RECOGNISING THE DECEIVER.
Over my 68+years as a born again Believer, I have come across so many Christians who seem to be more “devil conscious) than “Jesus conscious”, and so I developed a position (in hindsight) which was probably unbalanced.. I simply have not wanted to spotlight the devil in my writings and preaching, but the reality is he is very real, and is a very much the enemy to God’s people that is why he is mentioned almost hundreds of times in the Bible.
I love Paul’s teaching to the Ephesian church on the awesome truth of the TOTAL PROTECTION God has made available to Believers, we can be victorious 100% of the time, if we know what our inheritance in Christ is and use if needs be ALL THE WEAPONS God has made available to us. We read in Eph. 6 :10-18 NKJV Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the WILES of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.
I want to highlight one word in these verses WILES it is translated as:
I have heard it described like this, that we are going along rejoicing in the Lord, and without us being conscious of the fact the enemy, just puts out his foot and trips us up.
I just want to highlight two tricks of the evil one in this blog, and that is his work to deceive God’s people. It all started in the Garden of Eden, when he subtly filled Eve’s mind with lies. 2 Cor. 11:3 NKJV But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
THE DEVIL IS A DECEIVER.
Most Christians are never tempted to rob a bank, or commit murder or even adultery, but the enemy has subtle means of deceiving God’s people in other areas..
There are two areas that I feel that many Christians have been deceived by him over the years. One is LEGALISM. That our mind can be filled with many “thou shalt nots” and the Word of God is very clear that there are many things a born again Believer should not do, but our attitude should not be “I must not do that” but should be “I don’t want to do that, I want to please the Lord”. Legalism robs you of your joy and you start to endure your Salvation far more than enjoying it. Legalism can also produce a judgemental spirit and you start to judge your fellow Believers who do not line up with your list of legalistic behavioural requirements.
The other area of deception that I would like to mention is being “RELIGIOUS”. Knowing all the right things to say and do, but it is not a heart response but simply a religious one. Many have been told they are now a Christian because they have prayed a prayer, and simply copy other people’s external behaviour. Sadly it would seem there are some who are born again but because they have never been Biblically Discipled act and respond as they think they would be expected to behave, but have not and are not “growing in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
One real answer to legalism and being religious is having a Mentor you love and trust and you are open to letting him/her speak into your life, and they help you recognise and correct these areas of deception.
Lord help us to be sincere, genuine and FAIR DINKUM in all we do and say and be the person God wants us to be amen.