What is your faith founded on? This is really very important in our days. We have heard lately of pastors and worship leaders turning away from long held “faith” or at least wavering; and when they do, many others are damaged by their failings.
Why is this happening? There are many reasons that one can “fall away” but it should not happen, if a person’s faith is rooted in the Word of God, and nourished by relationship with the Lord Jesus Himself. Knowing Him, and being known of Him with no barriers in between, is the anchor that keeps us in times of trouble.
The Word has the answer for everything. Oh, you may not find your answer specifically written out for a certain question, but if you spend time in the Word and in fellowship with the Holy Spirit, you will hear from the Holy Spirit the answers you need to keep you on the right path.
The Word of God is alive and working in us. It is able to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart, and to shine light on our intentions (Hebrews 4:12-14). He operates in us to keep us on the right track, if we let Him. We know that God does not change (Malachi 3:6). His Word is true (John 17:17). What was true of God from the beginning is still true of God; we just need to ask for understanding, and He will give it. If we will spend the time in the Word, and with Him, He will help our understanding.
If your faith is not founded in the Word, and in relationship with Him, you can easily be misled. If you are following a man other than Jesus, or an experience other than being washed in the blood of the Lamb, this is another door that opens you to deception. Never put a man on a pedestal. Never seek after experiences instead of Christ. It is guaranteed that the man will fail you, and the experiences will lead you astray.
The sin of pride also opens the door to failure. Never allow yourself to accept glory. Glory belongs to God. Never give glory to another human being, or accept it for yourself. Only the Lord Jesus Christ deserves the glory. Accepting glory leads to pride and pride goes before the fall.
When a pastor or any other leader begins to make excuses for their sin, and begins to change the meaning of the Word or explain away what the Word says in order to change it so as to remove the conviction of sin from their life—the ALARM BELLS should go off! Go back to the pure Word of God, and read what it says! Open your heart to the Holy Spirit, pray that your heart and mind will be protected from deception. Stay rooted in the Word of God. Never let anything come between you and the Lord Jesus. Do not follow those who practice deception. Flee from them!
Sin can lead to the hardening of the heart. If something bothers your conscience, deal with it right away. Hebrews 3:7 says, “Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as when they provoked me as in the day of trial in the wilderness’”. Keeping short accounts with the Lord is the best way to grow spiritually. It keeps your heart clean, nourishes your relationship with the Lord Jesus, and makes you stronger. That way, sin does not get a foothold in your life. When sin gets a foothold, it will lead to deception.
Be sure that the church you are in is teaching the pure Word, walking in fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ and with one another. If it is not, leave. Find a church that teaches the pure unadulterated Word of God.
I say all of this because we are living in perilous times. There is so much deception, and the enemy is wandering around like a lion seeking whom he may devour (1Peter 5:8). Stand strong in the Lord and in His Word! Resist the enemy and He will flee (James 4:7). “Then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling” Philippians 2:12.
We do have to pay attention and be careful. Working out our salvation does require healthy fear and trembling, but it is something we must do.