God’s Principle And Not Man’s Experience
Humans go through experiences that shape how they relate with each other and their environment. Some of these experiences may not necessarily be the true picture of events that occurred, but they have erroneously colored the person’s view of such future occurrences. For instance, in some families in this hemisphere, there is a belief that people from certain tribe and culture are predisposed to certain attitudes and behaviors; for that reason they should not be trusted. If one should investigate where this belief originated from, one would find that certain member(s) of, say, tribe A had a fall out with the offending tribe B and they concluded based on this nasty experience that every member of tribe B should not and cannot be trusted. This erroneous attitude of allowing one’s experience shape what they believe in has wormed itself into the Body of Christ. As a result, denominations and factions have been formed out of people’s experiences. People forget that one’s experience does not necessarily prove the true picture of a matter. When an experience becomes a principle, it is a matter of time before it clashes with God’s Word! Before we go on, we must understand that a principle is a fundamental truth that serves as the foundation for a belief system, a behavior or a reasoning process. If this is so, as a child of God, it is very dangerous for a human experience to become a principle. It is a matter of time, it will fail!
So many have become trapped in man-made principles that are made to look godly but are actually coined from human experiences; for this reason, they are unable to function in the fullness of who God had created them to be and to enjoy the things He has provided for them. The Holy Spirit clearly told Peter (Acts 10) not to call common what He had made clean; and he should go minister the Gospel to a Gentile. On entering the home of the Gentile called Cornelius, Peter declared: “…You know it’s forbidden for a Jewish man to associate with or visit a foreigner. But God has shown me that I must not call any person common or unclean” (Acts 10:28). These laws and many like it which he based his conviction on at the time had shut out the Christian Jews from witnessing to their Gentile neighbors. No wonder Jesus Christ rebuked the Scribes and the Pharisees, who formulated these additional laws for the danger they put the people in: “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You lock up the kingdom of Heaven from people. For you don’t go in, and you don’t allow those entering to go in” (Matthew 23:13). The Pharisees and scribes at this point became the gate of hell by formulating ungodly principles and regulations based on their experiences: “…Why do you submit to regulations ‘Don’t handle, don’t taste, don’t touch’? All these regulations refer to what is destroyed by being used up; they are commands and doctrines of men. Although these have a reputation of wisdom by promoting ascetic practices, humility, and severe treatment of the body, they are not of any value in curbing self-indulgence” (Colossians 2:20b-23).
Unfortunately, there are so many principles woven into the fabric of denominations today that are based on human experiences. These have only succeeded in making their members not to live the godly lives they have been designed to live. There is increase in arrogance, pride, competitive spirit, factions, fraud, immorality and the likes within the Body and we wonder why. Beloved, any principle that is formulated from a man’s experience is bound to fail. Only the principles based on God's Word will remain. When the sons of Rechab were invited into the Temple of the Lord to drink wine, they refused because their ancestor Jonadab had told them not to. They chose to obey Jonadab (though not completely) rather than God. Because the principle they based their actions on was not based on God’s Word they did not have the grace of God to keep it: “We have obeyed the voice of Jonadab, son of our ancestor Rechab, in all he commanded us…However, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched into the land, we said: ‘come lets’s go into Jerusalem to get away from the Chaldean and Aramean armies. So we have been living in Jerusalem” (Jeremiah 35:8a, 11).
It is time to take a look at your life and your dealings and compare them with God’s word. That which negates the Word of life must be taken out, so that you can live the life you have been created to live. Beloved don’t be deceived, a man’s experience is not and should not be a principle that should guide his life. The only principle(s) that should do this is God’s Word! God bless you.