How easily can you be fooled by Satan? More than you probably realize! We can get swayed by the latest and greatest ministry tool that â€œall the big churchesâ€ are using.
What are some examples of this? Iâ€™m not going to make a laundry list because in my humble opinion things or tools by themselves are not necessarily bad. But we do have a simple guide to follow when it comes to discerning dark from light:
â€œBeloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.â€ (1 John 4:1-3)
There are some teaching that say Jesus was not God in the flesh, but also some who believe they are Jesus in the flesh. Benny Hinn has said:
â€œI am not, hear me, I AM NOT PART OF HIM, I AM HIM! THE WORD HAS BECOME FLESH IN ME!…When my hand touches someone, itâ€™s the hand of Jesus touching somebodyâ€ (Our Position in Christ sermon).
Iâ€™ll let that one sink in for a moment…
Beloved we can be so easily deceived not just by our minds but more likely our hearts:
â€œThe heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?â€ (Jeremiah 17:9)
But sometimes even the strongest saints who are walking righteously with the Lord can be deceived by Satan and his minions, some of which may be deceived themselves:
â€œFor such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.â€ (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)
One of the great snares I see happening in too many churches across America is that flashiness has taken over for plainness. Now Iâ€™m not saying sermons need to be boring and music like a funeral dirge, but why is it that modern churches require fancy and alluring gimmicks to attract a crowd? I just answered my question!
Some of it is motivated by greed, pride, and/or hypocrisy. Commenting on the above passage from 2 Corinthians, our old friend Matthew Henry sheds a clear light on it:
â€œIt is far better to be plain in speech, yet walking openly and consistently with the gospel, than to be admired by thousands, and be lifted up in pride, so as to disgrace the gospel by evil tempers and unholy lives. The apostle would not give room for any to accuse him of worldly designs in preaching the gospel, that others who opposed him at Corinth, might not in this respect gain advantage against him. Hypocrisy may be looked for, especially when we consider the great power which Satan, who rules in the hearts of the children in disobedience, has upon the minds of many. And as there are temptations to evil conduct, so there is equal danger on the other side. It serves Satanâ€™s purposes as well, to set up good works against the atonement of Christ, and salvation by faith and grace. But the end will expose those who are deceitful workers; their work will end in ruin. Satan will allow his ministers to preach either the law or the gospel separately; but the law as established by faith in Christâ€™s righteousness and atonement, and the partaking of His Spirit, is the test of every false system.â€
Have you been deceived lately? Perhaps youâ€™ve been betrayed by a friend or associate? And now you realize you were fooled by a deceiver who may have appeared to be righteous. How do you overcome this?
There is no 100% guarantee against being deceived; we are humans and cannot discern the hearts and minds of all people. But we can be steeped in the Word and walking closely with the Holy Spirit in holiness and righteousness which enables us to be wiser in our ways.
The only offensive weapon we have against Satan is the Word of God.
Sadly, too many of us leave the house armored up for battle and yet we leave our swords lying on the coffee table. Now Iâ€™m not saying you should strap your Bible to your belt (but you can put it in your backpack!), but it should be in our hearts and minds. Otherwise youâ€™re just taking a beating.
Maybe youâ€™ve been doing all these good works for Jesus and yet you feel as though youâ€™re accomplishing nothing for the Lord. Satan doesnâ€™t mind you being busy at church as long as you are not working for the gospel.
What does all this mean? Iâ€™m not sure what the Lord is teaching me here specifically, but I do know that I must daily deny myself, pick up my cross, and follow Him.
I pray this be so for you and me.
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Copyright Â© 2010 David Jeffers