The ‘Word’ refers to both Jesus and the Bible:
- In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. So the Word became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. (John 1:1-5, 14 NLT)
- For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. (Hebrews 4:12 NLT)
With that established, my questions to you are, “Do you allow the Word (Jesus and the Bible) to trump all in your life? Or do you have a few areas in your life where there is a little madness?” Tim Delina goes one step further and presents us with the question in the following PDF, “Do we only obey the Word, or do we totally submit to the Word?”
During this time of physical social distancing because of the Coronavirus, I have been able to do more soul searching and praying than any other time in my life. Not only that, our household has our own Church service in our home for about 1 hour every evening after dinner. The theme since our isolation is to have Jesus above all in our lives and to be in total submission to Him and Scripture, no matter how contrary it may seem to our human nature (our ‘madness’).
Even though I have social media (Facebook, Instagram, Zoom, etc), I have not felt inclined to really engage, even though I cannot physically fellowship with my local church. Rather, the Holy Spirit has been teaching me to be wholly dependent on the Lord. Even with that, I sought the Lord in prayer this morning and asked, “Should I take advantage and get more involved with some of these social media platforms?” I started scrolling through social media with the help of Holy Spirit discernment. It was quite revealing just what I learned through Facebook. I saw two things that appalled me about some churches and pastors. First, that how they flaunted their good deeds before the world. Second, how they only stroked the backs of those that stroked their backs. Without going into further detail, the Lord answered me with two very powerful Scriptures that spoke volumes to my spirit and gave me complete peace:
- “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:1-4 NLT)”
- Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 NLT)
Without pointing fingers, even before the Coronavirus and social distancing, the guilty churches and pastors that I am referring to know who they are. The only “working with their hands” that they do is being glued to their cellphones to make sure no one is saying anything derogatory about them on social media and that they counter stroke the back of those that give them likes on their posts. Is this what our fellowshipping has come down to. Lord help us!
In her book ‘Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other’, MIT professor Sherry Turkle observes, “On social-networking sites such as Facebook, we think we will be presenting ourselves, but our profile ends up as somebody else—often the fantasy of who we want to be”. In other words, though people might feel more connected, they can actually be more distant—at least from who they really are. On the contrary, true Christian fellowship demands we engage with people as we really are, so that we can honestly face our sin and grow together in Christ.
At the same time Facebook can give a brutally honest look into one’s hidden character. One pastor would comment or give the thumbs up to the posts of people who were in 100% on his team within seconds of being posted. As people moved on to bigger and better positions and were no longer under his agenda, they were shunned out of jealousy and pride, no matter how wonderful their posts were.
My whole point is, do not allow yourself to succumb to madness as the Jewish leaders during Jesus’s time did. We must be 100% submissive to Jesus, even with the secret areas of our life. Anything short of that is spiritual madness. Scripture is clear:
For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: “As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” (Romans 14:10-11 NKJV)
Before closing this article, I do not want to play down the wonderful things the Lord has been able to do through the streaming on social media such as Facebook and YouTube, conferencing platforms such as Zoom, and Bible applications such as YouVersion. Only the Lord knows how many people have been Born Again and blessed through these technological marvels. Just like a hammer built the homes in my town where I grew up, it was also used to commit the first of many murders. My last point is that we as Christians must be careful how we use these technological marvels and do our best not to succumb to madness by allowing them to replace our fellowshipping face-to-face in person as we are instructed, once social distancing restrictions are lifted:
And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near. (Hebrews 10:25 NLT)