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Are You Walking in Faith or Foolishness? #faithorfoolishness

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAIn my last post I talked about how we needlessly put God to the test.  It was something Christ refused to do during His earthly walk.

When I began this series, I shared how I personally went through one of the worst points in my life.  During this time we were one of the families who lost their homes in the recent mortgage crisis.

But I can state, without reservation, that at my worst financial point, I was still better off than most of the world’s population.  I had a roof over my head and a full belly.  How dare I even entertain the idea that God failed to provide for my needs.  If I’m truly walking in faith, then I acknowledge that I serve a faithful God, who I never need to put to the test.

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.
“All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
Matthew 4:8-9

The devil continued his assault using the promises of God.  This time he used a promise specifically aimed at Christ, the Messiah.  He was making a deal with Jesus in which the Lord could obtain the Messiah’s blessing without having to endure the pain of the cross.  As far as the Lord was concerned, this was the last straw.

Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan!  For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
Matthew 4:10

Jesus saw right through the devil’s smokescreen, and rejected the offer without even giving it a second thought.  How dumb can we be?  So often we fall when the enemy tempts us to do foolish, unscriptural, and even ungodly things…all for spiritual reasons, of course.  We sometimes make crazy decisions all under the guise of “God wants me blessed, happy, and wealthy”

I’ve heard things like, “God told me that this is the woman He created for me.”  My question is what about the woman you’re married to right now?  What about “God hates divorce”?

By His life, Jesus showed that He lived above the promises.  He lived as a Son empowered by the Holy Spirit.

We’ve lost the whole concept of sonship.  I desire to post about it in depth someday.  But for now we need to see how very differently Jesus lived than we do.  He didn’t feel the need to spend His life rehearsing the promises.  Neither did the Lord try, in His power, to fulfill the requirements so that He could obtain the blessings.

Jesus lived His life in the power of the Holy Spirit.  That’s my goal, and the goal of these posts.  That the church of the living God would wake up to our impoverished condition, and rise up to the potential that the Lord placed before us when He said that we would do the same works that He was doing (John 14:12).

Question: How have you experienced people doing foolish things for “spiritual” reasons?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

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Posted by on August 26, 2013 in Faith, Power of God, The Church

 

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It’s Easy to Turn Faith into Superstition

CloverDo you serve God superstitiously?  How do you know whether or not you do?  You may be surprised at the answers.

We’re told in Scripture that we’re to serve God by our faith.  We’re told that it’s impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6).  As a matter of fact, anything not coming from faith is sin (Romans 14:23).

But, just as important as faith is, it’s just as important to know where this faith comes from.  The Bible is clear on this issue, even if we are a little fuzzy sometimes.

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
Romans 10:17

This verse literally says that faith springs out of hearing, but hearing through the Word of Christ.  There are a few key concepts that are important in this verse.  The first is that, of all the different kinds of faith that we can have; only the faith that has its birth in the Word of God is valuable.

The next is one you may not want to hear.  But, this faith comes by hearing the Word and not reading the Word.  That’s because it’s the Greek word rhema that’s translated word in this verse.  The Greek word rhema always refers to the revealed Word of God to us.

This isn’t talking about reading the Bible and drumming up faith in ourselves.  It’s about listening to the Holy Spirit speaking to us.  It might take place while we’re reading the Scripture, praying, or listening to a sermon.

Jesus got upset at the Pharisees for this same type of superstition.

You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
John 5:39-40

Here’s what takes place sometimes.  It may be that there’s a believer in need of healing – for example.  As they’re reading the Bible, the Holy Spirit uses it to grab their attention.  The Lord takes the Word that they’re reading and makes it rhema to them.

In a moment of divine faith and obedience, they declare that Word with their voice.  Immediately they’re healed.

What does he do next?  He starts teaching that if you confess this verse, you will be healed.  That is superstition.

It’s not reciting the verse that healed this person.  Christ our Healer was the one who made them whole.

This is how easy it can be, to turn faith into superstition.  Instead of bringing people to a deeper relationship with Christ, it’s easier to recite Scripture over and over.

Please understand – I didn’t say to stop memorizing and confessing the Scripture.  What I am saying is to seek to hear from Christ.  He’s the One our life flows from and not our “works of righteousness.”

Question: Why is it so much easier for us to recite the Bible than to seek to hear from God?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2013 in Faith, Word of God

 

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