This morning (02/17/20) I was having time with the Lord and praying for the church. I was thinking how different groups (and one in particular) seem to get an awesome touch from God and revival starts. They get a revelation of the Father’s Heart and the power of the Holy Spirit falls. That revelation then touches many lives around the world. After a while, things began to get off a little bit and errors creep into their theology.
I asked the Lord, “Why does that happen?”
His reply, “They put experience over the Word.”
I have had many experiences as many of us have had. However, our experiences should not dictate our theology outside of the Word. Our theology must be biblical. Our experiences should help us learn more about who God is as well as His ways, not put Him in a box. Our experiences should confirm the word, not define it.
When we have bad experiences, that does not change the fact that God is good or that God is Love. In the same regard, good experiences do not mean that God condones sin or does not judge it or has changed His mind about what He hates or loves. The Bible actually tells us that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. We must take the time to ask the Lord to put each experience, whether good or bad, into Godly and Biblical perspective. I believe each experience has a reason or a purpose. We must search out the truth. What does God say about the matter?
Truth is found in the Bible. When we study the Bible, known as the word, we learn truth. However, if we misapply that truth or do not understand the truth, we can slip into error.
Each experience is a piece of the puzzle. Each Bible verse is a piece of the puzzle. It is up to us to be led by the Holy Spirit in putting the pieces together correctly to get and understand the truth. It is called ‘rightly dividing the word’. Many people divide the word, but not rightly. Rather, they separate out a verse and make a doctrine from it or they put their own interpretation or spin on it and get into error. Another way people get wrong theology is by connecting verses together incorrectly.
No one has all of the pieces, but the picture is God. When we put the pieces together incorrectly, then we get an incorrect picture of God. It is possible to put together one part of the picture of God correctly and mess up on another part. God is so complex, that I believe like many do that we will be taking all of eternity fitting the pieces into this God puzzle.
Parts of the picture include God’s ways and how we can live like God wants us to. Many people leave out whole sections of the puzzle in these categories. They do this by choosing to believe that Torah is no longer valid or relevant for today or that the gifts died with the last apostle. Maybe they decide to pick and choose scriptures that suit their chosen lifestyle, so they can feel good about sinning. They ignore the verses that teach against certain behaviors. Then there are those that just misinterpret experiences and don’t make the right connections with scripture.
All of these will cause error and can even become heresy; therefore, we must weigh our experiences against scripture and remain teachable even when we are leaders. Maybe I should say, “especially when we are leaders.” Leaders are held to a higher standard, so it is imperative that we learn to rightly divide the Word of God under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. After all, it is His job to teach us and guide us into all truth.
Another way leaders can remain teachable is to remain humble. Be willing to receive correction and input from those who are not leaders or at least do not appear to you to be a leader. Even a child can have valuable advice and give words from God.
My admonition to you is to remain humble and teachable, open to correction and rightly divide the word under the direction of the Holy Spirit. Weigh your experiences against scripture and test your theology with others, especially those whom you can trust to tell you if you are getting off into error. A church full of fawning yes men and women will allow errors to creep in. You need to have those who will boldly say, “I don’t think that lines up with scripture,” when they hear you teach something that is getting off into error. If you have someone like that in your church, value them. Listen to them. Maybe even do a study together with them on the topic in question, so you both can learn. If everyone has the same motive, it will be beneficial for all. And what is the motive that everyone should have? To know God better, of course, so we can love Him with all of our hearts, soul and might and walk in His ways loving our neighbor as our self. If we can do that, then we will stay on the straight and narrow road that leads to the Truth…Jesus!
Mark 12:30-32 The Passion Translation (TPT)
You are to love the Lord Yahweh, your God, with every passion of your heart, with all the energy of your being, with every thought that is within you, and with all your strength. This is the great and supreme commandment. And the second is this: ‘You must love your neighbor in the same way you love yourself.’ You will never find a greater commandment than these.”
2 Timothy 2:15 The Passion Translation (TPT)
Always be eager to present yourself before God as a perfect and mature minister, without shame, as one who correctly explains the Word of Truth.