by Rick Warren — November 6, 2022
From Building a Better Life
“We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.”
Ephesians 4:14 (NLT)
One of the most powerful forces of nature is wind. That’s why the Bible uses wind as a metaphor for so many things. There are winds of testing, trouble, conflict, and temptation. But God makes it possible to withstand each one.
Ephesians 6:13 says, “Take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm” (ESV).
The word withstand means “to remain undamaged by a destructive force.” One of the best ways to remain undamaged by the winds of life is to stay connected to your spiritual family.
God never meant for you to withstand difficult days by yourself. One of the first things God said was, “It isn’t good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18 TLB). Whether or not you ever marry is irrelevant. You need a spiritual family for support so you can stay connected when hard winds blow in. One of the main reasons Jesus created his church was to be a family of support.
Look at this passage from Ephesians 4:11-12, 14: “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ . . . Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth” (NLT).
You learn from this passage that God’s church is his tool for building his people up in the better life. He’s gifted certain people to do this. I’m one of them. I’m a pastor and a teacher. But my gifts aren’t for my benefit; they’re for the benefit of others.
Another thing you learn is that it’s the job of “the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers” to keep his church from being blown away by false ideas and “every wind of new teaching.”
People’s beliefs can easily shift. They believe one way this year and another way the next year. Not only do people’s ideas and beliefs shift, but so does information. Nothing is more irrelevant than a 10-year-old book on computers or anatomy. They’re useless because we are always discovering new things.
But the truth never changes. If it was true 2,000 years ago, it will also be true 2,000 years from today. Isaiah 40:8 says, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (ESV).
There are many shifting winds in our culture today that are simply wrong. They’re deceptions, lies, and half-truths. Don’t get “tossed and blown about.” Stay connected to your church family instead.