"For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly (superficially), saying, 'Peace, peace!' when there is no peace" (Jer. 8:11).
In much of today's contemporary Christian church, superficiality and hype have been a substitute for holiness, blinding many eyes to the true heart of God. Appearance, like any magical act, can be deceptive. A spiritually "dead" people are easy to detect, but those with a reputation for being alive (but who are really just as dead) are not so obvious.
The church at Sardis and the church at Laodicea were two such examples (Rev. 3:1, 14). Hype's magic wand had hypnotized them from seeking true holiness. While superficial "churches" have a reputation for being alive, they all the time produce death.
Israel's spiritual physicians only touched the real need of the people superficially. There was very little weight and substance to what they ministered. Like the once-popular commercial for a restaurant whose burgers were larger than others, the fast-food customer cries, "Where's the beef?" How long can the contemporary church live on ice cream and cookies? Like spoiled children with seared consciences, many in the church have lost the power to even blush (Jer. 8:12).
Spiritual children are given to folly. Only the rod of holiness will drive it from them. Their emotions are thrilled by hype, but their hearts can only be tilled by holiness. Some claim to be new creations but refuse to walk the righteous paths of old foundations. To them, the gospel is good news, but taking up the cross is bad news. Receiving blessings, yes! Denying the flesh, no.
Superficial ministry is like a tree with leaves but no fruit. It produces hype without holiness. Superficial physicians without discernment will continue to fill prescriptions, but their patients remain empty. They are not recovering but regressing. They are not any healthier but sicker. They've been infected with a false sense of peace and security. Frankly, they've been hurt by hype.
Children of hype, who by this time ought to be teachers themselves, are the same way. They speak but do not hear. Their ears are uncircumcised, and they have no hunger for the true word of the Lord. While feasting on peaceful preaching (this is so dangerous in a time of war), they are swallowed up by harmful hype. They coolly play but never truly pray. They're out of sync with the times and seasons of God. If not warned, they will surely miss the time of visitation.
"And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings" (Gen. 3:5).
Adam and Eve substituted fig leaves for the real glory that initially covered their nakedness. Superficial health experts specialize in sewing on more fig leaves while overlooking the real problem of nakedness, sin and falsehood. They restock their shelves with their old prescriptions and fix up their old formulas instead of consulting with the Master Physician to hear what He is prescribing now. They repeat the age-old error in every new move of God. They wallow in the "old" while resisting the "new." True physicians detect the nakedness and recognize that only the true glory can cover.
Superficial high-tech activity has fooled much of the church. Noise has cluttered their world. Busy, busy lifestyles have squashed their sensitivity. Bound by their schedules and long lists of to-do's, their spiritual lives are like old cans of stale food whose time has expired. It's time to purchase some new cans with some fresh food. It's time to pour out the old wine and renew that old wineskin. It's time to seek the Lord.
Stop hiding in the "hype" and seek holiness. Hype causes us to unknowingly hide ourselves from the real presence of the Lord. Hype will even speak of holiness but cannot produce it. It play-acts and imitates.
Like little children, hype hides in the trees of false profession and pretentious activity while all the while resisting the voice of the Lord. Until it uncovers itself and comes out from behind the leaves of the trees we call churches, it will continue to just play. Attending church without attending to the presence of the Lord will kill any spiritual life. Proud church-goers who don't have a fellowship with Jesus tend to hypocrisy and unknowingly hide from the presence of the Lord.
"And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account" (Heb. 4:13).
We'd better have nothing to hide now, or one day, like our sinful parents Adam and Eve, we'll be ashamed of our nakedness (Gen. 3:10-11).
Stop hiding and come out from behind the fig leaves.
Being honest and naked before Him now will cover you with His glory. Covering up your sin now will later find you naked (Pr. 28:13).
Get naked now, and you'll never be ashamed.
Transparency is the essence of holiness.
Bert M. Farias, founder of Holy Fire Ministries, is the author of The Real Gospel and co-host of the New England Holy Ghost Forum. He is a missionary evangelist carrying a spirit of revival to the church and the nations. Follow him at Bert Farias on Facebook or @Bertfarias1 on Twitter.
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