15th of March
It seems to me that the Lord wants to come with certain warnings. He wants us to think about different phenomenon occurring in the Body of Christ to-day. He wants a purified bride when He comes back for us. There is no bridegroom who wants a dirty bride with stains on her clothes. The Lord says in 2.Pet.3:14 that He wants to meet a bride without spots and she should be blameless. In Phil.1:10 we read that we should be found sincere and without offense on His coming back. God is certainly busy in cleansing His bride. We are cleansed because of the blood of Jesus and we are in the process of purification by the renewal of our mind and by a steadfast sanctification. Both healing and deliverance are parts of that process.
We will find many trends within the Body of Christ to-day and there are many interpretations of the Word of God. It is easy to become confused and one wonders: “Who is right?” Who is included in the Body of Christ? What is New Age and what do the different religious movements stand for? I believe that you have to accept Jesus as your Savior and accept His redemptive work on the Cross in order to be part of His body. You must accept the fact that without Him you are a lost sinner. Everything else is outside the message of the Bible even if it looks nice and I will not spend time writing about all these different theories.
Last time I wrote about Christian worship of stars. There are quite a few who are blindly following a person and this person becomes like a hero and can even become an idol. This is usually a person with a strong charisma. Many of these “stars” appeal to the emotions. I have often heard a person say that the meeting was exciting, but they could not remember what was preached. I am glad that I recently have heard many testimonies from other sources where people got saved, healed and delivered through the Word of God. Only the Word and the Spirit can give life and power to perform signs and wonders.
In Matt.4:19 Jesus says to His disciples: “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” There can be no doubt about the fact that we Christians should follow Jesus. He is our Savior, our doctor, our provider, our peace, our shepherd, our victory, yes, He is really our rescuer in all areas of our lives. When we say that we are Christians, we are actually saying that we identify ourselves with Christ. In order to identify with someone, we have to know that person well. It is important to know how that person thinks and acts in different situations. We have the possibility to read about Jesus especially in the gospels and there we learn a lot about Him. We can read about His relationship with His Father, how He loves Him and people. We see His power being manifested. He hates sin and false religion. He won a victory over the devil. When he was crucified, He bore our sins, sicknesses, sorrow and pain in order to give us eternal life and eternal peace. Since we aren’t without sin, we can’t become an offspring, but receive Him as such.
Many say that they have heard about Jesus, but do they know Him? In order to know someone, you have to have a relationship to that person. In order to follow Jesus, you have to spend time together with Him. You have to listen to His Words and His Spirit and you must know where He is going. I can “hear” some of your questions now. “How can I know where He is going? Isn’t He in heaven now?” It says in Eph.2:10 that we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Jesus has already prepared our walk with Him.
The nature of Jesus has moved into the spirit of the Christian and when we walk by the spirit, we follow Jesus and not our flesh. We have a daily choice and we can always ask Jesus what He would have done in the different situations that we face. Certain things we do not need to ask about since it is clearly said in His Word. We know that we should read the Bible, pray, lay hands on the sick, drive out demons and tell others about Jesus. We also know that we should have fellowship with other Christians. We should follow the Ten commandments and the Bible is clear about many daily doings. I cannot repeat the whole Bible now. If we want to follow Jesus, we have to follow the Bible. Many are following Jesus on Sundays, but they tend to forget Him during the week. They do not follow Him then, but visit Him occasionally. None of us follow Jesus all the time. We would live a perfect life then and none of us do before we come to heaven.
We will find many idols in the secular world. I can mention the music-world, the film-world, the fashion-world, the entertainment-world, the art-world etc. People find a person or a group of people and they admire these people so much that they copy their way of dressing and behaving. This is also happening among Christians. When my pastor used a tie, all the other pastors used a tie. When he grew a beard, the others grew a beard and now they are all shaving it since he has shaved it. Many are copying a leader’s way of talking and some believe that they are especially spiritual when they imitate certain gestures. If we see Jesus in our leaders, we are free to copy Him. The Bible says that we should know each other by the spirit and we should look for God in each other.
God has installed people as leaders and given everybody in the Body different tasks. Every leader is not installed by God, but some by people. I do believe that we should respect our leaders, but they should not control us. They should feed and nourish us spiritually and help us to grow in Christ. I also believe that they should mentor the new ones in using the gifts of the Spirit. If we can’t follow the rules they set, we have to ask the Holy Spirit if there is something wrong with us or if we should leave and go somewhere else. Some people follow the leader blindly without testing the teaching and the behavior on the Word. The devil is especially interested in leaders and he tempts them more than others. He really wants them to fall. He knows that the effect is detrimental especially where people follow without their own opinion. We must pray for our leaders since they are a target for the devil. Each one of us must be founded in the Word and have a secure relationship to God. We do not fall apart when our leader fall then since our faith is based on Jesus.
There are many trends within the realm of Christianity. It goes from an increased use of rituals to a variation of spiritual manifestations. What is most spiritual? What has most of God in it? I do believe that God can come in many different ways, but please do not do a thing because someone else does it. If someone is shaking, you do not have to shake. If someone is kneeling, you do not have to do the same. If someone is falling, you are not spiritual because you do the same. If someone is using the sign of the cross, you are not forced to do the same. Everything can become religious if it isn’t coming from the heart. I am not saying that you should make a strong demonstration if it is common to kneel in the church where you go. It is nothing wrong in kneeling. It shows respect and humbleness, but my point is that so many are copying others and think that specific manifestations make them more spiritual than others. Be open for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and remember that the attention should always go to God and not to you.
Many people compare themselves with other Christians. They admire these Christians. Don’t you know that God has created you unique? He does not want you to be someone else. God is building His kingdom by putting all the different cells together and one cell is not more important than the others. A body cannot function with only feet or hands. Every part is supposed to work together with the other parts under the head who is Jesus Christ.
We Christians can be influenced by the many trends in the world. We can be tempted to follow some of these trends, especially those that seem close to Christianity. We might not understand that they have another root. I will only mention a few like humanism, some new religious trends, fanatic health experts, meditation etc. When you start using something that is very popular, please check if it is Biblical and ask the Holy Spirit for permission. So many popular trends circle around our ego and how we can satisfy ourselves the most.
Jesus has another focus. He says:
FOLLOW ME AND I WILL MAKE YOU FISCHERS OF MEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!