There are people who attend church on a weekly basis out of religious obligation. They have no relationship with God. These people expect religious traditions to be followed and would not be happy if a minister eliminated the stain glass windows or pipe organs.
Others attend church on a weekly basis looking for an emotional experience. These people run, jump, and shout at the slightest bit of anointing going on in the service. They are just as religious as the first group.
The average Christian does not know a lot of Scripture. They go to church on a weekly basis but rarely open the Bible outside of service. Some are so focused on an emotional experience that they do not even open their Bibles during service!
Emotionalism, hype, and religious traditions will not give us the victory provided in Christ. Christian growth requires a dedication to spending time meditating in God’s Word.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Paul tells us that the Word of God is the power of God. If we are not planting it in our hearts, we will not have God’s power planted in our lives. This is where many Christians live and it is why they are not growing and maturing in their relationship with God.
There are preachers who proclaim God’s promises without providing explanation. There may be a place for this at times but it should not be the “norm”. We will not experience growth until the Word of God is able to get down into our spirits.
And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
There is a place for proclamation but it must be followed by teaching. Christian growth will not occur where people are not being discipled. I recognize there are times when people will “experience” the presence of God. There are times when the Holy Spirit will move on a person resulting in their shouting, running, or even falling over. This just must never become the norm for those who desire to mature in their relationship with God.
We should be able to tell the difference between an unsaved person and a saved one. Unfortunately, this is not the case for the majority of Christians. Religious tradition and emotionalism have robbed us of the power of God!
Christian growth cannot happen in the heart of a person who does not understand the Word of God. This will require us to set aside time on a daily basis to meditate on the promises of God.
Let me give you an example in the area of physical healing. Many of us will agree that it is God’s will to heal people. This is a good start. How many of us have an understanding that will allow us to explain why it is God’s will to heal us? I would guess that the number is not high which means most of us are positioned for Satan to steal any Word that we hear.
I have a degree in religious studies. My professors taught us how to “preach” the Word in an “educated” fashion. It would be a lie to say I’ve not been guilty of using big words in my sermons. Over time I’ve learned that the Word of God must be delivered at a level people will be able to understand it. This is the only way that they will grow and mature in their Christian walk.
The Word of God is simple. We make it difficult to understand. It will not work and produce growth until it is understood. It will not be understood if delivered at a level people cannot receive and it will not be understood if we are not giving it careful and considerate thought on a daily basis.
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
Wisdom cannot exist without understanding. This is a basic concept and it will require us to develop teachers who are able to explain God’s Word at a level people can receive.
5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.
6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
Jesus was the Son of God. He was unable to minister in the miraculous at his hometown due to their unbelief. I want you to notice how He responded to this situation. He did not go around “preaching” but instead He responded by “teaching”. I believe this is a lesson we need to take to heart. The Church as a whole has more than enough preachers but not enough teachers.
I believe that understanding is the gateway into revelation knowledge. The seed of God’s Word will not penetrate the soil of our hearts without it. It is a vital key to our being able to grow in our spiritual lives.
There are many Christians who believe that God is the source of sickness. This is a result of their lack of understanding in regards to what the Bible tells us about healing. Many of these Christians have not even developed an understanding of the basic fundamental doctrines of Christianity.
Religious tradition has robbed the majority of being able to walk in a deep revelation of God’s Word. This does not mean people are not hungry or that they are being purposely deceived by their ministers. In most cases, ministers are merely teaching what they have been taught. They have a good heart but incorrect doctrine.
I once had the opportunity to attend a week of training for Licensed Local Ministers. Attendees had been chosen to lead smaller churches in our denomination that could not afford a fully ordained pastor. There were many districts represented but one day my district leader taught a session on sermon preparation. It surprised me to hear him talk about the need to reduce our sermons to ten minutes or less to allow more focus to be placed on the “important things”. What could be more important than teaching people what God has said in His Word?
If people are unable to get understanding, they will be positioned for Satan to steal what little they do have. This is why so many well meaning people suffer from acute cases of wrong thinking and are unable to walk in the blessings of God. Wrong thinking robs Christians of the power of God.
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
The key to understanding is right thinking. This requires us to give time to God’s Word until it is able to renew our minds to God’s way of thinking.
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