Friday, March 25, 2016


To become a physician in America, one must must receive a valid license to practice medicine!

Getting to this point requires years of pre-med, then medical school, then further training in a residency program and finally, testing to receive board certification and licensure.

When two or more physicians discuss a case or communicate about certain issues, they understand each other. Why? Because their training has equipped them to comprehend what they are discussing even in the details and nuances!

The average person may understand the less complicated aspects of how medicine works but he would not be able to walk into an operating room and hand the surgeon the right instruments for a surgery - let alone perform that surgery. He also would not be able to correctly advise a patient in the more complex cases, recommend a treatment or prescribe the proper medications for that patient.

If we transfer the principle to Christianity, there are similarities that should be obvious, yet seem to be absent from many - perhaps even the majority - of the modernized churches that exist in America today!

Christians today seem to completely discard the principle that training equips and prepares us to know and understand God, His ways and His Word! 

It is true that training is different in our walk with God than it is in other fields. Completing a man-made training program alone, such as Bible college, is not enough to equip us to know or understand God! Of course, if it is godly and biblically accurate training, it can be a wonderful tool! Yet, on its own, it can never take the place of God's trying program!

A person may be intelligent enough to grasp all of the "head knowledge" that he or she is presented with. Yet there can be very little, if any, accompanying work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of that person!

We must be trained by God! Yes, He will use man. Yes Bible colleges and seminaries can play a large part in God's training program. But they are completely useless if a man or woman does not enter into a close personal walk in his or her heart with the Great Master and Teacher!

While Christianity is completely compatible with higher education and intellectual pursuit, the work of God primarily take place in the heart! Thus some who have little "education" according to the world's standards, can be much mightier in the Spirit than others who are considered "highly educated!"

Great Christian leaders, past and present, have had much to communicate about church mediocrity and lukewarmness!

The modern church seems to have moved away from discussing any need to hunger and  thirst for excellence in Christ. This desire to walk with God has been taught and strongly emphasized through the millenniums since Jesus' first came as a man!

Today, "God accepts you as you are," has been downgraded to "God wants you to stay as you are!"

Avoiding offending people seems to be of much greater importance than pleasing God! Making everyone feeling "loved" takes precedence over being conformed to the image of the Son of God and holy living! We are no longer challenged to "grow up" in our walk with God. in fact we are encouraged to avoid that topic for the sake of making all feel content with the status quo of our own comfort zone - regardless of how mediocre and lukewarm that comfort zone may be!

How does our illustration of medical training being necessary to equip physicians relate to Christians today?

By their own estimation, many Christians today only occasionally read the Bible, let alone study its contents. They pray very little and only attend church when it is convenient. Their ministry consists only of outward works without the proclamation of the gospel God commands His Word!

No one would accept our personal opinion if we merely "read a medical book occasionally?" The great majority of us would never be arrogant enough to assume they could give medical advice or preform surgeries under those circumstances.

Yet in the church, we value the opinions of all equally, even if they are new converts. Even the highly speculative opinions of unbelievers are often valued as though they were theological certainties! What degree of arrogance is required for Christians, who do not study the Bible, pray or attend church to advise others or to form our own personal theologies?

Yet that is exactly what a great many Christians presume to do today!

They admittedly don't have a close walk with God - yet make theological statements about God, such as, "God doesn't care about that." Or, "That's not a sin."

Based on what? We have no basis to form, let alone promote opinions about God if we are not seeking to develop a close walk with Him! We cannot know what pleases God unless we are students of His Word! We cannot sense His call on our lives unless we are seeking Him in prayer! We cannot know if our pastor, or the church we are attending are biblically accurate - unless we have been trained to  rightly discern the truth through a deep, intimate knowledge of God and His Word!

As a "lay person" in the medical field, we can only tell people to "Eat chicken soup for a cold." Or "Get some rest." not presume to go much farther - freely admitting to themselves that they are not qualified to comprehend medicine at the level of a trained physician or give medical advice.

Yet as Christians we presume to speak and promote theological points of view that are far beyond our shallow knowledge of God!

Paul spoke of his message as a mystery that only the mature could understand:

6 However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.
7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory.

1 Corinthians 2:6-7 (emphasis added)

There are many levels of maturity. So, like me, you need not fear that only some elite, "super Christians" can understand God. A better way to think of it is as a ladder. The higher we climb the more we will understand.

The more we humbly and diligently seek God, the closer our walk with Him will be! The more we are willing to lay down our preconceived ideologies, and accept His ways in their place, the more enlightenment will come to us!

When we cling to a shallow, lower view of God, it is impossible to see Him as He really is!

I don't know about you but I want to see Him more clearly. The more clearly we see, the smaller our problems and the less we will value or esteem the things of this world. An object  may be very difficult to see if it is at the top of a mountain while we are standing on the ground. But the higher we climb, the more the object in our vision comes into focus!

If we remain on the ground, we can only speculate about what that which is at the top seems to be. These thoughts will be out of focus at best and mistaken and erroneous at their worst!

Every one of us is called to strive to climb the ladder - drawing ever closer to Him as the days of our lives go by!

God has promised that the reward will be great for those who diligently seek Him:

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Hebrews 11:6




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