Stay with what you heard from the beginning, the original message. Let it sink into your life. If what you heard from the beginning lives deeply in you, you will live deeply in both Son and Father. This is exactly what Christ promised: eternal life, real life. I've written to warn you about those who are trying to deceive you. But they're no match for what is embedded deeply within you - Christ's anointing, no less! You don't need any of their so-called teaching. Christ's anointing teaches you the truth on everything you need to know about yourself and him, uncontaminated by a single lie. Live deeply in what you were taught. (I John 2:24-27 MSG)
I am always concerned whenever people want to change the simplicity of God's message into something kind of complex and just too difficult to understand or live by. Why do they do this with the Word? I guess it might come from a couple of motivations, but most likely it is either because man has this uncanny way of complicating life because "simple faith" seems a little like they haven't "done enough" to earn whatever it is they are receiving, or they just want to get attention in their lives by what they can taut as something they have "received" which others were not as privileged to have received. The truth is that God's word doesn't need anything added, and God isn't exclusionary in his love or revelation - he doesn't give "more truth" to one individual.
Here are some things we need to consider:
- God wants us to stay with what we have heard (the original message). This is primary to remaining safe from any message which may come to confuse us or draw us into any area where someone is touting they have some "better" or "more advanced" revelation of truth. In order to do this, we need to get to know what it is we have received from the Lord in the first place - meaning we need to get into the Word to see what God reveals to his kids. In fact, God reminds us it needs to sink in deeply in order for it to have the best effect on our lives. For something to sink in we need to get enough of it with enough frequency to allow it to sink in. Here in Arizona, one of the things people do is something landscapers will call "surface watering". They turn on sprinklers and then because of the excessive heat, the water on the surface is evaporated very quickly. The water barely gets past the surface level of the growth. What happens with this type of watering? The roots are just not all that deep and the growth has no real safety against the elements. We need to allow the water of God's word to sink in with sufficient quantity and in sufficient frequency to allow us to get it into the depths of our lives.
- When God's Word has the chance to get "deeply" into us, it kinds of "embeds" in us. Embedded things are able to surround or envelop whatever it is embedded within. This might be paramount to guarding us against any message which is outside of God's original message. We need to be "enveloped" in God's protective grip. We only realize this type of protection when we become familiar enough with the arms which envelop us in the first place. When the truth is allowed to be embedded in our lives, we find it becomes the most essential characteristic of our lives. It is like when we add chocolate chips to cookie dough. The dough remains consistently the dough it was made to be, but it can be affected by the chocolate chips - though those chips don't get embedded into the dough - they are just "in" the dough. To be embedded, they need to become pretty consistent with the dough - in other words, they need to be melted, then added, stirred in, and blended so they are combined with the dough. The dough takes on the characteristics of the chocolate at that point. We sometimes treat God's Word like chocolate chips - good to add, but really not embedded into our lives so that it affects the character of all which makes us what we are. We need to allow the Word to affect our character.
- We aren't on our own when it comes to learning from the Word - we have Jesus teaching us, helping that word embed within so it affects us deeply. It is his anointing which helps us become familiar with what God says and how he says it. In this anointing comes all we need to recognize truth and reject anything which says it is about to "add to" or "take away from" truth. What does an anointing do? It dedicates something to service. If we are anointed by Christ, then we are being dedicated to the one who sent him to do this anointing - God the Father. So, the truth is available to all, but those who are willing to accept God's anointing through Jesus (in other words, they are willing to say "yes" to Jesus) will actually begin to become familiar with the truth in a way others have not yet realized. Yep, we get a revelation which is deeper, more significant, and life-sustaining. It isn't a "better" or "new" revelation, but it is the truth of God's grace being "embedded" into our lives deeply and sufficiently to begin to change the character of what we are at the core of our being.
We guard against error by allowing God's Word to embed deeply into our lives. We learn the truths with accuracy and fuller appreciation because of Jesus' anointing in our lives. We need both - just sayin!