We must ask ourselves; Are we learning from our relationship with the Lord and His written word, or are we just learning from the opinions of preachers and teachers? Are we studying to show ourselves approved by God, or are we just listening to the latest revelations from our favorite ministers? Do we rely on the understanding of respected theologians, or do we know God intimately for ourselves?
Do we have enough understanding of the word of God for ourselves to identify wrong teaching when we hear it, or do we let our leaders do the interpreting for us? Is our idea of studying the Bible to read everyone else’s latest book and googling all the popular beliefs on any given topic?
Even if we attend seminary and have multiple degrees, we must filter all that knowledge through our intimate relationship with the Lord. Attending Bible college does not qualify us or validate our call to minister. Without a personal relationship with the Father, we will teach doctrines of men and religious traditions filled with the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. (Matthew 16:6)
1 John 2:27 (NKJV) But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
The Bible also says, “call no man your teacher.”
Matthew 23:8-11 (NKJV) But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ.
This is not a contradiction to Ephesians 4, where Jesus gave us teachers and the other five-fold ministry gifts to equip us. We should listen to other teachers and preachers. Still, at the same time, we must filter those teachings through our intimate relationship with the Lord, allowing the living Word to divide and discern the truth rightly. We can easily detect any error if we are sensitive to the indwelling Holy Spirit.
The result of not abiding in God’s word for ourselves is having itchy ears and becoming lukewarm in our relationship with God. If we are comfortable in our relationship with God, we are lukewarm and loving it. God gave us the Comforter for a reason. If we are abiding in Him, wholly submitted to His will, there will not be a day we will not need to be comforted.
Revelation 3:16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
Quoted from the book, The Spiritual Warfare Manifesto
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