Disaster comes upon disaster; rumor follows rumor. They seek a vision from the prophet, while the law perishes from the priest and counsel from the elders. (Ezekiel 7:26 ESV)
A humble man said of leadership, “Never let your public anointing exceed your private devotion.” In other words, leaders ought to walk intimately with Jesus more often when none are watching than when the multitudes are present. This sentiment is not aided by our culture, however, as we live in constant need of the feeling of validation. We walk in a misguided cycle of measuring our spirituality in comparison to one another (2 Corinthians 10:12), instead of measuring ourselves against the “cornerstone” (Acts 4:11).
Like the Israelites of Amos’ day, we are not square with the “plumb line” (Amos 7:8) the Lord has set in our midst. Many of us seek validation through experience, and our leaders seek that same validation by giving, sometimes even fabricating, the spiritual high we so desperately crave. These are leaders who seek glory and fame by delivering everything but Scripture, but the Gospel; and because we people want to feel secure, holy, and righteous we reward their wayward leadership. We do this by purchasing their books, attending their conferences in droves, and focusing our eyes on that part of the body rather than its Head.
This form of Christianity furthers many “having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:5). We may be validated in each other’s eyes, but there is no “law” (instruction), and the “counsel” of the elders is dead, and unredeemed. Don’t seek visions or gifts, seek Jesus and his truth today. Visions and gifts are useful and good, but only toward the end of glorifying and pointing people to Jesus, not ourselves.
“Many of us seek validation through experience, and our leaders seek that same validation by giving, sometimes even fabricating, the spiritual high we so desperately want.”