I have been pondering some things over the last few days. I have read a few prophetic words and subsequent teachings and have been wondering some things about them. Combine that with what a young friend of mine asked a few days ago, “how do we know what is REAL??”
The gist of one of the words is this: We have to be alert because sometimes we are being “snowed” by some of the Bible teaching we are getting. The other saw a a vision of the Lord speaking to some Pastors and Teachers telling them sternly that they must stop teaching out of weariness, hopelessness, disappointments and woundedness. Instead stop and wait for the love, hope and His solution.
It got me thinking again about all of this. I don’t have to argue whether or not God is real. That is not the discussion here. This is what its about; What is the person carrying God’s message saying? Is it from God? Is it coming out of the person’s own weariness? Woundedness? Disappointments?
This is very real. People have left churches, left God because of it. We also have cults that are formed because people are following a person or persons who are saying they are godly but are actually far from it.
Paul had this same problem in Philippians. I read this this morning from chapter 2:
19 But I hope [m]in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition. 20 For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus.
Yesterday I read in chapter 1:
15 Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even [m]from envy and strife, but some also [n]from good will; 16 the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; 17 the former proclaim Christ out selfish ambition [o]rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my[p]imprisonment. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice.
In this book to the Philippians, he talks about how some are only preaching Christ Jesus for what they can gain out of it. For their own notoriety really. He is not worried about it at all. So I guess we should not either.
Rather, here are his instructions from chapter 2:
Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any [a]affection and compassion, 2 make my joy complete [b]by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.3 Do nothing [c]from [d]selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
Don’t get hung up on people. People change. People speak wrongly. People sometimes are after their own gain or notoriety. Sometimes people are wounded and disappointed. We all are to some extent.
What matters is our own walk with the Lord. What are we doing to further the kingdom? What are we doing to love others and encourage others to do their best? If we keep our eyes on God and Christ Jesus, we will not be fooled.
How do we know for sure we are following God?
1. Are we loving God with all our heart soul mind and strength?
2. Are we loving others as we love ourselves? Now– think about this: If we don’t love ourselves, can we love others?
How can we get to the place of loving ourselves so that we can love others better? Get some healing in those areas.
3. Are we regarding others as more important than ourselves?
4. Are we looking out for the interests of others?
Notice, none of these directions are pointing the finger at anyone but ourselves. Its not someone else’s fault that I make mistakes and have not chosen the right way. It was my choice.
We always have a choice.
So be aware. But don’t blame God and say its God’s fault when people who represent God make mistakes. That is not God. Its us. Its people. We have the choice to get offended and walk away from God or turn to God and find out what He wants us to do in this. Its our responsibility to filter what others say to us. We can’t take everything our priest or pastor says as correct. We also can’t come back to our pastor/priest and blast them because we are right and that’s it. We can’t take everything some speaker/teacher/friend says as absolutely correct. We have to take it back to God. Always.
Look– We have got to get in balance here!!
Ask questions if you are not sure. But for sure take it back to the Bible and talk to God about it. Is it something that is life giving, encouraging, filled with hope and love? See what the Bible has to say about it.
We have that responsibility. Also recognize that people are not God. The church is not God. We are not always seeking God’s best.
That’s what I want you to understand from this post. Paul knew that not everyone was teaching about Christ Jesus with pure motives. He didn’t stop them. He used caution around them. He knew who he could trust and who he could not. Use discernment. Its our responsibility to judge for ourselves what is right and wrong and be on our guard.
Walk in love. Walk in unity. Look to the interests of others.
But don’t follow blindly. Keep your eyes wide open.