Be Careful Who You Follow
And be careful how you lead.
John 10:27: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
1 Corinthians 11:1: Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
Acts 17:11: These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Acts 2:42: And they continued stedfastly in the apostles* doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
God has given us the Bible and He has given us churches and He has given us spiritual leaders. We need all three. It is a foolish Christian who depends upon only one or two. A wise Christian will find and follow spiritual leaders who themselves have and follow other spiritual leaders and who are committed to churches and to the Bible. And a wise Christian will find other Christians to serve God together with. A group of Christians will accomplish more than a lone Christian.
The unhappiest Christians, the least fruitful Christians and the ones with the most unsolved problems are the ones who do not follow Christian leaders (in a church) or who do not study their Bibles or all of the above. Satan would like to lead us astray, he would like to use our flesh in that, he would like to use unbelievers in it and he would like to use carnal Christians in it. When I first became saved, I could not find a Biblical church for a few months. The Lord knew I wanted and needed one. I grew much more as a Christian after I found real live Christian examples, fellowship and teamwork in a real live church.
There have been some Christian leaders who taught me how to behave like a Christian with their words while showing me how not to behave like a Christian with their actions. Some spiritual leaders seem to follow Jesus some of the time and walk in the flesh some of the time. They seem to go up and down like a spiritual yo-yo. It is difficult to follow and emulate a spiritual yo-yo and we should not do it. God has always provided for me believers that I should follow and emulate. There have been some who studied the Bible AND lived it.
James 3:8, 10-11: A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. . . . 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
I was shocked to learn that even Christians could lead me astray. I wanted to trust them all. And, horror of horrors, I learned that I too could lead others astray. Early on, as I was following Bible teachers and preachers, I had the thought that I should look over their shoulders to see who they were following. And the One they are following should be bigger and higher. It should be the Lord Jesus. And there should be times when my human leaders are out of sight altogether and I follow Jesus Himself.
And, of course, Bible teachers and preachers will sometimes step on my toes and yours about our sin and be Biblical and right when they do it. We never outgrow our need for that kind of leaders. If you don*t have spiritual leaders who step on your toes about your sin, there is something wrong with you or with them.
Proverbs 27:6: Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
Psalms 141:5: Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.
Care to discuss Be Careful Who You Follow with Ron?