Where do you get your confidence?
“I want to know if the life we have in Christ is really true.” asks the pastor.
I recently read where a pastor made this comment to an author/speaker. Have you ever wondered about this? Are you asking yourself the question.. Is the life we have in Christ really true? It appears this person/pastor needs confirmation as to the reality of the life in Christ. I wondered why a pastor would need such confirmation.
Do you lead a flock and ask yourself this …? How do I know if the life we have in Christ is really true? Are you free in Christ?
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
I have to ask. Considering the size of this country… the current population at 329+ million people, how many evangelicals, teachers, preachers, authors, bloggers, etc. would you say have a real influence (the act or power of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command) on how we think, our beliefs, and how we live our lives. Book shelves are filled with books on the Christian walk.. how to do this and that, how to live a blessed life and so forth. I am of the opinion that the Bible, the word of God as it stands, is not the great influencer as it should be, but that the interpretations (2 Timothy 4:3-4; Matthew 7:15-17; 1 Timothy 1:3-4; Romans 16:17-18; Colossians 2:8; 1 John 4:1) of those accepted as an “authority” (a convincing force) in the things of God are what we accept as truth.
“Authority” can be determined by any number of factors. The church is the most accepted authority on the things of God. Thus those associated with a church body, a religious organization, and their leaders that author books, these guys are automatically considered an authority.
Now as to the more recent authority of the church – well, I won’t even go there. Nevertheless, how many people in today’s churches, actually read the Bible? There is research data on the high percentage of Bible illiteracy. Many churchgoers don’t even take their Bible to church. True. We now have digital Bibles we can carry. Instant access would indicate users would likely read more often, but do they really?
Other than the church, where do you find your authority(s), or who do you consider an authority on the things of God? And how do you know they are an authority? By their title? Their profession? Their education? Experiences? Revelations? There are thousands of people that influence every moment of our life. And we give them that power over us. It’s how we live and function as a society.
When you read an article on some blog, or online magazine, a book title from a new author, listen to a podcast… how do you test the veracity of the messenger? I don’t consider myself an authority on anything. What I know I learned through experience, education, my own research. Does that make me an authority? Perhaps, I know more than the average person in certain areas, but anyone can come along and say they know more…and again…
I like to write. I am compelled to write. And if anything, Scripture tells us that in the last days…
Joel 2:28 “And it shall come to pass afterward. That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions.
Peter in addressing the crowd… Acts 2:14-21
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.
And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
So… seriously, who is God speaking through? It could be anyone. But… do we listen to just anyone? Well, maybe. Will you, or I believe just anyone? Probably not. Hopefully, we are knowledgeable in God’s word that we can discern the truth. Consider the great deception that is upon us – at this moment.
Matthew 24:24 “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”
I like to write about my experiences and some of what the Lord has shown me in my walk with Him. Will anyone read what I write? It really doesn’t matter. It is the Lord who reveals. In the last days, no one will necessarily be an authority. In the OT the prophets were the authority. In the NT, the Apostles. He or she will be/could be you, or me.
I’ve read some of the stuff that so called authorities write on the things of God and they are as false as can be. How do I know? Because their interpretations/rantings do not align with Scripture. I would not want that on my conscience.. misleading people.
Genesis 3:1 “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said… ” (feel free to fill in the blank.)
Teachers and such are held to higher standard according to Scripture (James 3:1-2).
I write not to influence others, not to create a following, certainly not to attract spammers. I write to share. I write because it’s very cathartic. And if one person finds comfort, encouragement, or finds a kindred spirit of sorts then that’s great. Because we are not alone in our experiences. We are not alone in our walk with Christ. What does it say in Amos… “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” Of course not. Yet, so often we agree to disagree and we wind up in tepid waters. We have to know what we believe in… otherwise, we might wind up chug-a-lugging the Kool-Aid, or Flavor Aid.
We have the Holy Spirit. We have the Bible and that is the only authority we need. We need to read it, meditate on it, so we can learn to discern whether something is of God or not.
I believe in God, in His Son, Jesus Christ. If we accept that Jesus came to save, that He died for our sins, rose on the third day and then went up and sat at the right hand of the Father, that He came to set us free … then John 8 – tells us that … Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
Galatians 5:11… Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
Ephesians 3:12 Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.
If you are a believer in Christ, knowledgeable in the things of God, if you teach others about God and Jesus and you’re curious to know …
“I want to know if the life we have in Christ is really true.”
If someone said that to you…how would you respond?
Where do we get our confidence that the life we have in Christ is really true? The Scriptures … not from the latest bestseller, the man on the pulpit, or any of the popular motivational speakers filling our mind with their new or latest revelations, or some meme.
Romans 8:16 “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God…”
Thanks for reading. Be blessed. A video worth watching. Words of wisdom from the late great Rich Mullins.