Friday, September 17, 2010


Have you ever run up against a lot of “musts” declared by fellow saints which you couldn’t find in the Bible? You “must” meet at this hour, in this way, use this curriculum, use this translation of the Bible, etc. Actually, this practice dates to ancient times. In Judges 8:27 it says: “Gideon made it into an ephod, and placed it in his city, Ophrah, and all Israel played the harlot with it there, so that it became a snare to Gideon and his household.”

We don’t know how Gideon’s ephod (a priestly garment worn in worship) became a snare, but it affected all of Israel. So did the brass serpent of Numbers 21:8,9 which was later worshipped as an idol in II Kings 18:4. Then there were the seven sons of Sceva who tried to turn the miracles of Paul into a formula in Acts 19:13-16.

There is a common thread to these three accounts. Something which was ordained of God at one time in a single instance or by a single individual now becomes a standard for all saints of all times. We need to understand what God wants us to do now.

The means of victory are never given to us for our own use. When we start to use them in that way they can become a snare to ourselves and others. Only God can wield a means of victory as should be done. Which of us could bear the cross in such a way as to cover all the sins of the world? We might end up hitting the wrong target or being crushed under the weight of what we could not possibly handle in our own strength.

Musts are oppressive because we do not have the power to fulfill them. The Holy Spirit can give us power for anything God requires of us. If we must do something, let’s be like Jesus and walk the way He did.

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