(Photo courtesy of Jorge Rojas, Unsplash)
This morning as I was praying in my quiet time, the Lord began speaking to me and I penned what he wrote to share with you:
“The theology and doctrine of man has invaded My Church. My Word is eternal and all others will fade. Cling to My word. It is the lamp to your feet. The light to your path. My wisdom. Seek me! Yet self-professing thought leaders arise to glorify their own names for influence. I say to you that least is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
The path to Me is narrow, and while they may have goodly intentions, I have called you to lead a godly life. Me first. Seek My kingdom and all these things will be added unto you. Taking the path parallel to the path I have called you to is still not My path.
Don’t find yourself deceived. Follow Me.”
Doctrine is defined as a belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a Church, political party, or other group. God is saying that a set of beliefs created by man has invaded his house and his believers. It’s interesting that the Lord uses the word “invade” here, as though it’s a military conquest. Yet, we live life in a daily battle of good versus evil, and if there’s anything that God has taught his people, it was through his message in Genesis, when the crafty serpent deceived Eve by posing a question: “Did God really say??”
Let me make a disclaimer here:
I’m in no way saying that asking questions is opening a door to sin. In fact, world-renowned philosophers begin with questions to develop critical thinking skills. But what I believe God is saying here is that man is elevating his/her own personal beliefs above the word of God. Some would call this Christian Humanism. And it’s really sneaky. I found an article on Christianity Today that summarizes points that we are disciples of Christ need to pray about and consider:
“At the heart of humanism is the notion that anthropology (the study of man) must replace theology (the study of God). God has been removed from the center of life; he is no longer truly worshipped; and man has assumed his place. Webster’s International Dictionary defines humanism as “a contemporary cult or belief calling itself religious but substituting faith in man for faith in God.” It quotes C. F. Potter, who said: “Humanism is faith in the supreme value and self-perfectibility of human personality.” And it also quotes Walter Lippmann: “To replace the conception of man as the subject of a heavenly king … humanism takes as its dominant pattern the progress of the individual from helpless infancy to self-governing maturity (n.d., 1970)
God’s Word Is Eternal
I’m just going to quote scripture here because the scripture explains scripture.
“Your word, LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens” (Psalm 119:89).
“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever” (Isaiah 40:8).
“I the Lord do not change” (Malachi 3:6).
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35)
Cling to What is Eternal
The Lord led me Psalm 119 when searching for direction and interpretation around this word. Psalm 119 was written as an acrostic using the Hebrew alphabet. You could call it your A to Z primer for learning holy reverence for god and godly living. The first chapter, called Aleph (A in English) says,
“Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart. They do nothing wrong; they walk in his way. You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed. Oh that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands. I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws. I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me” (Psalm 119: 1-8).
You can go on to review the rest of the chapter to learn what the author is teaching about the Word of God. I think it’s easy to forget that the Jews back then didn’t have books, so teachers would use creative ways to scribe the word of God on their hearts and minds. Using the Hebrew alphabet to help the future of Israel commit God’s word to memory and to live it would be a way that parents could teach their children. Here we are today, with access to the treasures of God’s wisdom and instruction available to us to hold, write in, and study daily. Please don’t miss dedicating personal time to seeking the Lord with your heart and mind. To say that it’s imperative in these days is a gross understatement.
Do you know the verse that exists in the middle of the Bible?
It’s Psalm 118 verse 8, and it reads, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” When God speaks, he confirms! Man’s theology < the Word of God.
The least is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven
To the world, greatness is achieved through self-promotion and recognition or acclaim from others. Those aspiring to be great think in terms of “making a name” for themselves by their accomplishments so that others will praise, applaud, and admire them (along with all the temporary benefits that may accompany such fame). For true disciples of Christ, true greatness consists in putting the needs of others above their own, even to the point of acting as a servant (or even a slave) to others, as Jesus did.
When Jesus spoke to the rich man (Matthew 19:15-28) who asked him what he should do to inherit eternal life, Jesus replied, “If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.” “Which ones?” the man inquired. Jesus replied, “Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.” The man replied, “All these I have kept, what do I still lack?”
Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus then told his disciples that it was hard for people who are attached to wealth to enter the kingdom of heaven, likening it to a camel trying to get through the eye of the needle gate. Jesus don’t hate or condemn wealth or wealthy people. I believe he was saying that the rich man had to detach himself from the load he was carrying on his back, drawing the similarity to the load a camel carries. It’s not possible for the man to enter with all he was carrying, even though he was checking all the boxes according to God’s law given to Israel.
(photo taken from biblegallery.com)
I would like to add that we can miss God by working our entire lives to build our earthly kingdom while failing to “store up treasures for ourselves in heaven” by doing the will of God. How will we know the will of God if we are so preoccupied with making names for ourselves on the platforms we’ve been gifted? The Word of God doesn’t need to be added to. It’s inerrant. God actually instructs us not to add or take away from his word, and while I believe that God speaks to us through the holy spirit, his scripture will ALWAYS confirm what he is speaking to you. Don’t go to man for what the Lord is saying, go to the bible. If you are faithful to make room in your life for him to speak with you, he will.
Today the Lord is saying, that while today’s teachers may have “goodly” or admirable intentions, the Lord is calling us to godliness. The Bible is the only manual for living a godly life, and the Lord says when you seek his kingdom first, everything else you need will be given to you. I don’t know about you, but that gives me so much comfort and solace in knowing, that when I go to God first, he will take care of everything else!
Get your daily dose of Vitamin B
I want to leave you with a passage of scripture from Proverbs 3 that reviews God’s instructions for gaining wisdom through relationship with him. It says:
“My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord will all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will bring over with new wine. My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.
Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant way, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who embrace here; those who lay hold of her will be blessed.”
Christianity Today. (1970, April 10). Humanism and the Churches. ChristianityToday.com. https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/1970/april-10/humanism-and-churches.html.