"What sorts of false ideas or teachings today might tend to pull believers away from 'walking in Him'?"
My friend, Elisabeth, posed this question from her Bible study to her facebook friends tonight and I have continued thinking about it, and my answer, since I first read it.
Here's my answer from her wall:
I find myself frequently encountering the pervasive teaching that God desires for His children, above all things, our earthly safety and security, either financial or physical or emotional and, try as I might, I just can't find that in His word. The teaching has probably similar roots to the prosperity teachings but is, I think, much more subtle and pervasive. I fully recognize that God is a God of fullness and is in the business of healing His creation but I do see, throughout history and His word, that calling most often comes at great great cost to the earthly security of the ones He has called to follow His Son in going to all ends of the earth for the purpose of that healing; which, as a side note, we can and will be willing to do when we recognize how fully secure we are in Him now and forever.(This also has significant ramifications for the view Christians typically have of the worth and lifestyles of the "poor", in spite of the repeated - and repeated - and repeated calling through all of the Old and New Testaments to care for the poor, the widows, the orphans as a demonstration of how God has reached into our desperate lives.)
The problem with my answer isn't that it's not true. The problem is that it's too true of my own heart. It's too close to home. I don't just encounter this teaching; I live this teaching, I teach this false teaching by my actions and even my words. Here I am, literally covered in blessings too numerous for me to even recognize and recount, and my complaining heart finds things to grumble about by the minute.
"But Lord, look at HER! Look at that blessing you gave HER!" "Lord, why can't I have... Lord, why is this so hard?"
And He shows me- again- reminds me again, because my heart is so fallen I can't even remember the love that I felt from and for Him two minutes ago. He uses many means to show me, to remind me of my thirst for Him overflowing in love for others. He uses Katie in Uganda, he uses Joy in Indonesia, and he uses Mary on the Rez (both in person and in writing!). He uses His Word, He uses His faithful servants of the past in their hymn writing and devotionals. He uses His Spirit, whispering to me the truth, pulling back the veil just enough so I glimpse again the Lion and the Lamb, the only thing of eternal significance. And then, for at least a moment, I am lit by joy, by love, by thanksgiving, and I remember and I know that I am His and He is mine and I am running again under the wire, grabbing any hand in reach to pull them along with me into the light of His presence.