To claim that I know something spiritual beyond what the Lord has brought me through experientially is to be prideful.
The Avett Brothers have a song out called, "10.000 Words" (the whole song is excellent) but the chorus says it this way. "Aint it like most people, I'm no different, we love to talk on things we don't know about."
Pride does that. A type of pride that knows we are small and ignorant and in great need, and covers all of that with a mirror in which the reflection says "it just aint so" And that is the part we play when around others.. It is particularly sad to see it so widespread in the church. The church in the western world especially.
I do not beleive God works in us when this kind of pride covers our lack and great need. What does that type of pride do? For one it allows us to justify pummelling a brother or sister in the Lord who was wrong in some sort of belief or action they believed was of the Lord. And in serving that pummeling up it is quite possible that it caused them to loose their faith, and therefore there salvation. I wonder what kind of cost will be extracted for an action like that. I hope I never have to personally find out.
I can honestly say, and I know many of you out there can as well,:
"I have never been treated so badly as I have been by people that called themselves Christians" That treatment is caused by pride. That is the kind of pride that says I am right at all costs. That kind of pride makes it hard for us to say I don't know. After all I am the go to guy, I have the answers and if I don't I better fake it. We all run the same thoughts through our minds, when set into similar scenarios. We cannot possibly believe that an, "I don't know" could be just as, or even more comforting than the lie told to keep us on some sort of imaginary pedistal.
There are many ministries out there that are preaching and teaching on the end times. As observant believers we know the time is at hand, for we recognize the signs that Jesus told us to be looking for. We get anxious and over zealous though. Then pride takes a foothold and we become blind. That is the work of the enemy folks. He is smearing the Word of our Lord and causing the faith of some to slip by our hands. We start to teach things from the stance of "I know" "I have the answer," You must understand, NO you don't. non of us does. We may think it is this way, or could be that way, or could play out this way, or that way, but we do not KNOW it to be true. Do you see how the enemy, with pride as the weapon, made us change one word?
THINK to KNOW and the rest is history. We are all guilty of it. We love to talk on things we don't know about. (This is different than the sure hope and promises given us in the Word that we build our faith on.)
Why is that? In the west everyone wants to be a big shot. Everyone wants a hit song, or a hit show, or to be smart enough to figure out a mystery of God.
So when it comes true everyone looks at us and tells us how smart or great or "in tune with the Lord" we must be. Man our faith must be strong.
The enemy of God through our culture has marginalized people and their lifes so much that we think we are nothing and even in the body of Christ we can only be something if we make a name for ourselves, at all costs. However, in the church the enemy has disguised it differently. We aren't trying to be famous, for that would be to obvious. No, the one most prevelant way, in my observations, is a twist on us being special to the Father. Because we are special, for there is nobody else like me or you. Therefore we take hold and believe we have vital insight or information to the rest of the body. After all there is only one heart or pancreas or liver. We tell ourselves we must be that unique part of the body. I just do not think that is quite what was meant by that passage.
Our uniqueness should express itself within the whole portfolio of things we do know about. The lessons taught to us by the Lord through the Holy Spirit. The organic and individual way our relationship with the Lord progresses causes seemingly similar issues in our fellow travelers to be expressed uniquely. These are healings of deep wounds and sins we all have to progress through if we are to grow in the knowledge of our Lord. We know they are vital to others in the body of Christ who are struggling with the same issue. But we don't want to talk about THOSE things, for it is humbling, and revealing and takes a different kind of strength to push through. For me it is hard to share that part of my life as a Christ Follower that I spent 5 years in a cocaine addiction, questioning the Father about this thing He calls love. This Love that so often can feel like hate. Our life progresses much as an onion is peeled layer by layer. The Holy Spirit has gently brought each one of us through many such struggles. However we are made to feel common for even having them. Religous doctrine in many of our institutions teaches that the Father won't use us or even talk to us when we are in the midst of sin issues. So we hide, and we pretend they do not exist. If we are lucky enough to somehow overcome a particular issue we do not talk about it. Nobody can ever know about that, right? There is where the foothold appears for false humility, which is really just pride. We must abandon this religous cloak and become real human beings, and start healing.
I would venture to say until you do your very salvation may be in jepardy. Now I do not know that. I am stating something that very possibly could be true I certainly would not want to hang hang my hat on it not being true.
.What do you think Jesus meant when He said many are called but few are chosen? I am sure He meant many things by it. But do you want to bet your eternal spirit on whether or not He could have meant "If only you would have dropped the pride, See I called you to, but because you didn't I cannot choose you to be part of my bride. Would you be will ing to bet your life on that. Not me. When it is so clear He has told us that pride is a sin.
That is what floors me about people who reject the gospel message. Because at the core of the rejection we find pride.. And it is such a childish kind of pride. It is one that says Im right and your wrong and whats even worse they really do not know if they are right. And to top it off if the gospel is presented properly they are gaining a whole bunch by believing the message. If they truly accept Christ and what He said a change happens in them to give them the assurance that they made the right decision.
If it is presented properly. But so often the way we present it reinforces them in there decision. How sad. This is pride. Our own hidden faults is the foothold for the enemy. We take a message that is eartthshakingly good and liberating for the individual and turn it into something bad, way bad. . I am sure we all will have to answer for that when we stand before the Lord all anxious to get our rewards.. We make good news bad by condemning the person we are trying to save. I wish I had a tape recorder sometimes. It truly is mystifying to me how we can take a condemned person, who knows hes condemned, and make him feel even more condemned. Pride does that.
So here is a lesson learned and I am qualified to talk about it.
WHEN YOU WITNESS TO SOMEONE DONT YOU DARE TALK ABOUT THERE SINS. YOU DO NOT TELL SOMEONE WHO IS GAY OR AN ADDICT OR A FORNICATOR HOW MUCH GOD HATES THEM. DO YOU NOT THINK THEY KNOW THERE OWN TORMENT? YOU TELL THEM HOW MUCH GOD LOVES THEM. SO MUCH SO THAT HE SENT HIS SON TO TAKE THE PENALTY. IF you are witnessing or picketing an abortion clinic out of some perceived religious obligation or worse yet, trying to earn rewards stay home. The kingdom of God will be less damaged.
If you want to love those people and feel the obligation but just cannot bring yourself to it, bring it the Lord. Be honest say this is me and this is how I am and how I feel and I do not want to be this way. I do not know how to change but I want to. please help me. At that moment it is credited as repentance, even if it doesn't change right away. Just like Thomas saying "Lord help my unbelief ", At that place of honesty, Jesus now has a place to start the work that only he can do. However, if you hide it or deny it. How can he heal it. Our churches have taught us for a long time now. how to hide feelings like that along with the secret sins mentioned above. It is such BS..... Those very core issues are the very reason we need a Savior. The work only begins when we accept Jesus' good news. The rest of our walk with the Lord is the peeling of the onion layers. But our churches tell us we have to grit our teeth and be something we cannot be so the Lord can accept us. WOW. and that is how we present the gospel message:. YOU MUST REPENT REPENT REPENT. That means nothing to the addict who already knows getting drunk is a sin but can't stop. What it is saying though is that he is unacceptable to the Lord until he can quit drinking.
Or standing outside an abortion clinic with a sign that calls a confused and scared human being a baby killer. Then we wonder why they do not want to be a Follower of Christ. That is what focusing on the sin does. it now logner is good news or the Lords work. It is something man has to do to get right with God. It is religion. It actually just became the worst news in the universe.
PEOPLE GET THIS PLEASE this is all because of PRIDE. You saying you know when really you don't know. It elevates us above someone else in our own mind. and no good comes from it. period.
This is the same pride that compels us to teach or talk on some spirtual principle we could know nothing about, because nobody does. That is why it is called a mystery. Now mysteries will be revealed. However they will not be revealed as special revelation to just one person in the body. The comfirmations would come from plethora of people all getting various abstracts of the same message.
No we can only really own what we have experienced. And what we own are the lessons we learned as we went through it or in hindsight, with prayer and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.