“Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch? A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.”
(Luke 6: 39-40) NIV.
Yesterday I woke with the following phrases in my head:
“Removing the glory of the ‘shepherd’, replacing it with the glory of God”.
Learning to recognise His voice.
I saw these had something to do with the current situation that has led to the closing down of churches and our enforced isolation.
Depending on where our priorities and affections lie, those restrictions potentially give us more time we can spend in the word and in prayer – strengthening our relationship with God, with the help of the Holy Spirit.
There is an opportunity to grow beyond reliance on those ‘shepherds’ and church systems that keep people dependent on them instead of leading them to maturity.
A few days ago I watched a short video of a man criticising the proclamations of several “prophets” given at the end of last year, who all predicted the wonderful things ahead in 2020. None of them had anything to say about the health and economic crises caused by Covid-19, but several of them spoke of increased prosperity and stadiums full of people – a prediction the presenter happily contrasted with footage of the abandoned sporting arenas, empty now that all sporting events and gatherings (large and small) have been brought to a stop.
I could have posted the video here, however despite the presenter’s gleeful, and deserving, exposure of the false prophets, his own theology was no less flawed in some serious areas. And I suspect that his opposition was not only to the false proclamations he was addressing in the video, but it extended to dismissing the validity of any prophetic gifts in the present day, contrary to instruction in scripture.
With so many false prophecies and teachings pervading the church, we need to be certain we recognise HIS voice above all other voices. Even the voices of our favoured teachers. It’s easy to be dismissive, even condemnatory, of those outside of our particular church settings, but we often don’t scrutinise our favoured teachings to the degree they deserve.
There are big problems across the whole spectrum of the church – from a far too casual approach to prophecy, to the dismissal of large sections of scripture by those who ironically insist scripture alone is the foundation of their belief. (The kind of people who insist the complete canon of scripture removes the need of the very spiritual gifts that the scriptures tell us to ‘earnestly desire’ [1 Cor 12]).
Many who claim their theology is bible based are not really believing and promoting what the bible says, instead they follow and preach the doctrines of their favoured theological systems or church traditions. So maybe it’s long past the time that we all should have become more diligent in seeking God for ourselves.
That’s why I see the current situation, where we’ve all been distanced from church meetings and programs, is offering the perfect opportunity to spend more personal time in the word. For many who find themselves unable to go to work, there is even more time to fill, some of which can be used for extra bible reading and prayer.
It all depends on how much people want to know God and serve Him, instead of being satisfied with sticking to what they’ve been taught about God.
For those confident that their church and pastor are beyond reproach when it comes to the doctrine and practices they teach, what is there to lose anyway in devoting more of your time to strengthen the foundation they have helped build in your life?
And surely, the stronger prayer enhanced, bible based, Spirit led faith we ALL have the opportunity to develop in coming months, can only be of benefit to our fellowships when we are able to meet with them again.
“I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
“…when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth”
Jesus in John 18:37 and John 16:13 NKJV