Monday, March 10th, 2014
Skeptics (Part 7)
The Wavering Kind
Then Jesus said to them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day'...
Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, 'This is a hard saying; who can understand it?'...
From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.
John 6:53-54,60,66 (NKJV)
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, Who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.
James 1:5-7 (NKJV)
In confusion, too many Christians abandon God's call. Instead of seeking wisdom by way of Jesus, they settle for knowledge by way of man. But God's wisdom is revealed by faith.
The answers we seek come after the steps we take.
When God told His priests to cross the Jordan River, He said to stand in it--but gave no further instructions. They could have wavered: 'Maybe we should build boats... maybe we should wait.' Instead, they followed Orders and got their feet wet. Only then did the waters part--just like the Red Sea parted 40 years earlier.*
We must trust God's way before He shows us His means, and the wisdom behind it. What's the alternative? Wavering.
Because man's way is short-sighted. It's a perplexing path on shifting sand. Even so, many choose to settle there--because it's all they can see with their eyes. Settlements grow into fortresses like mountains. They call them churches. But are they the church of Jesus Christ? Or castles built on sand?
'Believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father... True worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and truth' (John 4:21-24).
Christians who waver from skepticism face two challenges: 1) Pride: they want to understand the entirety of God's plan, but they can't... 'For who has known the Mind of the Lord?' (Romans 11:34); 2) Fear: they are afraid to trust what they cannot see.
Instead of hard Rock, they prefer easy listening: 'For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths' (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
Instead of an invisible God, they prefer a visible church: a church with walls and a roof. But Isaiah says, 'The fortress of the high fort of your walls He will bring down, lay low, and bring to the ground, down to the dust' (Isaiah 25:12). Jesus adds, 'And great was its fall' (Matthew 7:27).
So what should wavering skeptics do? 1) Humble themselves. They're not as smart as they think. Trust their Father, take His Hand and step out in faith. 2) Fear only God, and He will uphold them.
King David puts it this way: 'The Lord is my Rock and my Fortress and my Deliverer; My God, my Strength, in Whom I will trust; My Shield and the Horn of my salvation, my Stronghold' (Psalm 18:2).
Church is not about walls and rules and people. It's about Spirit and truth and Jesus.
To Be Continued...
* Israel crosses the Jordan: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joshua+3&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Skeptics series.