Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Keep Moving Forward

Scripture: Hebrews 6 v 1- 2: "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 
 2  Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment."

The writer of Hebrews, thought to be Paul, encourages Christians to move on from the milk of the Word into strong meat in Hebrews 5.  In the above verses he enlarges on this theme by saying that we should leave the first principles of the doctrine of Christ, and grow in a perfect way.

He does not want us to become entrenched in teachings concerning faith, baptism, dead works, and eternal judgment when we should have good understanding about them already, but somehow we have fallen into this error.

Many Christians do not know what dead works are, and continue to do them in ignorance.  They consist of various religious things we thought would please God until we were born again and found out differently.  Or should have.

Things like trusting that a St. Christopher medal on our car's dashboard will prevent accidents, or medals of Mary, or a rosary dangling from the rearview mirror.  Our faith must be in our Saviour, Jesus Christ, to protect us and nothing else.  Anything added to Jesus is an idol.

Looking a bit deeper we find that every superstition falls into the category of dead works.  Things we think of as bad luck or omens like walking under a ladder or Friday 13th.  To the Greeks an evil eye is supposed to ward off evil.  It does not! Probably more likely to attract evil than protect from it.

Jesus Christ is alive in your heart, promising He will never leave you. Promising to protect you and your family day and night; to bring healing, deliverance, comfort and blessing to you all. He says we must have no other gods just Him only. When we put faith in anything other than Him and it fails God gets the blame.

"Hey I put all the holy pictures and statues round my house to protect it from the tornado but my house got ripped apart!! Why did God let this happen to me?? I am never going to trust God again!!" You were not trusting Him in the first place. You were trusting holy pictures and dead statues.

I heard a testimony a while back of a Christian woman who had a tornado racing towards her and her home. She saw Satan's face in the terrifying storm. She rebuked him saying, Satan get that thing out of here, this is holy ground! Leave this place in Jesus' name!! And she praised God as the tornado turned down a side road and headed out of town. No homes were damaged in that town that day. Jesus would be proud of her.

What idols or dead works protect us instead of Jesus? Psalm 127v1 says "Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh in vain". If Jesus is not watching over you in answer to your prayers, no amount of security devices can save you from sudden calamity. Jesus says He will keep us in perfect peace if our hearts secure in Him.

Nothing could stop the destruction of Superstorm Sandy hitting New Jersey and New York; nor the tsunami that hit Sendai in Japan nor the earthquake that killed 250,000 in Haiti.  Just yesterday over 300 people have died through floods and mudslides in Sierra Leone.  A friend of mine in Brisbane told me when the river was in flood from torrential rain that they prayed for God's protection and the flood stopped just a few streets away from their road.

Some years ago I visited a friend whose husband had left them. She asked me to pray through her home and help her throw out the things that were dead works. There were 3 rosaries (prayer beads) on her lounge wall. When I suggested she remove them she protested that they belonged to her husband. I told her that when they were removed her husband would return.

A month later she phoned me to say she had been burgled. Thieves broke in and took every electrical appliance plus the three rosaries! Her husband was so upset that his wife and children could have been harmed or murdered that he moved back in!  To my mind it would have been simpler to throw them out the first time.

We need to grow past these oracles to experience the meat of the Word.  We need the power of the Holy Spirit to be exercised in our Christian walk.  People do lots of exercises to maintain good health.  This should be spiritually applied too.  Memorize a fresh verse of scripture every day.  Read a few chapters of the Bible and let Jesus speak to our hearts and instruct us.

Pray without ceasing is one instruction.  This is much easier if we pray in tongues.  Driving our cars, doing gardening, out walking the dog can be done while praying in tongues.  It is very uplifting and it builds us up mentally to understand and digest the meat that will help us grow to perfection.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we all need to grow spiritually but we go round in circles when we fix on the principles of doctrine that got us saved.  Help us to keep moving forward and eliminate the dead works from our lives so we can be examples to those who are seeking salvation.  Once we have completed the first steps we must climb the mountain of experience to achieve perfection.  In Jesus' name. Amen.