In the world, people are skeptical of “religious” affection and zeal. Many people seem to interpret a high commitment to church and God to be unusual and some even assume it is a result of disordered brainwashing.
If you order your family calendar around worshiping God on Sundays and are committed to prioritizing fellowship with the saints throughout the week, you may be assumed to be odd at the very least. Additionally, following and seeking to obey God’s word in our current cultural divide makes us the peculiar people we are called to be and even despised at times.
Meanwhile as Christians, we are called to be trusting people. Our very lives are built upon faith and belief, and that faith cannot coexist with skepticism and doubt. But are we ever guilty of trusting and being zealous for the wrong things?
Time and again in Old Testament history, Israel sought to fashion a god after their own hearts. They wanted a leader with skin on rather than the God who moved in the cloud in the sky and the pillar of fire. They were terrified of the God on top of Mount Sinai, so they cast an accessible golden calf at the bottom instead. They wanted to be like the nations around them so they begged for a king in the flesh; and they got exactly what they asked for in faithless Saul.
History marks a trail of people fully trusting in the wrong things often resulting in devastating ends. We too can be susceptible to following winds of new teachings and ear-tickling help for our troubles. How do we remain faithfully planted on the truth?
Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica,
for they received the message with great eagerness
and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
One strong defense is to be like the Bereans. They received the message with great eagerness. They were hungry for God’s word and to grow in their faith. They were not jaded nor filled with a critical spirit.
They examined the Scriptures everyday. They verified that what they were learning was indeed what God had said. So too, like Bereans we should be eager learners who receive the message with faith while humbly examining the scriptures daily. This is good for the health and integrity of our own spiritual lives and families as well as for the health of our churches.
We can never stop evaluating what we hear and learn against the plumbline of God’s word. His truth is unchanging and sure, and it is able to stand up against the test of time and all winds of teaching.
Though God cannot be seen and touched, He can be heard and known deeply and that comes by abiding in Him in His word. May we filter what we hear and learn through the Bible daily, keeping careful watch over our hearts.
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” –
Jesus (John 10:27)