Christmas has become more meaningful to me recently the past few years as I try to focus more on what Christ did for me through birth, life, death, and resurrection. I enjoy making gifts rather than buying, when possible. It allows me to pray for the person as I work through the project, as well as listen to worship music and/or sermons, podcasts, messages about the truth of scripture.
It was such a project I was working on that God again showed His infinite wisdom.
On this particular day, I’m not sure why I wasn’t listening to music or someone. At my kitchen table sat a project that would consume a couple of hours. Glancing over at the paints I had available, some were very questionable… I was doubtful the paint was going to cover the project I was working on. It was cheaper paint and watered down. Even so, I had a little bit of hope remaining…until I started painting.
You could see right through the paint…
Now, later on, as I got more familiar with the project and paint, I noticed putting a different, but still difficult paint, directly on what I was painting and edge the blob slowly worked better.
But the watered-down paint I first mentioned…it… needed help and a lot of layers. A LOT!
As I was working on this, I wondered if there was anything God could teach me about this project and paint that connected to Him and our life. Very kindly He provided and showed me again how in the simplest things there can be deep symbolic truth. Tonight, as I write this, I believe God added ironically enough, an “extra layer” of understanding to something I hadn’t caught yesterday.
What originally came to my mind was the importance of being coated in Christ. Paint will fill in nooks and crannies. It covers blemishes.
Jesus needs to fill our life, our heart, our mind, our spirit, and we often are leaky vessels. (Jeremiah 2:13) Unlike paint, we need renewal often. This is why we need to die to self daily. We can’t pick up our cross and drag our lust of the senses behind us. We become too attached to one, ultimately serving one master.
I meant for today’s illustration to be more positive, but the truth is there are a lot of dangerous teachings out there, and moments before I started writing, God revealed, I think, the true symbolism of the paint.
There’s weak paint and then there is GOOD strong paint, but both are paint and used for the same purpose.
Paint fills in nooks and it covers blemishes. It changes the outside appearance but the whole is still the same. The nooks are still there. The blemishes are still there. We just can’t see them.
Prosperity gospel, word of faith teachings, among many others appeal to many. They look good. They promise well. But they are blemished. Stains remain on garments, not washed clean. (Revelation 3:04) They are watered-down versions of the truth. Instead of the core being Christ, it is about self. (Self-gain is only ONE lie of deception, the legalism of scripture is still the self “gaining salvation”.)
There are some false teachings that, even for new believers, they can identify, however, there are some false teachings and teachers that only through the discernment of the Holy Spirit, no matter how mature the Christian, will we be able to distinguish the blemishes and lies.
Our own insight and knowledge is nothing. We need Christ to discern the truth.
I worked with three different types of paint. One that was really watered down, one that looked okay if a whole lot of it was used, and another that didn’t need help to look okay. It was sturdy on its own. False teaching is the same. Some we can identify by knowledge of scripture alone. But others will require us to wear the full armor of God and to know how to use the sword of the Spirit (scripture) correctly.
See, this gets a lot bigger from us being able to protect ourselves. We need to be able to discern the truth so we can pull others away from the deception as well. This is all about the glory of Jesus and helping others turn to Christ for salvation.
(NIV) Judge 1:23, “save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear–hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.”
Praise the Lord for what He can teach us from watered down paint.
Have you ever struggled with a watered-down doctrine and didn’t realize? How did God help you identify it?
Monthly Scripture – (NIV) 2 Corinthians 2:11, “in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.”
Community Prayer Requests | December’19– Join us in requesting prayer, praying for each other and lifting each other up.
Second Blog: Peeking Beneath