Don’t Forget Where You Came From!
In Ezekiel Chapter 16 there is a picture of where we were before we got saved and how the Lord Jesus was the only one there for us. In v. 3 the Lord indicates that it doesn’t matter who your father was, whether he was there for you or not, He is now your father. In v. 8 in the day that He brought salvation our way, nobody could help us, but Him. We were wide open to an attack from Satan but God didn’t permit it. He didn’t allow the devil to kill us before we had an opportunity to be saved. Think about the near misses that you might have had before you got saved and how it had to be God who protected you. How many “close encounters of the worst kind” you might have had? He said that when He saw us in the open all by ourselves and we were “polluted in our blood” that He came to us. He asked us if we wanted to live and we said yes! Too many think that we found Jesus! No! He was never lost! The word says in Ephesians 2 v. 1 that He quickened us who were dead in trespasses and sin. Dead people can’t find anybody! Jesus came to us when no body else would or could help us and gave us an opportunity to be saved or made alive! In v. 7 of Ezekiel 16 the word says that Jesus after He saved us multiplied blessings in our lives. He also multiplied knowledge of His word and who He is to us. He gave us peace which we never had before, peace that the world can’t give and the world can’t take away. He mentioned in v. 8 that He overshadowed us with His presence and baptized us with His Holy Spirit. He overshadowed all our fears, insecurities and habits and filled us with His spirit. He gave us His power – power to thread upon serpents and scorpions…..
In v. 9 He said that He then washed us in water. This is a type of our water baptism – where we identified in His death and burial (Romans 6 v. 4). We were baptized into Him (Rom. 6 v. 3). This is where our old self was buried once and for all (although it tries to pop up once and a while). When we came out of the water we had more power to resist sin and therefore we don’t have to let sin reign in our bodies any more (v. 12). In Ezekiel 16 v. 9-13 the Lord again talks how He multiplied us in so many ways.
However, the Lord then mentions in v. 15 that some of His people got lifted up in themselves and started worshiping other people. So many of us came right from being born again into religion. We became part of a denomination that was closed to every other denomination and church. We started following explicitly what our church taught without going back to the Lord and His word first. If we disagreed with was being taught form the pulpit because it didn’t line up with the word, we just held our peace and accepted it. So many of us, after we got saved and started going to church got farther away from the Lord and the leadership became our lord and master. We forgot that the Lord is the ultimate authority. It is easier to please man than God so we felt O.K. with God because we followed explicitly what our pastors said.
So, in many ways religion as we know it has become a curse, trying to take the place of Jesus in our lives with all their rules and regulations. Don’t get me wrong there are some good bible based churches and some rules and regulations that are based on the word and are really necessary but sadly this is in the minority. So many churches treat their congregations as “their sheep” and keep them corralled in legalism and denominationalism. As I mentioned in an earlier message slavery is alive and well in a lot if churches. So many of us have put a Pastor or some TV minister before the Lord. They stay in a church where the Pastor is not living the word and misusing God’s people. The people in the congregation that allow and overlook this kind of behavior get “lukewarm” and compromise. They feel comfortable in a church because they feel that God overlooks that kind of behavior from His leadership. No He doesn’t! He expects even more from His leaders. Actually some leaders were never set up by God but they set themselves up. They were never “sent” but just “went.”
We also can’t limit our understanding of the word by what our Pastor may tell us. We have to search the word for new revelations and again even to confirm what our Pastors may be preaching. We can’t be like “dumb sheep” led astray. We have to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2 v. 12).
So many leaders are lifted up in pride and feel that because they are anointed they are going to heaven. No where does it say that the anointing gets us to heaven, only the blood of Jesus. Some of the most anointed people will “bust hell wide open.”
In closing we have to go back to Jesus and we have to get our eyes off of man. Don’t stay in a church where there is compromise from the head to the body. Find a church that has an awesome fear of Jesus and a Pastor who will be careful how he or she handles the word and God’s children. Any compromise on the part of leadership will eventually affect you and bring you farther away from the One who was there in the beginning when nobody else was.