Monday, January 01, 2007
How Could This Not Be God?
Location: entrance to heaven
Cast: Ministers, preachers, teachers, televangelists, leaders of small groups or bible studies, facilitators, etc.
Background: These people have devoted their lives to helping others. All have followings. All are highly regarded, respected, 'looked up to'. All believe they were 'called'. But - at their death, all are horrified at what they see. They see that in essence, they have robbed God. Stolen from Him, taking what was rightfully His... for themselves. How could this be? Because innate in every human is the flesh (born in sin, shaped in iniquity) and Satan appeals to human ego from that vantage point. What was his initial lie in the Garden? It's this: God's not enough!
People are ALWAYS looking for someone to lead them. It is as true today as it was in Moses' day. They don't think they can hear from God themselves, and those in positions of authority are all too eager to agree with them. So, some charismatic, affable individual comes along who has spiritual 'insights', who is 'mature', who can help the poor misguided find their way, who can lead the sheep to pasture, and the sheep willingly acquiesce. We have all marveled at this phenomenon - how nice, ordinary, everyday people-next-door types could give up everything to follow the Jim Joneses of the world to South America, eventually going so far as to drink poison Kool-Ade simply because he told them to do so!
The point is - we all must be vigilant as to the secret desires and motives of our hearts. Satan can and DOES appeal to us as an angel of light. Things that look to us to be so good are not necessarily so. If we are brutally honest with ourselves, we have to ask some very direct questions - Why am I doing this? Am I deluding myself? Is God really in this, or am I being seduced by the father of lies to satisfy my own lusts? Do I have a deep desire to be recognized, to be noticed, to get attention, to be appreciated, to be flattered, to be needed...? If so, am I attributing these fleshly cravings to God? "God called me". "God led me". "God has directed me". Oh, really? The enemy is nothing if not subtle and diabolically devious to the point where the very elect can be deceived!
So to get back to the issue of robbing God: how many pastors, preachers, teachers, etc. have taken God's place in the lives of His precious children? Who do these people listen to? Who do they run to for guidance or comfort? Who instructs them? Who advises them, who helps them along the way? Who do they look up to?
I once heard it said, "God is not enough. We also need each other". If that's true, what about the naked, cold saint of God who's wasting away in a damp prison cell in solitary confinement, and all because he loves the Lord? Is God not enough for him?
We are all responsible for our choices - those in positions of authority and those who follow them. If we think God is not enough, then we'll listen to and follow the teachings of others. If we think God is not enough, we'll set ourselves up as spiritual leaders. It all looks so good and innocent, but the basis of it all is Satan, twisting and perverting. If he can't keep us from being born again, he'll keep us from knowing our identity in Christ. We'll eventually make it to heaven, yes, but at what cost?
So here's the bottom line: Is God enough?