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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Led By The Spirit Or By The Man

I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit-just as it has taught you, remain in him. And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.
-1 John 2:26-28

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
-1 John 3:21-24

I've come to realize the problem that so many of us are faced with. Our growth gets stunted. We get saved, but then we fail to develop a personal relationship with God. For some of us, it's easier to follow what man tells us instead of what our heart or the Spirit tells us. I think that's how some of us are deceived. We become so obsessed with doing what is "right." Instead of asking God to lead, we depend on the man to lead.

My spirit was torn because I was having a hard time understanding how people that I loved could be caught up in some beliefs that were not my own. Another pastor even made the comment "to be brutally honest, they seem a bit wacky" and "freak me out a bit." Maybe I just have a big heart and/or the faith that God will be my teacher and will not let me be led astray, but it honestly breaks my heart to think that there is no compassion, concern or love for people that seem a bit wacky. Most people would suggest that I leave these people behind and go where the "true believers" are. I can't. I can only pray that the truth that I find in the Bible for myself will be revealed through me to them somehow.

In trying to figure out where the break down is in organized religion, my theory is that churches have forgotten the greatest commandments of all. Love the Lord with all your heart and love your neighbor.

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment.

And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
-Mark 12:30-31

Our neighbors are Methodist, Catholic, Pentecostal, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Baptist, Non-Denominational, Nazarene, and the list goes on. My grandmother was a Nazarene. If anyone was to tell me that my grandmother went to hell because she was a Nazarene would have a fight on their hands. Of course, in love I would have to tell you that I know she believed in Jesus and loved Him with all her heart and she loved me and all the people in the Pentecostal church that she went to. According to Jesus, she was closer to the kingdom of God than most of us.
We are so quick to fight for what we believe in that we forget to have compassion and love for those who are on another path or for the ones who are trying to make it over the stumbling blocks that were left in their way. Real concern, not concern that they're going to hell for not believing the same way you do. Why would it not occur to us that if we're all headed for the same prize to encourage each other on the way, instead of putting each other down just because their beliefs may be a little askewed in our opinion? When we stand before God on judgment day, I hope that the Baptists aren't waiting in line eager for their turn so they can tell the Catholics I told you so. Instead I hope that we are all standing in line, rejoicing and thankful for the ones that are told, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world (Matthew 25:34).
If we truly care that someone may be going to hell because they're not saved, shouldn't we also care that those who are saved may become an unprofitable servant? Shouldn't we have compassion for those who have lost their desire to stay in the race whether they are from our church or a different one? Are we scared that loving them would be the first step to having one religion? I think that we're scared that we don't have enough confidence in our own personal faith or we're not confident that we've encouraged our brothers and sisters enough to have confidence in their own faith. Why are we not striving to be repairers of the breach and restorers of the path (Isaiah 58:12).
Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken [it].
-Isaiah 58:14


Blogger Cindy said...

First of all, I have to tell you- the storm broke and it looked like it was going to be beyond fierce. But then, things took a miraculous turn- God stepped in as only He can do and is turning tragedy into triumph. It is so awesome and amazing to see this miracle unfolding right before our eyes! I cannot thank God enough! It's not over yet, there are some tough roads to be gotten over, but He has brought us this far and He'll take us all the rest of the way.

In your post you wondered where the break is in organized religion-it begins when men and women take their eyes off God and focus on themselves and others. That allows pride and vanity to sneak in and that's all the devil needs to get in the door.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006 11:11:00 AM  
Anonymous handmaiden said...

As Brother Jason, of First Assembly of God said, are we building the church up or breaking it down? We are to be led by the Holy Spirit of God, and God loves every one of us. In fact, since God is the one that created us all uniquely, it would be fair to say, he even made the wacky ones.

We are not to persecute each other; we are to lift each other up. There is enough persecution from non-believers. Those who believe in Jesus Christ should strive to have the heart and mind of Christ. I'm not saying this is easy, for my struggles are intense as well, but strive, none the less.

To be worried about one religion, should not be a worry for various reasons. As long as we follow Jesus and His teachings, we will be unified in the Body of Christ as it will be when God perfects everything. The one religion that the enemy organizes, will be of the enemy, not of God. It will happen, because God said it would, so why worry? It will be another step closer to our Lord and Savior returning!

Besides, Jesus Himself was against division betweet believers.

Friday, January 20, 2006 12:42:00 AM  

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