Tickle – Appeal to some one’s curiosity. The good thing about information is “it keeps us informed.” Duh! The bad thing about information is “it keeps us informed.” Uh….what?
Information and the acquiring of knowledge is good and it keeps us up with what is going on around us, but there is a kicker that must be applied when acquiring information. Check your sources and filter it through God’s Word. But there is another kicker here. Make sure you are following the truth of God’s Word and not just some person’s impression that they happen to be speaking to that day. I have been a part of conferences, revivals, or just regular church services and come away from such meetings with new information, some of it earth shattering at the time. Then I have to decide how that applies to my life and take some time to discern what God is telling me through that information. In the modern church world we Christians have a tendency to hear the latest, greatest and then rush off half cocked into a whole new realm of thinking because it sounds good and “every body’s doing it.” I call it the “mob mentality” and the danger of gathering others to support your half cocked cause can start you down a path that can have disastrous effects. By the way, this is how cults get started. Not just the crazy ones, but the subtle ones as well. In 2 Timothy 4:3-5 Paul warns Timothy to keep preaching the consistent, pure message of Christ at all times because there will be a day when people will not endure sound doctrine and their minds will be distracted by the latest greatest. He goes on to tell Timothy the reason people will do this. They like the feeling it gives them at the time…..the buzz. Paul literally says they will want to have their ears tickled and that they will follow teachers who keep on tickling those ears. Here’s where the cult thing comes in. These people will trade God’s Word for a secondary truth from God’s Word that more fits their wants and desires and will be current for “what’s happening” today. They will follow supposedly “credible” teachers of God’s Word instead of God’s Word and let the mob mentality keep them on the track to total obedience….to the person who teaches the Word, not the Word. Do you see the problem here? They will also be so duped that they will make excuses to keep on getting their ears tickled by saying they still have their own convictions. But do they? We can hear this same reasoning to keep on following teachers of the Word in the words of alcoholics when they say, “Oh, I drink. But I can quit anytime I want.” The key is “they just don’t want to quit.” Why? Alcohol tickles or completes the buzz they desire, so they keep on drinking. The drink those who follow false teachers are drinking is a mixed drink filled with falsehoods and disillusionment. Those who fall off into this practice are what I like to call “spiritualholics.” They must have some separate cause or cool teaching to follow to make them feel more spiritual and they bounce from one thing to another hoping to get the “real truth” when the real truth is right there in their hands. The Word of God. Paul in verse 4 says those people will turn away from the truth and turn aside to myths. Definition of a myth is anything that is not in line with the pure truth of God’s Word. What does Paul say we should do to counter this ear tickling tendency? Be sober. Don’t get drunk in the desire to make yourself feel better with a watered down theology that is from a source with an axe to grind. They will lead you down a path of disappointment, and even destruction. When I used to come home as a kid and say “every body’s doing it”, my mom would say, “then it may not be good for you.” Be yourself. Think for yourself. Don’t be the one who follows every teaching that comes through the pass. Read God’s Word and be sober in your judgment on who you will follow and make sure they are after Jesus. Here’s a little test. Make some signs on cards that are 4″x 6″ and write names in those signs like Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, John Piper, Adrian Rogers, John Calvin, Joseph Armenia, or your pastor’s name. Take a piece of 20″ x 24″poster board and write the name JESUS on it in big bold letters. Put the smaller cards on a wall closely placed together. Take the poster board and place it just over all those small cards. What do you see? Follow Him. It’s simple to me. Ooooh that tickled….
The Pilgrimage continues…