At one time or another, you've probably thought, I believe the Word and I'm doing everything I know to do, yet things still haven't worked out. I have experienced that, too - personally and with many people I've ministered to. So, what's the problem? Actually, there are many problems, but I think most of them can be summed up by what Jesus said in Mark 7:13:
Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition.
What a startling statement! Wrong teaching - specifically, wrong religious doctrine - makes God's Word of no effect. The most significant revelations I've received from the Lord all have to do with renewing my mind from old ways of thinking that I learned in church. As I was freed from the traditions, the simplicity of God's Word set me free.
At a Gospel Truth Seminar, the Lord led me to counter a number of traditions that void God's Word. It was heavy stuff that was hard on even many Full Gospel fanatics. I tried to be as gentle as possible, but there isn't a gentle way to kill a sacred cow. You just need to kill it and deal with the fallout. So, that's what I did. It was powerful. I covered a lot of issues during those sessions, but I only have space to mention one in this letter.
I think one of the worst doctrines in the body of Christ today is the belief that God controls everything. This is usually presented in one of two ways: that God originates everything or that Satan originates the evil things but has to get God's approval before he can do His "dirty work."
This doctrine seems to be dominant in the body of Christ. It's so entrenched that many people will just discount what I have to say before hearing me out. To them, this has become a sacred cow. But this old cow needs to die. They need to kill that sacred cow, or it will kill the power of God's Word in their lives.
On the surface, it makes perfect sense that God controls everything. After all, He is God. He is all-powerful. He can do whatever He wants to do.
I agree that God is sovereign if the word sovereign is used as it's defined in the dictionary. The American Heritage Dictionary defines sovereign as "1. Self-governing; independent. 2. Having supreme rank or power. 3. Paramount; supreme." Sovereign comes from a Latin word that means "above" (AHD). I agree with all of those definitions. God is all of that and more. But religious tradition has redefined sovereign to mean that God has and exercises "absolute control." I totally disagree with that!
God is not the one who makes our lives a mess. We have a choice.
Deuteronomy 30:19 says,
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.
To say we don't have a choice is another way of saying we aren't willing to take personal responsibility for our situations. When we believe we're not responsible, it invalidates the Word of God. The Word tells us to make a choice between life and death, so we do have a choice. God even helped us out by telling us which one to choose: He said to choose life.
The slickest deception Satan has ever put across, primarily through the church, is to get people to embrace his work as the work of God. In my estimation, this is the worst doctrine in the body of Christ. If you really believe God controls everything, then why do anything? Why pray? Why study the Word? Why resist? Just eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you die, and whatever God wills to happen will happen.
However, James 4:7 says,
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Notice that there are things from God that you must submit to and things from the devil that you must resist. God does not control everything.
Religion has played into the victim mentality because it's the easiest way to explain away failure. The church has not been effective in helping people overcome things like sickness and financial problems, so they fall into the "sacred cow" belief that God is allowing this for a reason. God isn't allowing the bad things in your life. The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives on the inside of every believer (Eph. 1:19-20), and God is waiting on you to resist the devil and appropriate what He has already provided through Jesus.
In my Killing Sacred Cows series, I teach more about this subject and other wrong beliefs that are crippling the body of Christ. You can get this teaching as part of a larger package called Encounter Grace, which includes additional teaching in DVD and paperback format. Find out more about this package at https://awme.net/shop/product/4542D
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Killing Sacred Cows
Religion has its own "sacred cows", wrong beliefs that are kept alive no matter the cost. In this series, Andrew is taking them all to the slaughterhouse.
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