Yesterday, I showed a video to the older group of preacher boys at our church. While on the surface it sounded spiritual, and the person in the video threw in elements of the Bible, it ended up confusing half the kids, while the more impressionable couldn’t quite understand why I didn’t like it. When we pulled out the Scripture and compared what was said with the word of God it became clear. I used this teaching to point out how we need to be deep in the word of God, or we’ll be carried away by whatever sounds good, but leads to death.
If we’re not grounded in the Word of God we will be easily deceived by what sounds spiritual or what sounds Biblical. I’ve been there. I’ve heard videos and messages from popular preachers that sounded good when I was less grounded, but in comparing their teaching to what God actually says, I’ve found it to actually be mindless, self-glorifying, and about gratifying one’s desires, as opposed to submitting to God. And this is the pattern of humanity since the beginning: God speaks, we ignore His voice, or only listen to the parts of His instruction we want to hear, and so set up idols for ourselves that celebrate our desires. God humbles and corrects us, but we continue to pursue that which is toxic for our souls, and seek to be enlightened, rather than obedient. Do not be deceived, God isn’t after our personal happiness. He designed us in His image, and His efforts, from the beginning, have been to restore the image which we constantly destroy.
We need to be grounded in the Word. We need to pursue sound doctrine, which only comes from God’s word. We need to stop seeking gurus, life coaches, even preachers, who all preach self-evolution, and, rather, we need to seek to be disciples of Jesus, who, being the only perfect man to ever exist, remains the only model by which anyone should pattern their life. Do not be deceived. Be grounded in the Word. Jesus will never leave or forsake you, and He will lead you in to the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says,
“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.”
(In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.