【Sermon】Everyone Does As They See Fit (2022-02-20)

Note: This is a shortened translation of the same sermon in Chinese (link).

Good morning, everyone! Today I'm going to share with you this topic: “Everyone Does As They see fit”.

1. Introduction

I once delivered a sermon: "I regret that I have made Saul king". This title comes from the book of 1 Samuel, Chapter 15, Verse 11. God had chosen many peoples as Christians, pastors or even apostles. But God regretted it.

The Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, was full of people whom God regretted choosing. The history of Christianity is a total mess: Everyone does as they see fit。

Not every church is a church. Just two years ago, many prophets were keen on predicting someone would be re-elected as the US president. What they prophesied sounded true, but the final result was different. Where did they get such confidence? How could they be so confident that they were right?

If we do something, how can we know if we do it right or wrong? I asked many of our pastoral leaders. The looks on their faces were bewildered. They were like saying: how can we know? how can you expect us to know?

When I was working in the university as the CIO, one day, one of my staff brought to me a report with a hundred pages, full of numbers and calculations. I asked: "How do you know that your results were correct?" He replied: "I don't know!" Oh my God! Then why did you bring this report to me?

Is there really no way for us to know if we did right or wrong? The answer is: yes, there is a method for us to know. In the past years, I have established this mindset: I am wrong most of the time. I seldom see people who share the same mindset as me. This mindset has led me to set up this doctrine of destiny. One central idea of this doctrine is to 竭力追求. There is no end to knowing God. I always know that I am wrong most of the time. So I don't do as I see it fit. Instead I always return to the Bible and look for what God wanted to tell me.

One thing I'm sure about: Don't get involved in politics or social issues. But do shepherding, tend the Lord's sheep, because this is the job God assigned to me.

Ignorance is not a solution. Learning is the only way. Many people come to our church, but are not willing to learn. We have a course for newcomers, which helps them to build their foundation by studying Genesis. One sister, she refused to do the homework. She said: "I already have a solid foundation! I have believed in Jesus! I'm sure I will go to Heaven after I die!" But when we asked her about the Bible, she could not recall any verses clearly.

How can we know if we did right or wrong? We need to have orders. Without orders, our brains are merely like bean curd, and we can hardly do anything right.

Learning is important. The key to learning is to learn the orders of doing things. For example, what is the order for reading the Bible? To find out what God wanted to tell us.

We need to clean up the mess in our brains. Don't be confident blindly. That is useless. Today, we have to admit that there are so many things we don't know yet because we used to do as we saw fit in the past.

In the book of Judges, everyone was in a mess, from the judges to the people. Even the history of the Church was a total mess. From Apostol Paul to Martin Luther, the Church went down all the way. Martin Luther had restored some of the truth. But we are still restoring now.

In today's church, people are full of misunderstandings. One of our sisters believed that the more people pray, the more powerful it is. So when her grandson got a fever, she asked everyone she could reach to pray for the little boy. But Jesus did not do this. He only prayed by himself, and then the sick got healed!

So we need to follow Jesus and do what he did. The order of our faith is right in front of us. That is the Bible and Jesus. We need to follow the example of Jesus!

2. Bible Verses:Judges 17:1-6

In today's sermon, let's look at Judges Chapter 17, Verses 1 to 6. Let me read the verses:

Now a man named Micah from the hill country of Ephraim said to his mother, “The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from you and about which I heard you utter a curse—I have that silver with me; I took it.” Then his mother said, “The Lord bless you, my son!” When he returned the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, she said, “I solemnly consecrate my silver to the Lord for my son to make an image overlaid with silver. I will give it back to you.” So after he returned the silver to his mother, she took two hundred shekels of silver and gave them to a silversmith, who used them to make the idol. And it was put in Micah’s house. Now this man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and some household gods and installed one of his sons as his priest. In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.

How similar it is to today's Christians! Doing things out of ignorance, still hoping to gain God's blessings!

3. Prayer

God, please have mercy on us and open our hearts. Let our hearts be humble and soft, and let us come to you and always seek you, so that we will not fall into temptation. Please let us know your will and desire. In Jesus' name, Amen!

4. Background of the Verses

There are a lot of people, who know nothing about God's words and still believe blindly that God will bless them.

In most churches, people always say "Thank God!", or "May God bless you!" but still they are ignorant in their hearts.

Micah's mother cursed the guy who took her silver. After realizing it was actually her son, she then used the silver to make an idol. She hoped this could cancel her previous curse and bring blessings to her son.

Micah installed his own priest to the shrine at his house, first his own son, then a young Levite from Bethlehem.

Micah thought the Lord would bless him because of what he did. But he didn't know this was against the laws of Moses.

At that time, one of the tribes, the Danites, had not yet come into an inheritance at that time. They came to Micah's house and inquired of the idol. The young Levite told them their journey would be successful. The Danites then attacked a city, Laish, in order to settle there. On the way to Laish, the Danites took away the idol Micah made and brought away the young Levite as their tribe's priest.

The family of Micah, the young Levite and the Danites in this story, were the example of doing as they see fit. In fact, this is adultery in the spiritual realm.

If we only know blessings, but are ignorant to curses, then we are in great trouble!

How can we sustain our faiths? The most important is to be like Jesus, to try our best to become like Jesus.

If we start from this point and develop a complete system of beliefs, then we can hardly be deceived.

5. Mistake Idols With God

Ignorance is harmful. Ignorant people would mistake idols with God, and believe in the idols blindly.

If you are ignorant of God's words, you will be deceived. You know what? If you are worshiping an idol, you can also see the result!

In Judges, Micah found the young Levite as the priest. He thought this was God answering his prayer! He was asking to have a priest, and God let this young Levite come to his house!

And the Danites, they asked the idol to bless their journey to find land to settle. They succeeded! They found Laish and attacked the city. It worked! The idol worked!

Today is the same! I once heard a story: in a church, a girl wanted to have a boyfriend and she prayed to God. One night she dreamt she met a boy and the boy became her boyfriend. It then happened in reality just the same as her dream. She thought: Oh, God answered my prayer and gave me my boyfriend!

Is this true? Is this really God's answer to these people's prayer? How come it is like this? Why did God permit such things to happen?

In fact, this is the rock put by God! The rock to make people fall! This is to test whether these people really know God's words or not.

The spirit behind this is very deceiving. In fact, it is the spirit of adultery.

Brothers and sisters, we should know that there are many snares on the way of believing in God, many corpses along the roadside.

In an age when most people don't know God's intention to the church, it is more or less the same as what was described in the Judges.

6. The Spread of the Spirit of Adultery

After Micah started to worship the idol, the spirit of adultery spread all over the land.

In Judges 19 to 20, a man's concubine was raped to death by one of the groups of Benjamites. The whole Israelites rose up against the Benjamites and killed almost all the people of the Benjamites. Only a few hundred people were left alive.

The spirit behind this tragedy was the spirit of adultery.

Adultery is unfaithfulness to God. Adultery brings strong death spirit. This death spirit is very strong. It not only can cause the death of one person but even the death of an entire tribe!

Nowadays, it is the same in the Church. If a church is unfaithful to God and not following God's words, the spirit of adultery will also spread in that church and eventually brings the spirit of death.

7. Ignorance is Not the Way

Today, many Christians are ignorant of God's words.

One of our sisters used to attend her local church. When her father was ill with cancer, the pastors from her church went and prayed for her father, but asked for a fee after praying. There is no such thing in the Bible, but today's church dares to do such things. If a church is pursuing money, then it is a tragedy!

Ignorance cannot bring blessings. The responsibility of a church is not to do this or do that. The responsibility of a church is to lead brothers and sisters to keep all of God's words. Blessings will surely come after those who keep all of God's words!

That's why shepherding is essential in a church. Shepherding is to teach and train brothers and sisters to learn how to keep all of God's words and live out the image of Jesus.

What if a church is not doing shepherding? That's horrible, It is equivalent to committing adultery since they are not following God's words.

If a brother or sister has no resemblance to Jesus Christ, how can they be so confident that they will get God's blessings? Not to mention going to heaven after death!

Let's build one habit: know exactly God's words. We can judge according to God whether we are right or wrong.

God's words are the lamp for our feet and the light on our path. We need to put in efforts to seek to understand God's intention.

Three days ago, one brother was eating fish. Suddenly a tiny fishbone stuck to his throat. He called me and I led him to pray. Two hours passed and the fishbone was still there. He then went to see the doctor and only returned in vain. The doctor could not take the fishbone out. He returned home at about 10pm in the night. He called me again. This time, knowing that doctors could not help him, this brother prayed with me for another hour. Then the fishbone was gone! His throat was loosened! Wow! What a wonderful job God did!

I have performed many such miracles by the power of God. Some may criticize me for pursuing miracles. But I'm not pursuing miracles. I'm pursuing to be like Jesus! What is my order to believe in God? My order is to follow the example of Jesus! Try to ask ourselves often: what would Jesus do if he is facing this problem? Then we will know the answer: Jesus would surely heal the sick, proclaim freedom for the prisoners, and set the oppressed free! Then what shall we do? Press on to be like Jesus, tend the Lord's sheep, do what Jesus does.

8. Build up A Complete System of Beliefs

You don't have to believe what I said. But I encourage everyone to examine what we believe, to judge if we have a correct understanding of God's truth.

A complete system of truth is like a building: there is the foundation in the ground, the columns and beams forming the structure of the building, with walls in between, and the decorations inside each room. There are many different levels of importance of the truth. You cannot mess this up. If you mistake the less important truth with the more important ones, you will become like the Pharisees.

Only following God's words can give you blessings from God. So always seek to understand God's words.

This age is full of deceits and temptations because few people put the effort to build up a complete system of beliefs. Many Christians think their responsibility is to fight for social justice and get involved in politics. But God did not command us to do so.

Then what is our responsibility at this age? To follow Jesus, and do what Jesus did in the Bible.

The world will become more and more corrupted. But God's church will become more and more holy. Our kingdom is not on this earth, but in building God's glorious church!

Brothers and sisters, we need to start to think: what is behind our points and thoughts? Is it God's words, or temptations? If we don't have a complete system of belief, we will fall into temptations!

Start to put all our efforts to pursue to be like Jesus. Don't stay in ignorance.

Today, our destiny is to live for God and build His glorious church! I'm sure we will proclaim the freedom of the prisoners and set the oppressed free!

May God bless you!

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