5-21-21: SECONDHAND SPIRITUALITY. What it is, and who’s affected.

Mark Batterson explains it this way. See if it describes you. “Listening to those who listen to God is no substitute for seeking Him yourself. If you become reliant upon others for inspiration, that’s called spiritual codependency.”

People like Adolph Hitler and others like him, preyed on those who never took the time to examine the information they were being brainwashed by. Their neighbors and friends became enemies simply because they believed the rhetoric of a madman. He blamed one group of people for the ills of an entire nation. Cults are formed by influential people who use deception to lure unsuspecting victims to leave their families, friends and communities, with promises of a better life, especially if they’re lonely, poor or unhappy with their lives. Some preachers are guilty of the same tactics. Demanding blind loyalty from their congregants. That’s not the church of Jesus Christ, that’s a cult.

They twist the scriptures to suit their ungodly appetites. Luring as the apostle Paul says silly women. 2 Timothy:3. He accused the Galatians of being bewitched. Galatians 3. People who rely solely on secondhand biblical information and never take the opportunity to read the Bible for themselves, are easily drawn into false religions and erroneous teachings. In 1978 one leader of the religious group, The People’s Temple, persuaded 900 people to drink punch laced with cyanide. This isn’t an isolated case, we’ve had Waco and many more like those still today. Why? Gullible people falling for lies and deception by con artists pretending to be saviors.

Paul admonished Timothy to study the Word of God. 2 Timothy 2:15. The Bereans searched the scriptures after Paul preached the gospel to them. Acts 17:11. Psychics are everywhere deceiving people who desire quick answers about their future. But the Word of God is clear. He alone knows the end from the beginning. He alone know the human heart. And every word He speaks comes to pass. Yes God uses the prophetic voices of His leaders, but every word must find their origin in the Word of God. Jeremiah complained that the false prophets in his day were countering everything he said and deceiving the people. God’s answer was this.

Then I said, “O Sovereign Lord, their prophets are telling them, ‘All is well—no war or famine will come. The Lord will surely send you peace.’” Then the Lord said, “These prophets are telling lies in my name. I did not send them or tell them to speak. I did not give them any messages. They prophesy of visions and revelations they have never seen or heard. They speak foolishness made up in their own lying hearts. Therefore, this is what the Lord says: I will punish these lying prophets, for they have spoken in my name even though I never sent them. They say that no war or famine will come, but they themselves will die by war and famine! As for the people to whom they prophesy—their bodies will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and war. There will be no one left to bury them. Husbands, wives, sons, and daughters—all will be gone. For I will pour out their own wickedness on them.”

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭14:13-16‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Whenever we choose the path of laziness over spending time in the Word for ourselves, we open our minds and hearts to deception. God has raised up teachers and preachers to help us understand His Word. But they are never to take the place of your own personal study or experience with Him. That’s why I encourage my readers to open up the scriptures. I offer a lot of references for your personal study. Why? Because it gives the Holy Spirit an opportunity to open up the Word to you in a deeper more intimate way. He’ll take you into areas suited to your personal growth and spiritual development in Christ. He’ll reveal things to you that I have not.

Most of the things He leads me to share, often come from my personal study time with Him. He desires to speak with you. I’m honored to be used in this way, but just relying on myself or others for biblical knowledge without your own research is foolhardy. I may accidentally reference the wrong scripture. Which I did once in the beginning, and most of you didn’t notice it. Why? Because you just read the commentary without reading the scriptures that I’ve highlighted. There are times when I’ll write the verses out, and at other times just reference them. That’s on purpose, because I want you to go find and read it for yourself. That’s how you grow in the Word.

Don’t be a spiritual codependent. Be a Berean. Study to show yourself approved unto God. Don’t quote other people’s understanding of scriptures. They may be misquoting what’s written. Go read it for yourselves so that you won’t be ashamed when you share it. Deception happens when we have no knowledge of what is being taught as truth or fact. Syms clothing store used to have this slogan. “ An educated consumer is our best customer.” Well, A knowledgeable Spirit-filled discerning Christian, is God’s best representative. You cannot deceive someone who has the facts. Ask, Seek, Knock. Don’t settle for secondhand information. Bring your Bibles to church, find the scriptures being read, or write them down and read and go over them on your own time. That’s how you grow in your knowledge and understanding of God’s Word. Nothing can replace time spent alone in His classroom. It’s what has made me who I am. Revelation is powerful tool against deception and lies.

Some have said the messages are long. Hence the title “message” it’s not a devotional. These messages are designed for studying. It takes me an hour to write each one. The Holy Spirit is never in a hurry when I sit down to receive from Him. And you shouldn’t be in a hurry to read through it. Find a suitable place and time to sit alone with your Bible and a notebook. He may want to take you deeper. Sometimes when I reread them after posting, I hear Him sharing even deeper insight into what He’s already given me. The learning never stops.

These messages aren’t for everyone. They’re for those who are seeking for more than a sip, they’re for drinkers. They’re not for codependents nor for those satisfied with secondhand spirituality. They’re designed for those who want to hear Him for themselves. Consider these messages an introduction. When you set up a date for someone, after the introduction you step aside to allow the strangers to get acquainted with each other. That’s what I’m trying to do here. I’m whetting your appetite, prayerfully you’re hungry enough to do more than taste, but hunger to see. To receive more. There’s always more at Abba’s table.

Scriptures give us guidelines, but the Holy Spirit is our guide. Take advantage of every opportunity. He was given to us to open the eyes of our understanding in the Word of God.

Written by permission of the Holy Spirit

W. Tennant

May 21, 2021

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