The Church has come to a place where there is no longer a clear understanding of Gospel Fundamentals. All Sects or Denominations have adopted customs and traditions and have begun to teach them as doctrine. These Denominations have taken scriptures to fit an agenda and have spread their own truths to their flock. Church Members have built on the foundation of their Denomination and have created a new standard for themselves. Many Teachers and Pastors paraphrase scripture in their own minds, then teach from their own understanding. These methods have of teaching and preaching have caused the gospel to be distorted and watered down. Scripture warns that this would be the case in the last days.
2 Timothy 3:1-5
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Our Ways, Our Understanding
We are all guilty of practicing these methods from time to time. Without doing our scripture research, we quickly believe everything we are taught. Reasons vary from the sermon sounding good to us or just simply trusting every word the preacher utters. We trust him so much that anything he says, we blindly accept. Whatever the reason may be, there are scriptures that tell us to be on alert and be vigilant at all times. Jesus instructed us to search the scriptures and believe on him as the scriptures have said. Therefore, we must always turn back to the scriptures to know if what we have been taught is scripturally accurate.
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
God warned us that there would be ways that seem right unto a man but in the end would be death. If you consider what this verse is saying, you will recognize that what we think in our own hearts to be good, can sometimes lead to the opposite direction. When we decide what we do is pleasing to God rather than seeking God’s approval, we speak in place of God. This makes us a false prophet before the Lord.
Have you ever been told to stop doing actions not pleasing to the Lord? I have many times in my life. My first reaction is to find justification for all my behaviors. The last thing that I want to do is to remove something that I have enjoyed for so long. I begin to think of all the different verses I can use to justify my actions. Verses such as: “I can do all things” or “all things are lawful unto me.”
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
1 Corinthians 10:23
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.
When we single out verses such as these and believe them for face value, our interpretations begin to skew their deeper meaning. At face value, we might read the verse to say we can decide for ourselves what things are expedient and what things are not. The thought is that because these verses do not explicitly say what is beneficial, then we must be free to decide for ourselves. These verses are not stand alone verses but are part of a larger truth. So while these verses, by themselves, do not specifically list out things that are not beneficial, the rest of the book does.
His Ways, His Understanding
From the beginning of time, God has set standards for His children to follow. He knows what is best for us considering He created all that is. When God created the first man on the earth, He explicitly commanded the man to continue in His word and all would be well will him. The man, Adam, decided to lean to his own understanding and he took heed to what his wife, Eve said. We know the outcome of that decision. Seems we are not too far from where Adam and Ever were. Our natural desire to please ourselves can override the will of God many times until God cannot direct our paths any longer. Solomon understood this when he wrote Proverbs 3:15-6.
5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Think about the outcome of your actions if you began to solely trust in the Lord and not lean to your own understanding. Once your heart is redirected to the will of God, every sermon you listen to will be filtered through the Word of God. Every song that comes on the radio will be scanned with the Gospel scanner. Your understanding of the scriptures will be a reflection of God’s understanding of the scriptures. To learn how to get your heart to direct to God’s heart, check out the article “He Shall Direct Your Path.” Verse six of the passage above states that if we acknowledge Him in all our ways, He shall direct our paths. What direction do you think God will lead us in if not His own?
God the Father is ready to direct us in the way we should go if we are willing to lean to his understanding. God made it clear for us on what we should do. In Deuteronomy chapter 30, we find God addressing this very matter.
15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;
16 In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.
17 But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
18 I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.
19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
20 That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them
If you are asking yourself: “How does one know what decisions to make?”, you ask a great question. The Lord did not leave us ignorant to this fact. God tells us that His thoughts are not our thoughts and our ways are not His ways. Therefore, whatever we do, it must be according to His ways and thoughts. If we feel inclined to feel a certain way about God and the feeling does not match what the scriptures say about God, we fall short. We would love for God to be an exact replica of us, knowing that God would be okay with any decisions we make. Sorry, that can not be the case, instead let us cleave to His words: “walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee..”
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