~Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
I came across this picture and chuckled to myself! What a funny looking tree, huh? I truly believe that there is a lesson from God in every piece of His creation. When I was in grade school Science class, we did an experiment on this very topic. We planted a bean in a cup filled with soil. We watered it, put it in the sun and watched how much it grew from day-to-day. We all know that all plant life grows toward the sun. When you shade a plant, it stunts its growth and slows the process. If the plant finds the smallest speck of sunlight, it will grow toward that sunlight. The tree in today’s picture doesn’t seem to have had a shade problem and I’m not certain why it’s so crooked, however, I think you see my point.
I wondered at how much our own spiritual lives are reflected in this picture! What circumstances would cause a new Christian to grow up crooked? Today’s text indicates that that the new believer is easily tossed about with wrong doctrine. He is easily deceived and sucked into false doctrine. Paul exhorts the Ephesians not to be like children! The only way to spot false doctrine is by knowing the true doctrine … by studying one’s Bible! Don’t study to be a man pleaser but study to show yourself approved unto God! God will reveal Himself and His doctrine to you if you are studious!
~2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
There are thousands of people on this planet who are preaching wrong doctrine. Just turn your TV set on and watch on any given Sunday. It is so sad that people are sucked into this spiritual vacuum and fall prey to these charlatans! They fall prey because they have not studied for themselves! It is easier for them to let someone else do the studying and they just follow! Letting someone else do your studying does not exempt you from studying for yourself! You will be accountable for your own actions. It may be easier for you to follow after someone else but you can be certain that you will be tossed about and carried away with every wind of doctrine, as Paul said.
Following after Christ is not easy. Christ never promised that being His disciple would be filled with good things and that you would prosper in wealth and in health. He did promise that you would prosper spiritually and that you would inherit eternal life, however! If wealth and health are in the future of every believer if they just believe, then Foxe’s Book of Martyrs is clearly a record of spiritually lacking people who have died and not prospered in their lives. It’s a sham to tell people this – it’s a money-making business! If people took it upon themselves to study for themselves, they would easily see the truth and the truth would set them free! Jesus said that the pathway to destruction is a wide path and many go through it. The Christian’s path is narrow but it is straight if he stays on it and reads, studies and applies what the Holy Spirit teaches him!
~Matthew 7:13-14 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.