Now and then, we need to take inventory of our spiritual lives. We need to evaluate if what we believe is in line with what Scripture teaches. I know that sounds strange but let’s look at two Scripture passages to see how we as Christians could fall into error.
The first passage we will look at is found in John six. I encourage you to read chapters six and seven, but I will introduce the setting and begin with verse fifty-three. Jesus had just fed a multitude out of five loaves and two fish. The next day the crowd went looking for Him, and they asked Him what sign He would perform for them to believe in Him.
Do you ever stop and think about what was wrong with them? The day before, Jesus fed them miraculously, and now they are asking Him what sign would He perform to earn their belief. So here’s a question we need to ask ourselves, how many times does God do things for us, yet we still doubt His faithfulness?
So the events unfold, and they say, our fathers ate manna; where’s your sign? And Jesus said, I am the bread come down from heaven. I AM, being a reference to The Name given to Moses, Jesus is showing His deity in the statement. They grumbled at His message, and we pick up the story in John 6:53.
John 6:53-69 NKJV “Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.” 59 These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum. 60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” 61 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. 65 And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.” 66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” 68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
The bottom line is, that they wanted what Jesus could do in the natural, they were concerned with temporal things. But Peter said, “Lord, to whom will we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
To whom will we go, and you have the words of eternal life. So many times, we come to Jesus in word, but our desires are only for the temporal. For example, we pray a prayer like this; In Jesus’ name, I believe I receive my healing. And we make declarations like this; In Jesus’ name, money cometh to me, now! As a tither, I believe the Lord for jobs and better jobs, raises, and bonuses, checks in the mail.
Now Scripture promises that God will take care of our needs; there’s no doubt about that. But are we believing for needs or selfish desires? Look at these words in James 4:3 “You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your own pleasures.”
It’s time to ask another hard question, is the teaching I’m listening to encouraging me to go to Jesus for selfish reasons? Do I just want stuff, or do I want Him?
Ask another question, if my church turned off the colored lights, turned on the house lights, and dropped the stage production. If my pastor went from being the cool, relevant topical preacher to someone who taught through books of the Bible and dropped ninety percent of his personal illustrations, would I still find value in my church? In Matthew 11:16-24, Jesus rebuked the cities where He did most of His miracles because they saw “the stuff,” but they didn’t repent; they didn’t forsake their sin and follow Christ. Power evangelism is the most prevalent method in the church today; Pray for someone to be healed, tell them God loves them, and thinks they’re amazing. Ask yourself, is that really the gospel? Are you amazing, or is Jesus? It’s popular these days to focus on the miracles of Jesus, but I challenge you to read those stories in context. Take a day to read the Gospel of John in one sitting, take three more days, and read Matthew, Luke, and Mark in one sitting. Discover the purpose of the miracles but, more importantly, focus on the message of Jesus. His message was repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand. Sadly, that is not the message of the modern-day power evangelist or the modern-day prophet.
Take another day and read Acts in one sitting. Go through the Epistles. Take three years and study through the New Testament. Ask yourself a few more questions; why is it that the people who say God always heals, why is it that the people that have the anointing aren’t doing the very things they teach? Why is it that the prophets got 2020 so wrong?
Jesus wants us to walk in truth. John wrote in his second letter that he had no greater joy than to hear people are walking in the truth. I hope that after reading this, you will be willing to ask the hard questions. I pray you will read and search the Scriptures, that you will reject falsehood, no matter how hard it may be, and hold to the truth. If you find that you have embraced wrong understandings, repent and ask for the truth to be revealed. Begin reading the Bible to see Jesus.
I pray this post has been both a blessing and a challenge to you. If you have a question or comment, you can leave it below, and if you would like daily teaching, thoughts, and reflections you can follow me on Instagram @caseydbell