Lately I seem to hear a lot more of “So and so said” or talk about a specific preacher, author, or person and the insight that they share. The statements are made all the time, and I know that I have done the same. Sharing something that we have heard or read recently, a fresh revelation, I guess there is nothing wrong with it in and of itself.
It has just been drawing my attention, because I realize how much stock we put in second-hand revelation. We are a society of convenience and it is much easier to pick up a book written on a specific topic, or listen to a preacher who has studied on a subject, than to discipline our self to get the same revelation directly from God.
However, we are told to be imitators of Christ, not imitators of man. The person we take revelation from may be a Godly individual. They may even be 100% on target with the revelation they have received. Are we short-changing our self, and even more God, by taking information we have not spent the time to have? Are we feeding off the passion of another instead of imitating God and allowing Him to develop a deeper passion in us? Are we putting more faith in others than we do in God?
For family meals, we often do a potluck. Each extended family member brings a different dish, in addition one person usually has the main part of the meal. It is very easy to take a little from each of the dishes and find myself full before I ever get to the true main course.
It seems that many times we treat Christianity the same way. We take bits and pieces from various sources – a book we are reading, a television evangelist, our Sunday morning preaching, a small group study. We may be full, but we have completely missed the main course of searching out God for our self.
It does take discipline and a lot of time to seek God out for our self so that we can make sure that we are truly imitating Him in everything we do, instead of following the leading of other individuals. The same God that makes Himself real to the preacher, evangelist, or Christian friend, is the same God that is desiring we develop a personal relationship with Him, and start imitating Him. After all, we are made in His image and called to live like Him. He is able to reveal Himself to us in ways we can not fathom, if we will just seek Him before seeking out other sources.