Deuteronomy 13:6-8 New Living Translation
6 “Suppose someone secretly entices you—even your brother, your son or daughter, your beloved wife, or your closest friend—and says, ‘Let us go worship other gods’—gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known.7 They might suggest that you worship the gods of peoples who live nearby or who come from the ends of the earth. 8 But do not give in or listen. Have no pity, and do not spare or protect them.
Something deeply sad I have noticed in many church systems today is the enticement of the congregation to serve their own image of God. Too many church leaders tend to craft their own image of God into one that suits their lifestyle instead of letting the reality of God transform their lifestyle. Once they have picked the characteristics of God that don’t convict them, they share with their churches the “god” they have created. This “god” creates and outstanding reputation for them, yet a false, but believable reputation for Christ. God is loving, yet He is also jealous for our devotion. God is merciful, yet He still doesn’t want us to use His forgiveness as an excuse to sin.
So, why do many church leaders entice people into serving their own image of God? There are many possible answers to this question, yet I believe the biggest is their selfish pride and all consuming greed. Today, many church leaders will do and say whatever it takes to keep the money rolling in and the people happy. The truth is, the reality of God doesn’t always make people happy. When we come in contact with the Living God, we must adjust to His will. He doesn’t adjust to our feelings and opinions. Many pastors feel more comfortable sharing their own image of God with the church because it takes the pressure and stress off of them. My prayer is that God would raise up pastor’s who won’t apologize for the reality of God.
We as Christians will begin to see the reality of God as we daily set our lives apart for His Kingdom. We don’t “get to know God” just by visiting Him once a week, but by surrendering our reputation to His will. As we seek God, He will begin to give us the discernment so we may know the difference between the false image of God and the reality of who He is. Let’s not be fooled by what dead religion sells us. Let’s get to know the God of the Bible.