What do we love more? Our doctrines – or God?
This is not such an outrageous question, especially when we take into consideration how many religions, beliefs, and different doctrines there are in the world today. In christianity alone, they number in the thousands. That is not even touching on the multitude of other religions there are, and the different tenets held within each one of them. There are few things that are more divisive than religious ideologies. Each one claiming to be right, to be holders of the ‘truth,’ while everyone of a different persuasion are the ones in error. Yes, we develop very strong feelings and opinions concerning our religious beliefs. While those who reject religion completely can display equally strong attitudes and reasonings.
Just about every religion sets noble aims for their followers to strive toward. They all speak of loving others, being kind, doing good works. Yet past and present history reveal that for all the religious rhetoric being bantered about we have to acknowledge that some of the greatest atrocities the world has ever known have been birthed out of people fighting over religious differences.
I guess I just don’t ‘get it’….
I don’t get it… how exchanging one doctrine of men, for another doctrine of men… is growing spiritually?
I don’t get it… how cutting ourselves off from others because we don’t see eye to eye on every single thing… is walking in love?
I don’t get it… why we feel such a compulsion to be able to explain what’s going to happen in eternity… when we don’t know what’s going to happen five minutes from now?
Yet we’ve all done it. When it comes to our spiritual growth and development, the religions of the world present us with a veritable smorgasbord of choices. We start out with what we were raised in, dependent upon our family, friends, culture, etc., and as we get older we learn about the many other ways of viewing spirituality that religion offers. We are very adept at becoming religious; while we are incapable of entering into LIFE by an act of our will, or any means other than the shed blood of Jesus Christ. We can make a good facsimile of being changed, but it is only skin deep.
We place such emphasis on getting our doctrines right, that we neglect the most important part, which is giving the Lord Jesus Christ … absolute preeminence in our lives. I was recently introduced to a concept that I never learned in church, and it blew me away. That being: You can only carry with you, what God builds in you, during this period that we call “life down here.” I don’t know about the rest of you, but I was led to believe that we would be perfected in the next life, as we couldn’t be perfect here in this one. It was more of a universal assumption really. Have you ever considered that the relationship you have with the Lord on the other side, is developed right here and now? We can talk till we’re blue in the face about walking in the Spirit, and yet never actually do it. We can make a doctrine out of any and everything, without ever partaking of the ‘new life’ we have been called to walk in.
Consider this short quote taken from a little book titled, “God Calling”…
Way of Happiness
Complete surrender of every moment to God is the foundation of happiness, the superstructure is the joy of Communion with Him. And this is, for each, the place, the mansion, I went to prepare for you.
My followers have misunderstood that, and looked too often upon that promise as referring only to an After-Life, and too often – far too often – upon this life as something to be struggled through in order to get the reward and the joy of the next.
Seek to carry out all I say, and such understanding, insight, vision and joy will be yours as shall pass indeed all understanding. The plans of God are very wonderful – beyond your highest hopes.
We need to really examine whose banner we are carrying and why…
Do we genuinely believe all that we claim, and are we acting on it?…
We in fact are… ‘living epistles, read of all men,’ whether we realize it or not.
Are our words and actions bringing ‘Glory to God?’…
Are we full of ‘religious knowledge’… but lacking in ‘spiritual life?’
Consider this powerful excerpts from -
The Holy Spirit in Relation to the Glorified Christ and the Believer
by T. Austin-Sparks
It is a far greater thing to raise the spiritually dead than the physically dead; a far greater thing to open spiritually blind eyes than the natural. The physically raised from the dead will die again, those who are blind physically may have their eyes opened and be given their sight, but it is only for three-score years and ten “and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow.” The opening of spiritually deaf ears is greater than opening naturally deaf ears. “Greater works than these shall ye do because I go to the Father.” ‘The Holy Spirit is coming to do in the spiritual realm what I have been doing in three and a half years as only a sign.’ Well, they passed from that realm to a realm where everything was heavenly, everything spiritual, where God was no longer going to do things to judge and condemn doubly an unbelieving race…
…It will take a spiritual inner man to have a spiritual outer man. “And to every seed its own body.” The seed of the resurrection body is the New Man, the Christ within, and that man is being formed now. As Paul prayed, “My little children for whom I travail again till Christ be fully formed in you.” That forming of Christ within, and that conforming to the image of Christ is the Spirit’s movement toward clothing that inner new man with the heavenly body. “To every seed its own body.” And the forty days represent that full model, pattern of God’s glorified humanity towards which the Holy Spirit’s incoming and activity is directed for every man…
…We never get salvation as some thing, but as some One. The whole of salvation in every part and fragment is bound up with Christ in Person and you cannot separate the thing from Him. It is Christ, and not salvation as something in itself…
Now as we have just said, everything for us from that time depends upon whether we are going to be utterly, absolutely surrendered to and governed by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, and let Him so work in us and we so co-operate with Him in His working in us that the mind which is the mind of the Lord, the heart which is the heart of the Lord, the will which is the will of the Lord, the disposition which is the disposition of the Lord, grows, transcending all the time the old mind, heart, will, disposition, and Christ thus being fully formed in us. That is new creation in Christ Jesus.[end quotes]
There was a good reason why Peter admonished us to ‘work out our own salvation with fear and trembling,’ that we might be conformed to HIM in every thought and deed. Being made into vessels of honor, that when we see Him, we shall be like Him, because we have submitted to Him now, in this life.