Friday, December 14, 2012
How Do You Know?
We have seen before in Ezekiel that God holds the people of Israel accountable for their failure to honor him. Yet, he judges the leaders of Israel with particular ferocity because they did not faithfully teach the people the ways of the Lord.
Chapter 13 reemphasizes the misdeeds of Israel’s leaders, especially the prophets. The divine denunciation of the prophets begins in this way: “Doom to the foolish prophets who follow their own whims but see nothing.” “Follow their own whims” translates a Hebrew phrase that could be literally rendered “walk after their own spirit.” In their attempts at prophesying and in their daily lives, the false prophets of Israel did not follow the Spirit of God. Instead, they did as they wished and they prophesied what they wished. Thus, their visions were “worthless” and their divinations were “deceptive” (13:6). They saw “nothing” but claimed to be seeing God’s truth.
So, are their standards we can measure against to not fall in to this trap? We, certainly the so called "fruit of the Spirit" is one such standard, but I have known that to be abused as well. Any standard proposed will have subjective elements and it is in that space that things start to get problematic.
As we grow in our faith, our spirits become more and more aligned with the Spirit of God. Yet, we must always beware of how easy it is to project our whims onto the Lord. This can happen even with highly regarded religious leaders, who mistake the imagination for the leading of the Spirit.
I am a bit of a pragmatist when it comes to knowing when I am aligned with God's will - if it works, it is - at least on the personal level. Corporately the definition of "works" is as subjective as anything else, but individually if you are within God's will your life will be one with minimal strife.
Not that there is a quid pro quo with God, but rather there is a sense that our strife results from being outside of His will. Think about it.
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