Matthew 7:13-14 NIV “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Have you ever really given serious thought to what Jesus is saying here?
I was going to write a post on some of the biblical doctrinal problems associated with some ministries that are involved with healing and I decided to stop. I had actually already spent about four hours on an article when it dawned on me that I had jumped onto a spinning roulette wheel that just never stops.
Everything that I read within the Bible points me to the realization that I am a sinner, and that I in myself, can’t really change that and that I need to be saved from myself to be at one with my Creator. I also read and understand that God has provided the remedy for the problem that I have in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. Our focus is always to be on Jesus.
Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the [a]author and [b]finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
As this scripture indicates, Jesus is the author or originator and finisher or perfecter of our faith. And as Jesus clearly indicated, our work is to believe in Him (John 6:29 NIV).
There are many different cards in Satan’s deck of distractions, within the Church, that are laid before us. Here’s just some of them off the top of my head; healing, signs and wonders, prosperity, Apostolic and Prophetic authority, political and Church power, to name but a few, and I do mean a few.
Note that these topics are biblically sound in that they have and in most cases continue to be utilized under the sovereignty of God, but all of them can become the primary focus instead of the intended secondary subjective focus and therein lies the problem.
When our focus is taken off of Jesus and we start to focus more on a “enlightened process” or a “misunderstood or ignored truth” that someone has re-discovered, to the perceived exclusion of most of the Church, throughout all of Church history, this “new found truth” becomes the focus of the teachings and inevitably, those who have “discovered” this “truth” become the focal point of the teachings and the slippery slope begins.
Does Satan care which one of the distractions we choose? Not really, just as long as his objective is achieved, which is to take our eyes off of Jesus and focus on the subjective byproduct that is being reproduced.
I think we should indeed be mindful of what Jesus warned us about when He said in Matthew 7:22-27 NIV “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
And who is our rock? And on whom is our foundation anchored? Is it healings? Is it signs and wonders? Is it power in political or Church government? Note that Jesus specifically indicates that some will indeed say they have performed many miracles in His name. Doesn’t that strike you as noteworthy? Does this not indicate that even the performance of miracles is not in and of itself an assurance of their divine source?
2 Timothy 4:3-4 NIV “ For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
And then we have what Paul tells us in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 NIV “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”
Note the display of power through signs and wonders and a powerful delusion.
Do I believe that God still heals, yes I do but He is sovereign, He alone decides. Do I believe that God still performs miracles, yes I do but once again, He is sovereign, He alone decides. The minute you try to put God in a box where following some process or “enlightened teaching” that infers healings are always available for everyone or that anyone can prophesy or perform miracles, from my perspective, is an indication that someone has lost sight of God’s sovereignty and placed the importance of what is anticipated to happen next, over the sovereignty and supremacy of God. It is the ultimate switch from being under God’s authority and will to following our own. Subtle isn’t it?
If Jesus, the Son of the living God, while He walked on this earth, said that He of Himself could do nothing, but only did what He saw the Father doing (John 5:19), and Jesus also said that apart from Him we could do nothing (John 15:5), does it not follow that God the Father’s will, which is the same as the Son’s will, should be our ultimate goal in all things. That is God’s sovereign will we’re talking about, not our own.
And when it comes to signs and wonders, who’s will is foremost? What we’d like to see and experience or what God wills for us?
I know there are many Christians who start out being earnest in their pursuit of seeing God heal and performing signs and wonders, especially through them. But what can and often takes place is a subtle shift in one’s mindset where searching the scriptures stops being an ever expanding search for understanding God’s truth and will for them, to a search for teachings that confirms what they wish to find and do. Don’t forget, Satan quotes scriptures too. Keep it simple. Stay focused on Jesus and He will take care of the rest. He is more than able.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!