if you’re truly deceived, how do you know?
Shared years ago by a Pastor, the question posed by the Holy Spirit in answer to prayerful contemplation… . Rather provocative, no? That Pastor admitted it was a question that brought all the mental gears to a screeching halt.
So…yeah. Seriously provocative question to contemplate! And while I consider myself justAvoice– and understand we’ve all been influenced by someone(s) we respect and trust, either in our formative years or as adults- this is too important to leave un-shared. Too important to discount. People who love us dearly can get it horribly wrong– for generations! So can we.
We have to ask ourselves, have some of us been indoctrinated into believing a lie? Or maybe we’re too intelligent to believe in a Sovereign God? Too evolved to believe in the rudimentary principles of an ancient era recorded on ancient scrolls? Maybe we did believe and are being swayed towards compromise or outright disbelief by a society in continual flux, if not in complete moral breakdown.
Be careful, guys. Be very, very careful. We can get a lot of thing wrong in this life and live to tell the tale, but this ain’t one of’em!
I’ve heard it said we’re all leading someone- family, friends, acquaintances. Considering we’re all following or followed via social media and/or the Blogosphere, we understand what it means to be influenced; likewise, be influencers.
And do not lead astray one of the weak and friendless who believes in Me. If you do, it would be better for you to be dragged down with a millstone and drowned in the bottom of the sea. -Matthew 18:6 (VOICE)
Truthfully, the influence that prompted my memory of the initial question posed by The Holy Spirit was anothers’ pointing to a deity of the same Name and in essence, salvation through means other than we’ve been taught; in fact, minimizing if not discounting the Deity of God’s Son, Jesus- as if he were a mere prophet or simply a man making outrageous claims of Deity. It doesn’t just offend me on my Lord’s behalf but gravely concerns me; for the sake of the one using Sovereign God’s own Word to discount the very One who became the Word made flesh to save us from certain destruction, and those they are influencing.
drowning in information, starving for wisdom
The Holy Spirit’s question made me ponder..as a society, have we become too smart for our own good? Literally. In a world where we progressively, aggressively strive to do and be more and often succeed in the blessed environment we thrive in, have we forgotten we didn’t create ourselves but were, in fact, created by Sovereign God- in His image? Our Sovereign blessed us with the faculties we have- denoting mortals as just a little lower than the angels. Have we forgotten the historical lessons of those who came before and the Word that speaks to us as sons?
I confess, the possibility of misrepresenting God/Scripture carries more than a bit of reverential fear for myself- so much so at times in the past I hesitated to comment or speak. I often find myself walking the fine line between sharing the all-encompassing Good News of God’s sacrifice, love and acceptance and the warning of the harder Truth that ends in eternal death and separation for those who reject the free-will offering of our Sovereign’s grace and forgiveness.
“Grace without Truth is a lie, Truth without Grace is a hammer.”
In addition to all that has been said, Your servant will find, hidden in Your commandments, both a strong warning and a great reward for keeping them. Who could possibly know all that he has done wrong? Forgive my hidden and unknown faults. As I am Your servant, protect me from my bent toward pride, and keep sin from ruling my life. If You do this, I will be without blame, innocent of the great breach. ~Psalm 19:11-13 The Voice (VOICE)
I know some will hear this as just more information to confound and confuse so I encourage you, take nobody’s word for what you can know for fact. I was personally raised in and around Godly influences up to the age of nearly nineteen, leaving home, as we all eventually do, and choosing not to come to God of my own volition until I was in my early thirties. Trust me when I say, up to then I had no relationship and no real depth of understanding, just a foundation of Biblical Truth and a whole lot of desperation! Yet the moment I chose to come to Him, God met me right where I was in a very profound way. He’s not a harsh task-master but a merciful, forgiving God.
If any man lacks wisdom let Him ask and I will give freely, without fault-finding. Get wisdom, God said, and in all your getting get understanding. Study to show yourself approved, a worker (servant-Christian) correctly interpreting the Word.
There’s simply no substitute for personal experience. Yet experience and all the promises of God come only via relationship and Sovereign God made it clear relationship comes only through His Son, Jesus Christ. By default, any other way is counterfeit, even if a religion uses the name of God. And while one can surely experience supernatural occurrences within other religions, they are not legitimate and in fact are from the enemy of our soul, given power and leeway only for a time. Yes, the Bible makes it clear we all have a common enemy seeking to kill, steal and destroy- he is a liar and the father of all lies so naturally, he works to deceive.
You will seek Me and you will find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart
We can’t cherry-pick God’s Word and twist His plan of salvation/restoration into some religious cuneiform of our own making– He is God, we are not. All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for our learning, He assured us in 2Timothy 3:16; holy men penned the Word as the Holy Spirit gave utterance, He further instructed in 2Peter. We have a Triune Godhead- Father, Son, Holy Spirit. They are distinct yet completely unified in character and will never speak contrary to one another, will never speak other than in accordance with what has already been spoken and recorded in the Bible.
In the act of sending Me, the Father has endorsed Me. None of you really knows the Father. You have never heard His voice or seen His profile. His word does not abide in you because you do not believe in the One sent by the Father. Here you are scouring through the Scriptures, hoping that you will find eternal life among a pile of scrolls. What you don’t seem to understand is that the Scriptures point to Me. Here I am with you, and still you reject the truth contained in the law and prophets by refusing to come to Me so that you can have life. ~Jesus: John 5:37-40 The Voice (VOICE)
O Jerusalem! O Jerusalem! [that’s us!] You kill the prophets and you stone the messengers who are sent to you. How often I wanted to gather in your children as a hen gathers in her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing to come to Me. -Luke 13:34 (VOICE)
So I say again- if we’re truly deceived, how do we know?
As the Holy Spirit revealed to the aforementioned Pastor, we go to the Source. The Lord said, you will seek Me and you will find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. The Bible is not just another religious book– it is God’s Revelation of Himself to mankind. It reveals Who He is and who we are to Him- His purposes and His plans. We were all intended to have a place and a part in Him- but not outside or in addition to Jesus, bless Him!
May our Sovereign God not only draw us but gift us the heart that yearns for Relationship, the desire that searches Him out and the ears with accompanying discernment to hear and know Truth- and please Lord God, as we individually seek You, bless each and all with Your manifest Presence, Your Wisdom and Understanding (practical application) so that in turn and in truth we become a trustworthy mouthpiece for the sake of those You so dearly love- to Your Glory alone. In Jesus’ name, Amen. (so be it)