“Thus you nullify the word of God by the tradition you have handed down. And you do so in many such matters.” – (Mark 7:13)
This word has been burning on my heart all day but only now do I have a moment to pen it. I kept hearing the phrase “The traditions of men, the traditions of men”. I heard it as if Jesus was saying it all those years ago to the Pharisees or Apostle Paul repeating it to hard-hearted Jews who wouldn’t let go of die-hard ‘requirements, signs and methods’ that the Jewish community insisted on to prove you were a Jew. The problem was in both those times a transition had taken place, a shift, a powerful paradigm movement that lifted the benchmark of ‘religion’ to a new and majestic level called FAITH, yet because nobody held a welcome party to formally announce the change the majority of people remained stuck in their ways, blind to the changing of the guard.
Without making any announcements God sent a whole new way of reaching Him to the earth, not by works but by Christ- “Believe on Me and be saved!” No longer would rabbis and well-trained lawyers be the gate-keepers of Truth but all could approach through a young Man walking in dusty sandals with 12 other men behind Him. But this shift didn’t look how everyone thought it should look so many people disdained the Lord Jesus and refused to believe on Him as the Christ.
Likewise Paul the ex-Pharisee came preaching salvation without the need for circumcision or doing any of the things the Book of the Law required- he insisted that faith was not by tracing yourself from Abraham’s bloodline or cutting off the foreskin of males, but by circumcising the HEART for males and females; he said that God would no longer look at Greek or Jew, male or female, slave or free when deciding who really are His children. It had to be done only by FAITH. Again, this didn’t match what people wanted and they didn’t rest until they got Paul killed.
A new order had come but many were left behind clinging to the ways of their fathers, the “experts”, their own opinions and “The way we’ve always done it.” Whether you read the Bible keenly or loosely you can’t miss that Jesus basically died for jealousy’s sake – they killed Him because they could not find fault with the truth He taught NOR could they could produce His results! They just hated Him so bad that they could not leave the EVIDENCE OF WHAT HE CONSTANTLY PROVED WALKING AROUND FREELY.
They decided that Man and His dusty sandals had to go and go He did, all because they loved their way of doing things and the traditions of their parents, institutions, culture and forefathers more than they loved the Truth, the Way and the Life.
I’ve been thinking about this from so many angles lately and I had to ask God- ‘Why do your own people disregard you so much?’ I can ask this because I’ve had to pay the price of forsaking my own disregard. We all have it or have had it. I ask Him things like this because as one called to minister I see so often where people want to follow God but they sadly have so many sticking points in following Christ. I see it all the time: people are zealous and “all-in!” until a particular issue comes up, then you watch all the steam fly out of their balloon and see them start plummeting back down to earth. They’re like the rich young ruler- they want to go further but too many preferences hold them back.
I however have had to pay that private price of having to lay it it down on the line for God over and over again- You can’t serve God as a minister without that “Yes” – You will not be trained by Him without it nor will you be given any form of anointing until He knows without question He has your “Yes”.
It’s not a “gift” I was born with, if I’m honest I confess many times I asked for deeply desired things and was told: ‘Just a little bit further Celestial, I need you to handle this and this for me first.’ I said: “Okay God, let us go a little further and then I will ask again.” I followed deeply weeping in some cases but… at least I followed.
I’ve learned you can still see the path through your tears.
That “little bit further” is now nearly 20 years later. Twenty years. 🤔 The people I started with have put their infants through college now, and here I am still on my “further” journey. Further has come at a cost but now that I’ve paid it there’s no way I would allow my faith to crash back down to earth by doing things rooted in the traditions of men. Why would I waste my sacrifice?
The traditions of men is “How we’ve always done it”. It’s the rules that were informally “written down” before God came with His ‘Obey Me and do it this way’ methods. It’s the CULTURE, what’s known, what’s popular and accepted and seen as the best way to do things and get results. Yet scripture says one thing about all that: “YE HAVE MADE THE WORD OF GOD OF NONE EFFECT BY THE TRADITIONS OF MEN.” (Mark 7:13)
In simple language: You have completely and totally cancelled out the power of the scripted message, requirements and commands of the divinely inspired word of God, by erasing it and sitting the commonly accepted culture of your times on the throne instead.
Ouch God. How painful for You. That you said all scripture is divinely breathed and given for our instruction, yet where it suits us or feels more organic we sidestep it and transplant what feels easier, “comfy-er” or “more natural” in its place. The raw truth of this Christian life is if it doesn’t chafe and if it doesn’t challenge you, if it doesn’t stretch you or at least need an adjustment period where you have to try it out in order to get used to doing it- it’s not likely to be the raw word of God you’re practicing, it’s yourself.
Scripture will stretch you to the place you don’t want to go, it will shine light where you don’t want to look and pull up skeletons where you thought everything was perfect. But how to do that really though, how to know? Read the Bible and compare notes with how you live of course. ❤️
I was meditating on all this simply because of watching the news. Seeing how many are nodding along to the vaccine song in the U.S. especially. Not that other global zones are perfect or have totally boycotted the solution – no, far from it. It’s just that here culture is so STRONG towards trusting government, also culture says that a white coat knows EVERYTHING. You should “Ask your doctor if XYZ will work for you” and yet- the list of side effects in the advert alone would make me ask my doctor if he’s trying to kill me if he suggested I take XYZ for whatever is bothering me. 🤷🏽♀️
I’m watching as the toll of how many have lined up and accepted the new XYZ grows, and I know in my heart that the huge number of BELIEVERS who have joined to take it is because culture is often stronger than Christ in America. Many dont even consider this issue as something to pray about- the automatic response is “God wants me alive. 👍🏽 God wants me healthy and this is His way of making sure He saves His church. Of course He created this for us!”
As a result many of us out there can’t reason with loved ones and friends about this- nothing seems powerful or worrying enough to turn them from their decision- not even arguments or tears. Many are feeling desperate and shattered because they can see their words aren’t going into the ears they’re trying to speak to, but I think God is finally allowing people here to see what He’s always seen- that there is a church within the church- a faithful body that listens like a tiny lonely little island in a greater sea that hears… nothing at all really.
Only the traditions of men.
Well… If you’ve been wondering why it’s so hard to turn Christians all over the world from their “health solution decision” it’s because seated deep in the darkness of the human heart are strongly held ideas, preferences, habits, “styles” and beliefs of doing things- but I’m here to tell you that the throne of the heart cannot hold two masters. It’s either Jesus or it will always be somebody or something else on that throne. Hardly anyone really takes time out to reflect: Why do I do this? Do I do this because this is what the WORD actually says to do? Am I doing exactly what the Bible says? Have I sought God on my method? OR am I doing it because it looks and feels good, because I think it will work, or because it’s the traditions of men?
YE MAKE THE WORD OF GOD TO NONE EFFECT [USELESS AND UNABLE TO PRODUCE RIGHT FRUIT] BECAUSE OF THE TRADITIONS OF MEN.
And this is why for this matter at least, desperate prayers and conversations are bouncing off deaf ears, because saying you are a believer doesn’t mean you actually believe. Especially not now in these increasingly desperate End Times. The dividing lines are being drawn in preparation for the Great Falling Away. Only true obedience will be counted by the Lord going forward as “belief”. Imagine that.
Food for thought, for whoever wants it. Where in our lives are we practicing the fruitless traditions of men? Amen and Amen.
Share the post and stay safe out there. God bless you all. 🙏🏽