A few years ago when I got caught up in the healing movement I greatly respected some of the preachers that taught their followers to command sickness to leave. If any of you have read my free book you know that I indeed witnessed supernatural things happening when I did as they taught. But after my eyes were opened to the fact that the miracles were from satan (2 Thessalonians 2:9), there was one thing I couldn’t figure out. Why did these teachers appear so Godly and passionate about God if they were really serving satan? It wasn’t until meditating on Malachi this past Sunday that God gave me the answer. In most every way these men looked the part but in the most important way, I can now see they did not.
At that time in my life when I realized the miracles were not from God, I struggled for several weeks to break free from the powers of the occult but I could not. I desperately tried to regain my relationship with God but it felt like there was a mile high wall separating us. I felt empty, alone, and isolated. After days and days of prayers, my wife said something to me that finally freed me from the oppression I was under. My wife described a great love and reverence for God by the people in the Old Testament. The attitude of God’s people that she described was the exact opposite of the attitude that I unknowingly had. Her words started to change my heart and like a key, unlocked the prison cell that had held me captive. I still struggled for a while but my relationship with God started growing from that night on.
The healing preachers teach something that most all of us accept as truth but is it really truth? Should we really be in love with ourselves? They teach, like the world teaches, that it’s all about you and how great you are. Jesus said it’s not about you in Matthew 10:39 “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” The healing preachers attempt to dull what Jesus did for us by emphasizing what we can do. Sure they show compassion to help others and they tell stories of how they helped those in need, but in the end they always point to themselves. Their pompous attitudes are evident when they brag about how much they tithe and the lack of sin in their lives. But good deeds don’t get us into heaven. A good heart does. A good heart grieves about our shortcomings, it does not boast about our works.
So where do these false teachers fit into this blog? These teachers believe the miracles they witness, the possessions they own, and even their good health show God’s approval of their faith, their teachings, and their actions. But we know from God’s Word that what we are given in the physical world often has little to do with our faith. Matthew 5:45 “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” The world calls financial prosperity and good health a blessing. God calls spending eternity with Him the real blessing. Matthew 5:3-10 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
For reasons that we can’t understand God will sometimes allow us to be drug through the mud. It may not matter what we doing or how we are living our life, it just happens and we sometimes remain in the fifth for years. It can be so easy to want to wish our lives away thinking the grass is greener on the other side. But if our feet were always standing in the green grass we would never hope for them to be in the clouds. There must be a right for there to be a wrong. There must be darkness for a star to shine. It’s not a blessing to have an easy life but those that seek God despite their difficulties will be blessed. James 1:12 “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.”
We know that God loves those that love Him (Proverbs 8:17). We know that God has the best of intentions for His children. But often a promise from God is not for today. We are called to live by faith knowing that our blessings and rewards will come at God’s perfect time and sometimes that time is after our time on earth. Hebrews 11:13, 16 “All these people (Enoch, Noah, Abel, Abraham, and Sarah) were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”
There is no doubt that the Church of Laodicea in the book of Revelation thought they were blessed but Jesus called them out for their arrogance in this belief. Revelation 3:17 “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” This group of believers may have been blessed by the world’s standards but spiritually they were bankrupt.
The riches of this life can cause us to become complacent. This complacency can cause us to blindly mingle with the world. And the more we are in the world the more we tend to find our security in the world. Our jobs and our country can become our providers. Our money can become our greatest comfort. And if we work tirelessly to seek more of that comfort, we will drift further and further from the one true comforter, God.
Jesus is coming back soon. It could be today. Will you try to hide in the rocks when He comes because of your shame or will you be confident to show Him how full your spiritual account is? Your spiritual account is the only thing that matters to God. And if your spiritual account is the only thing that matters to God, shouldn’t it be the only thing that matters to us? Seek money and materialistic possessions and you will find death. Seek Jesus and you will find life.
Isaiah 2:6-11 “You, Lord, have abandoned your people, the descendants of Jacob. They are full of superstitions from the East; they practice divination like the Philistines and embrace pagan customs.
Their land is full of silver and gold; there is no end to their treasures. Their land is full of horses; there is no end to their chariots. Their land is full of idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their fingers have made. So people will be brought low and everyone humbled— do not forgive them. Go into the rocks, hide in the ground from the fearful presence of the Lord and the splendor of his majesty! The eyes of the arrogant will be humbled and human pride brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.