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“Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight.” (Psalm 43:3-4)
Dwelling with God in his presence is what life is all about.
Life devoid of a relationship with God is emptiness. All people are searching for the “thing” that will fill the emptiness inside their hearts, and that “thing” is a relationship with God (whether we realize/acknowledge it or not), for God has “…set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
Some people go from one thing to another, trying to find something that really satisfies their hunger for God (a spouse, a family, achievements, more “toys”, pleasure). Others latch on to something in particular, thinking that fulfillment is the pursuit of it or having more of it. Others try to drown out the gnawing emptiness with drugs, alchol, pleasure and other things.
Still others think they have found something aside from God that has finally brought them fulfillment, but in reality it still falls far short of the fulfillment found in having a loving, personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. (See Message ).
Within the world of what is broadly called “Christianity”, there are just as many vain things people pursue (and are preached at to pursue). Many of these things are the same things unbelievers go after, only they’re called by religious names. For the same vain reasons some unbelievers pursue university degrees, some Christians pursue seminary degrees…but neither of these bring fulfillment. While some unbelievers pursue the god of pleasure, some Christians pursue the god of prosperity. While some unbelievers make their lifelong pursuit to acquire more knowledge, so the pursuit of some Christians is to acquire more and more religious knowledge.
However, Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
God gave me real insight into these words of Jesus a little while ago:
The “truth” IS the “way” (the way to God is walking in the truth –God’s truth). In that way (which is the truth) we will always find life –the abundant life of God. As we walk in the way, which is the truth, we have abundant spiritual life…..and that life is none other than Jesus himself, who brings us into the presence of God, our Father.
Sadly, in Christendom today we see every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14-15) blowing in and out of churches, sweeping up hordes of people in their empty whirlwinds (Hosea 8:7-8), leaving people empty and disillusioned.
As the writers of the New Testament warned us, many false teachers and prophets would infiltrate ‘the church’:
“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them–bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up…They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed–an accursed brood! They have left the straight way…These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom while they themselves are slaves of depravity–for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.” (2 Peter 2:1-3, 13-15, 17-19)
Therefore God clearly tells us, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:6-8).
Sometimes the Good Shepherd’s (Jesus’) sheep get deceived and disoriented by listening to other voices in the “church” aside from his voice. When his sheep get entangled by these false teachings, our Good Shepherd calls out to us, and when we hear his voice, we follow him and abandon these rabbit trails we’ve been deceived into wandering down. Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:27-28).
There are some telltale signs of false doctrine:
–It does not glorify, point us towards or lead us to Jesus Christ (John 16:13-15)
–It brings us no spiritual life but leaves us empty and pursuing something other than Jesus (Jude 12, 2 Peter 2:17)
–It appeals to the sinful nature (2 Peter 2:18-19)
–You have to compromise, bend, contradict or tie together various Scriptures out of context in order to ‘justify’ the doctrine (2 Peter 3:15-18)
–It preaches that godliness is a means to financial gain (1 Timothy 6:5).
This drawing is inspired out of my own experience of God leading me out of false “christianity”, abandoning all false teachings (as they were exposed to me) and getting back onto that true path of following the real Jesus (Psalm 119:127-128).
As Jesus breathes through the Bible (his Word) to us (John 6:63), it illumines the path of truth to us (Psalm 119:105, John 17:17) and leads us into the very dwelling place and presence of God, our absolute joy and delight. The man in this drawing holds an open Bible, which is guiding him back onto the straight path of truth. Also bringing him back is the Holy Spirit (symbolized as a white dove just ahead of him), for Jesus said the Holy Spirit “…will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).
May God teach us to shut our eyes and ears to everything that seems right according to my own reasoning and, instead, open the eyes and ears of our spirits in order to discern the real spiritual truth (Proverbs 3:5-6). The Holy Spirit testifies within believers’ spirits to the truth in accordance with the Word of God, and this is what we need to listen to. “We live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).
May our earnest prayer always be, “Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long” (Psalm 25:4-5).