Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Knit to God: Untangling Religious Cacophonies

"If any man desires to do His will (God's pleasure), he will know (have the needed illumination to recognize, and can tell for himself) whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking from Myself and of My own accord and on My own authority" (John 7:17; Amplified).

Jesus’ statement here would seem to suggest that people who did not recognize and accept Him, who lacked the needed illumination to get the real God-message, did so because they were ultimately more interested in themselves than in God. If that were not true, they would have been able to discern the message as coming from God. Interesting that three verses later, some in the crowd yelled back that He is demon-possessed (vs.20).

Wow! Clearly some people didn’t get it. Apparently they weren’t interested in doing God’s will (His pleasure), which then by default meant that they were only interested in their own will and pleasure.

Some things never change.

Fast-forwarding to today, I was also thinking about the "needed illumination to recognize" the difference between the message delivered by the true prophet versus the false prophet, between the true pastor's sermon versus the false pastor's sermon, and generally the trying to discern and weave our way through all that plethora of stuff that people want us to believe and that we are bombarded with every day and from virtually every side. Sometimes it can all be a little difficult to know what to believe.

What I saw in this text this morning is that, so long as I keep focusing on "my pleasure" I leave myself open to a barrage of confusion as to the truth. However, if I honestly focus my efforts on seeking "God's pleasure" first, then He will grant me all the "needed illumination" to discern truth from error in all those sermons, in all those TV and radio messages, in all those social media posts (which may or may not even have true Christians behind them), and in whatever other messages that come knocking at our ear drums.

I’m not suggesting that people are necessarily willfully deceptive; I think that most who are in error sincerely think they’ve heard God correctly. Yet as I write this, I am also reminded of the following verses:
"I write this to you with reference to those who would deceive you [seduce and lead you astray]. But as for you, the anointing (the sacred appointment, the unction) which you received from Him abides [permanently] in you; [so] then you have no need that anyone should instruct you. But just as His anointing teaches you concerning everything and is true and is no falsehood, so you must abide in (live in, never depart from) Him [being rooted in Him, knit to Him], just as [His anointing] has taught you [to do]." (1 John 2:26-27; Amplified).
It appears that some do, in fact, willfully seek to deceive and lead astray. I’m not sure I know what to do with that.

Still, the question remains, whose "pleasure" do we ultimately seek? Do we seek our own pleasure first, or God's? Jesus told the crowds that day, how we answer that question will in large part determine our ability to correctly discern and separate truth from the midst of many pseudo-Christian deceptive messages.

With so much out there today being heralded as “the Word of the Lord,” do you ever wonder what to believe? If so, perhaps we need to first concern ourselves with a little less of ourselves, and a little more with chasing after the things that give God pleasure. As John said, “must abide in (live in, never depart from) Him [being rooted in Him, knit to Him].”

Perhaps what Jesus was saying was, that when we seek His Father’s (and our Father’s) will first, when we “knit” ourselves to God, which suggests a permanent attachment and oneness with God through Jesus, our eyes will be opened to the truth and everything else He will cause to be sorted out.

Still stressed out as to what to believe? The bottom line is, cling to Jesus; He’s got you. As for the rest of the noise, the more we seek the Father’s pleasure, the less we’ll hear all those unsettling religious cacophonies.

Something to think about. Peace.

Photo Credit: Martinak15, Flickr Creative Commons

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