grew up without making a single mistake? The real issue is, will you learn from your mistake and not make the same one again. So if you have believed a lie or false doctrine at some point – look at why you believed it. Where did you miss God’s leading? Did you check it out in the Bible? Or were you overly impressed with the personality and just believed everything they said. Let’s examine our mistakes and learn from them. But most of all, let’s put the Word of God back in its rightful place. No matter how anointed or appointed a person may look – they can never replace the word of God and we should never afford them that place in our lives.