Today’s Reading — Galatians 5:7-9 — You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough.
Is your Christian engine running well? You were running well; who hindered you… The price of oil or the availability of gasoline can’t effect your Faith power at all. It is powered by the Word of God, pumped into your heart by the Holy Spirit. Are you idling smoothly, or are you sensing a miss, a loss of power that indicates you aren’t running on all cylinders? This is the situation in which the Galatian church found themselves. Even worse, actually. They had thought they were still running well. It was Paul who detected the loss of power they were experiencing and identified it’s cause as the false preachers who had deceived them to believe contrary to the Words of Jesus. This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you.
I knew someone who bought a used car at just this time of year. A few months later she heard a weird noise, so she took it to a local mechanic. He fixed five hundred dollars worth of nothing, but the noise remained. She took it to a dealer who sold and repaired this exact brand. He fixed five hundred dollars worth of nothing, but the noise remained. She then told me about this. I had no idea what was wrong, but I thought I might know where to send her. The car was an imported car and I knew a small shop that dealt only with imported cars. She was almost too afraid of spending another five hundred dollars to have them look at it, but she feared more that she’d be injured or die if she=2 0didn’t and something was seriously wrong, so she went. The chief mechanic took her car for a test drive, but immediately returned. She asked if he thought he knew what was wrong. He opened her hatchback, looked around, and picked up a plastic pumpkin she was taking to school decorate her preschool classroom for Halloween, and slowly moved it, causing the marble in it to roll around and produce the $1,000.00 noise! If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear. And He was saying to them, Take care what you listen to. (Mark 23, 24a)
The Faith engines of the Galatians weren’t running well, but the false teachers who had lead them from the simplicity of the Gospel weren’t able to diagnose the problem. In fact, they were the strange noise that was leading the church to run poorly. Thankfully, when Paul heard the strange noise, he diagnosed exactly what it was. My friend’s noise problem was immediately fixed at no cost when she asked someone who really knew how to differentiate sounds of a poor and a well running car. Paul knew how to differentiate the sounds of poor and well running Christians.
We allow ourselves to think, and Satan tries to confirm as a false witness, that we can tolerate a little false teaching and a little sin and not be=2 0diverted from the narrow path of Jesus. God knows better, and really, so do we. A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. If we decide to tolerate any teaching that is counter biblical, we have started down a new path which will lead us away from Christ as the noise of the false teachers in our lives begins to attenuate the sound of the purity of the Gospel and the Word of God.
Do your teachers rely on the bible as their only sourcebook, confirming biblically even what is written by other Christian writers? Are they people of the book and people of prayer? Do they regularly share the full Gospel without hesitation? Have they added anything to the Gospel that you cannot find in the bible? Have they deleted anything from the Gospel for fear of offense? If you answered no to any of these questions, you may be sitting at the feet of the Galatian teachers.The false teachers in Antioch were nice guys. They were skilled speakers and persuasive. They could draw a crowd. Outwardly, the church was a success. They derided Paul as rigid, uncompromising and unreasonable. Then they shared unbiblical noise within the church, and the church was deceived in the nicest, most persuasive way imaginable.
Is there any unbiblical noise influencing your walk with Jesus? It may come from books, the Internet, Christian friends, TV, your small group leader, or even in the worst cases, your own local shepherd. Listen carefully to the odd noises in your life. If you don’t, instead of listening to a biblical leader filled with the Word you may find yourself hearing noisy empty plastic pumpkin preaching, loud and worrisome — at a great price to your faith. I may not be as skilled as Paul at diagnosing what the odd noise in your life is, but I know where to send you, to the One who said….
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. (Matthew 24:25) Return to His Word and to those who faithfully teach it. Be a person of One Noise. Run well in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Copyright 2008 © Stephen Faulkner and Mission of the Master Ministries, Inc. OnemanofGod88@aol.com