Faulty Foundations and Fuzzy Patterns
None of us are prepared for spiritual
reality. We walk in the natural and when we are introduced to
spiritual things it is sometimes a shock to us. We become like
children in a playground, running to and fro as different things gain
our attention. However, the Lord intends that we become stable in
our walk in the Spirit and that spiritual reality would become
supernaturally natural for us. The key to this a solid, secure
foundation in the Spirit and a clear pattern to follow, as we said in
our previous lesson.
Cracks in our foundation produce certain problems. These problems become issues for us and for those with whom we fellowship. Instead of walking in spiritual reality, we walk in a pseudo-spiritual illusion, an artificial environment that is not true reality. These are some of the results:
Faking it. We want to appear to be more spiritually mature that we actually are. To do this we pick up “spiritual jargon” so that we sound spiritual.
Demonic activity. Snakes crawl through cracks in the foundation. By not addressing the cracks and correcting them we open ourselves to demonic involvement in those areas.
Backsliding. When our spiritual progress is not what we expected it to be, we become discouraged and return to the world.
Spiritual collapse. When shaking comes (and it will come—the Lord has promised it), the foundation gives way and spiritual collapse results.
Failure to reach goals. Without the proper foundation, God does not permit us to move on. He resists us. This is done out of His love and mercy for us.
If we build our spiritual life on a
faulty foundation, we can never accomplish what God intends for us.
We can never flow in spiritual things properly. We become
unproductive to the Kingdom of God.
When we begin to pattern our life after
other believers or even leaders, we are copying copies rather than
copying the original. While it is good to have others as examples,
they should be examples of the pattern of Jesus and we should be able
to recognize that pattern in them. Even so, we follow after Jesus,
who is our Lord and Master.
If we follow after other, fuzzy patterns instead of Jesus, it results in:
Superficiality—cosmetic spirituality. We become superficial Christians without any real substance. As we move in spiritual things, we adorn ourselves with the outward manifestations of spiritual experiences without our character undergoing a building up of inward substance.
Confusion—uncertainty—multiple voices. Without the proper pattern there is an uncertainty of experience, and confusion with many saying “lo here; lo there”. We end up following experiences and an illusive “anointing”.
Conflicting teaching. Teaching based on experience can conflict with other teaching. Many things can be drawn from experiences including false doctrine and teaching that not only conflicts with other teaching but also conflicts with the word itself.
One issue teaching. The latest truth always seems to be the most important truth. When we allow it to become the only truth taught then we are bordering on heresy. Examples of this are faith, prosperity, deliverance, submission, covering, authority, etc. All truth is in balance with other truth in the Scriptures.
Variety of experiences. Many experiences—some weird, some wonderful.
Induced experiences. We want others to experience what we have experienced. This leads to inducing experiences in others. An example of this is receiving tongues—the person is urged to say “hallelujah” fast until the tongue trips up, then someone announces “you've got it”.
Simplistic cure-alls. Some experience something and then determines that their experience is the answer to all problems. An example of this is the teaching that praise is the answer to everything.
Inner emptiness. When we try to live off of the experience of others it produces an inner emptiness in us. In meetings we gather the overflow from others, but when we leave the meeting we are left empty.
Fear of needing and depending on others. How can we depend on those flaky people?
Culpability. This is our part in deception. There is that within us that desires what is being presented. Many con games work because of inherent greed or dishonesty in the people being conned.
Deteriorating relationships. Lack of maturing in the Lord causes relationships to begin to fall apart.
Problem 1: Everyone who thinks he
is hearing from the Spirit is not hearing from the Holy Spirit.
Problem 2: Failure to hear
correctly, distorting or wrongly interpreting what God said.
Problem 3: Feelings, experiences, voices become ultimate criteria for truth rather than the Word.
These three problems produce much grief among the Lord's people. Any one of these will lead people down the path to become a false prophet. We all need committed relationships where we can address these issues in love with one another and learn to walk together in spiritual reality.
Authentic spiritual experience will
produce certain things in us. We can know our experiences are real
if good fruit is the result and it is in keeping with the Scriptures.
—Is it towards God or toward people and things?
—by this shall all men know, by our love for one another.
—Is it present and working in our life?
—Are we become detached from the various idols of our life?
in the plain meaning of scriptures
—Are we twisting the scripture according to our desires?
with the spirit of the world
—Luke 16:15 NASB And He said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.
—1 John 1:6 NASB If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;
—1 John 2:15-16 NASB Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
—1 Peter 1:22 NASB Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,