Magnify the Lord!
“O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.” Psalm 34:3
Sometimes I hear people talk more about their pastors than the Lord. More about what pastors teach them than what the Holy Spirit teaches them. More about their time at church than their alone time with God. More about what they learn from other Christians than from Jesus Christ. Is it any wonder I notice this? I spent years doing the very same thing. Until God led me to repentance for putting my trust and faith in and dependence on and glorifying pastors and churches and Christians and Christianity instead of magnifying and exalting Him where He belongs. Above all and everyone. How quickly I can fall right back into this if I am not careful, and how thankful I am God’s Spirit brings me to conviction and leads me to repentance if I start heading back in that direction.
The way to follow Jesus Christ is not to follow humans and Christianity. Jesus IS the way (Jn. 14:6). The way to follow Him is to follow Him. To repent. To believe in Him. To deny ourselves. To take up our crosses (Mt. 16:24). To put one foot of faith in front of another and to follow Him. To study God’s Word. Jesus is the Word made flesh (Jn. 1:14). For those of us who believe in Jesus as Lord to receive the gift of God’s Holy Spirit (Lk. 11:13), to be taught God’s Word by His Spirit (Jn. 14:26) by studying it diligently as we seek God’s face and spend alone time with Him, to learn to be led by God’s Spirit (Rm. 8:14), to repent when His Spirit chastens and convicts us, to yield our minds to God to be renewed by His Word as He by His Spirit transforms our very lives (Rm. 12:2).
Pastors truly called by God who teach God’s Word, biblically sound churches, and genuine Christ followers all have their place in the lives of those devoted to God and learning to walk with Him, BUT their place is NEVER before God Himself. Nor is it before Jesus. Nor is it before the Holy Spirit. Even the “best” of pastors, yes, even those who daily and diligently study God’s Word, even those who have gone to seminary or preached at highly respected churches for years, even those who have studied Hebrew and Greek and can quote the Bible inside and out, they are ALL fallible. No human is perfect in understanding and teaching God’s Word, yet some as I did for years are glorifying teachers of God’s Word instead of glorifying God and yielding to the teaching of His Holy Spirit.
Years ago, the Lord convicted me I had a relationship with Christianity, Christians, pastors, and churches – not with Him. I sought them instead of God to teach and lead me. Now He is first in my life, and my relationship with Him supersedes all others. I am a follower of the Lord. It is God I magnify!
Magnify the Lord! Follow HIM!