5. There will be a revival and refinement of doctrine
It’s very interesting to see the ever shifting and changing nature of the world’s values. People are being canceled today because of things they said only a few years ago. What they said, posted, or recorded was socially acceptable only a handful of years ago, but now its egregious enough to cause people to experience public rebuke. The winds of change are blowing fiercely.
The world will always be the world I suppose. The problem in my mind isn’t necessarily that the world is changing it’s values and beliefs, it’s that it’s trying to take the church with it. That’s where I believe my last item on my 5 things I’m feeling right now comes into play. I believe the silver lining of the world shifting so violently in it’s core beliefs will create a point of clear definition between what the world believes and what the church believes.
This isn’t a new phenomenon for the church. Evidently it was a challenge for the early church as well. Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus something that has incredible application in our world today.
“so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.”
Ephesians 4:14 ESV
We are living in an age when people are strong emotionally, but weak mentally. The value system of the world we live in has elevated feelings to the level of truth. If you feel it then it must be the truth. I’ve seen this even creep into Christianity. You can shame or guilt people into supporting almost any cause if you just say, “but I thought Christians were supposed to be loving.” The unpardonable sin in today’s modern church isn’t grieving the Holy Spirit, it’s being thought of as unkind. I believe we should be strong in our compassion and love for people. However, I think we should be mentally tough as well. To put it another way, our compassion shouldn’t outweigh our wisdom. I think of the words of Jesus when he said to be as harmless as doves, but as shrewd as a serpent. When someone is strong emotionally, but weak mentally the enemy can jerk them around anytime he chooses. All he has to do is move them emotionally and they will be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. Over the past couple of years many believers have lost their way by simply getting involved in causes that felt just or compassionate to them, but those causes weren’t doctrinally truthful or biblical ideas of justice. When Satan came to tempt Jesus he chose the opportune moment of when Jesus hadn’t eaten for 40 days. It was a chance for Satan to catch Jesus in a weak and vulnerable moment. Satan tried everything he could to play to Jesus’ emotions, but each time Jesus responded with “it is written.” Jesus may have been emotionally vulnerable, but he was mentally strong. The truth of God’s word outweighed any emotional vulnerability he may have had. We need to fortify our mind. The wisdom of the book of Proverbs tells us that a person that can’t rule their spirit is like a city with no walls. We are vulnerable to being attacked when we are strong emotionally and weak mentally. Fortify your mind with God’s word so you can rule your spirit.
Here’s a few practical ways I believe you can fortify your mind.
1. Faithful church attendance – In the context of what Paul wrote in Ephesians 4 it is the work of Pastors and Teachers that equip people. That work is a variety of things, but one of the main things is sitting under the preaching and teaching of the Word of God. I’ve always believed the writer of Hebrews when he said to “not forsake the assembling of yourselves together.” However, it’s more clear today than ever that we need to be faithful to gather together to hear the Word of God.
2. Personal study of God’s word – A phrase I’ve come back to frequently lately is what Paul told TImothy and that was to “Study to show yourself approved.” We need to study the word of God to discover what in our lives is approved or disapproved. Every thought, every belief, every action, every cause. Before I let it stay in my life the question needs to be “is it approved by the Word of God.”
3. Using trusted resources – Do your research. For the love of everything holy dig on social media accounts before you like, share, follow, and consume the content. Is the resource trying to advance a cause or the kingdom? Is it Jesus centered? Is it Bible based? Is it connected to or promoting of the local church? Is it attacking the church and church leaders or is it there to serve the church and church leaders? Those are just some general questions to ask before trusting a resource. One resource I highly recommend is an app called TheosU. It’s a subscription based platform with tons of helpful resources. It is something you pay for, but I believe you should invest in your faith. We invest into so many other things, but there is nothing more valuable than your faith in Christ.
Fortify your mind. Don’t get blown about by every wind of doctrine. That’s the wrap on 5 Things I’m Feeling Right Now. Next up is a series on “Lies I’ve Believed.” I’m excited to talk about somethings that I have been told and many people have been told that just simply aren’t true. In the meantime I would love to hear your thoughts on the “5 things.” Drop a comment. It would also mean so much if you shared this resource with your friends.