It’s easy to do what you’re told, for a while anyway. It doesn’t take a special kind of heart to put forth a little effort and have an effect. Anyone can stand in front of a congregation and call themselves a preacher. I know a man who traps retired people into financial contracts and makes enough money doing it to pay cash for luxury. He fills in for his sparkle-drunk minister every once in a while and talks about God’s blessing and provision. His church calls him Pastor.
“Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. They have neither knowledge nor understanding; they walk around in the darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.” – Psalm 82:4-5 ESV
But, to a heart crushed under the weight of their own conviction, what good is a message of prosperity? There are some places that a human soul can go where no amount of money can buy back their freedom. The wages of sin are much higher than the reach of man.
Anyone can recite scripture, but your assumptions will bring it down to flesh level and wring the spirit out of it. Humans pick up on things that confirm preconception while completely missing what challenges it. You’re not listening when you’re only waiting for what you want to hear.
It’s part of our condition to not want to think. We don’t want our beliefs challenged. We treat our own questions as though they’re immature and we fear those dangerous enough to let the big questions surface. But, knowing the unconscious and automatic attempt to confirm initial beliefs can weaken its power. It can make you check your assumptions.
Don’t mindlessly follow people. Anyone can share a message. It takes a soul crushed by sin and saved by grace to actually be a message. Methodical religion can be a spiritual prison. Be skeptical of those who don’t know the weight of their own damage. They concentrate on behavior modification and use grace to make allowance for self-service. There is a difference between living with a wild heart free of legalistic fear and living like everyone else. Anyone can wear sheep’s clothing.
“What matters is not your outer appearance…. but your inner disposition.” – 1 Peter 3:3 MSG
God is speaking to you all the time. When did you last hear Him on your own?
You spend so much time working on your outer beauty, but what happens when that fades? You’ll be one of those angry old people if you don’t start working on your second game. You have to nurture your inner beauty. Learn His language. It’s too easy to follow everyone else. Too many of the most outspoken religious people don’t even read their Bible. Forget about what everybody else says you should be. Open your heart and run after the wild freedom of Love and Grace.
Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.– 1 Peter 3:8-9 MSG