Swayed and Misled
We are the sum of our beliefs. Our beliefs are formed from various sources. It’s the work of a child of God to believe in Truth that comes from one source, God and His Word. John 6:29 It’s work because we’ve all grown up with lies. It’s work because we have to unlearn and relearn. It’s work because we are surrounded by an abundance of appealing false philosophies filling our ears that speak to our deepest needs, hungers, and desires. It’s work because truth is only found in God and His Word, which requires the devotion of a steadfast heart set on knowing the Truth. And it’s the work God has given us to do.
Who we listen to are those we allow to influence us and our thoughts, thus our beliefs. Jesus heartedly warned us that in the end there would be many false prophets, posers of ministers of light, and wolves in sheep’s clothing leading people astray. If we heed their words, we will be influenced and we will be headed for the darkness of deception instead towards the light of truth. Most of us underestimate our ability to be influenced. We confidently assume we will be able to discern. It’s a dangerous assumption. What we give ear to, especially on a consistent basis, influences us.
Jesus said these posers would abound in the end. Look around; they are. They look good, kind, and humble. They appear to say the right things. They use God and Jesus’ name. Our enemy (the collective self-will) isn’t stupid. He knows what we fall for. He knows many of us are too smart to fall for the slick salesman type, though many fall for those as well. The greatest evil is that which is disguised as good. Our enemy’s deception is shrewd.
This week I’ve been learning an interesting lesson …
Those who are walking under the tutelage of these posers are and will suffer greatly for it in their souls. False beliefs and lies torment our soul. These men/women have a power to harm and destroy with their words. When we are listening to them we are feasting with the enemy and thus inviting all sorts of evil into our lives.
It’s nothing new that posers lead people astray. But we often fail to deeply consider the next phase, what happens to people’s souls as they are lead astray? They suffer greatly. They suffer torment in their lives. This connection between souls who are being tormented, and the souls who give their ear to these posers grabbed me by the heart this week. However, those suffering often attribute the torments to something else, because their hope of deliverance comes from these false leaders. The nature of deception is you don’t know that you are deceived, but instead believe you are abiding in the truth.
As this dynamic started to become clearer, my reading for the week took me into Revelation 9. The description of the locusts and the army of horseman in this chapter are men and women. They are given power to torment and destroy those who don’t have the seal of God on their foreheads (a knowledge and trust of the Truth). Their power is in their words. What stood out to me was their description is like that of religious leaders. Isaiah 9:15, Revelation 9:19
Religious leaders hold a tremendous power over others because they are speaking to our deepest issues where we are most vulnerable; fears, quilt, loneliness, healing, deliverance, death and life. They speak with intent of bringing the answers, freedom and hope we long for. Therefore, they are more influential than most in our lives. Their power and the power we give them are grossly underestimated.
This connection between a soul’s torment and following posers hit hard. There is so much suffering these days that is coming in all shapes and sizes, could this be one of the reasons for the torment people face? Lies destroy. Lies are growing among those labeled as Christians and it is destroying many.
How do we overcome this deception and falling prey to the enemy of torment? A love for the truth.
2 Thessalonians 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
What does a love for the truth look like in someone’s life? If you love something, what do you do? You absorb yourself in it.
With a love for the truth, you abide in the Truth, God’s Word on a regular basis. You don’t search for the answers you want, but whatever the Holy Spirit desires to teach. It isn’t just about you, it’s about truth. You seek God’s ideas and thoughts on His Word, not man’s. Instead of relying on man to teach you his opinions, you seek instruction from the Holy Spirit, who was given to you to teach you all things 1 John 2:27. You seek with a desire to know the truth whatever it is. You ask for your beliefs and thoughts to be renewed in His truth and His ways; for lies and deception to be purged. You are willing to let go of “truths” you’ve held on to. You are willing to go wherever God may instruct and lead you. You have a passion for understanding, wisdom and truth, and how you spend your time reflects it. You embrace it as a life long pursuit.
A love for the truth will save us in the end. Many Christians are going to take and are taking a mighty fall because they are really trusting in another besides God. They are putting their trust in their pastors and their favorite religious leaders, who need them to depend on their words to pay the rent, pay for their child’s school, and to support all the salaries their church has created.
Our beliefs are everything. It’s a love for the truth that will save us in these days. No one can pursue the truth for us, it’s a personal endeavor.
Verses of Encouragement for those who Trust God– Psalm 91:4, 7, 9-10 Psalm 28:7, 119:114, Proverbs 30:5, Ephesians 6:16
November 9, 2010 at 8:00 am
So very, very true, Rachel. Thank you for writing this, the truth of it all goes deep into my spirit and I pray the Lord will use it for all truth seekers.
November 9, 2010 at 4:22 pm
Hi Roger, thanks for your encouragement. That is my prayer as well.
November 9, 2010 at 1:49 pm
Good reminders and warnings, Rachel.
The phrase “a steadfast heart” stood out to me in that first paragraph – that sounds so powerful; a desirable trait and one formed by God’s grace. I’ve seen in my own life how the messages around me – from others in person or through books and movies – can change my perceptions and attitudes. I agree we have a dangerous capacity to believe we are stronger and wiser than we are. That’s been one of my many problems – and probably why I have such a hard time dealing with the mistakes and weaknesses the Spirit has revealed, but it’s true that being in the presence of the Holy Spirit reveals the truth of Himself and of us, and I trust that knowing the truth – even if it looks impossible to overcome – is better than dwelling in darkness because He Himself is the Overcomer!
There’s something very new and exciting about a truth suddenly dawning on us when we have been taught differently and earnestly believed differently prior to that moment. I’ll pray for more of those for all of us, and I’ll pray for a clean, pure, steadfast heart full of love for God and His Truth.
November 9, 2010 at 4:27 pm
Hi Ruth, there is an excitement that comes with learning – having your eyes opened. But you are right sometimes it can be overwhelming to see things as they are at first – but I’m finding as I learn the “harder truths” it is along side the truth of God’s sovereignity, power, and love – so there is a peace – if that makes sense. That is a great prayer Ruth.
November 9, 2010 at 3:45 pm
Good morning. There is so much truth presented here that to comment on it all would be tasking. It’s so true that, once a person heads into a way that appears right but is not, there will be suffering. An example is my oldest sister. If one were to talk with her about Jesus, she will say things that sound true. She will use the terms that most of us routinely employ. But my sister isn’t a Christian; she is a morman and is following another Jesus. You really have to pin them down, but when this is done, it is discovered that they are not believing in the God of the bible or the Son of God as we known him.
This error has had consequences and the lives of my sister and here husband have been chaotic over the years. In later times, she has begun practicing necromancy and entertaining multiple personalities. It’s a tragic situaion to be sure. But on the surface these things don’t appear and they honestly believe that they are walking in truth. They call it “the restored gospel” as, according to their beliefs, the bible isn’t completely translated properly and Joseph Smith was granted the full acount from an angel called moroni.
Perhaps joseph smith should have read II Corinthians 11:14-15 and revelation 22:18-19 before lending an ear to this entity.
Thanks so much for addressing this. We can never be too careful in this area. Staying close to jesus is a must while being careful of who we listen to in the physical realm. People love to heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. It’s easy for one to take advantage of this tendancy and quickly fill to capacity a 40,000 seat arena.
I hope that this doesn’t sound too scatterbrained as i’m semi-distracted at the moment by many goings on here. Blessings always in Jesus name.
November 9, 2010 at 4:34 pm
Hi Timbob – thanks for sharing that story. Deception comes in so many forms in every area. It speaks to our deepest needs and pulls us in and wrecks havoc in our lives. I’m constantly praying for any lies or deception to be revealed and purged in my life and those around me. How dark these days are and yet for those who are truly seeking God in truth and spirit the light is growing ever brighter.
November 9, 2010 at 5:07 pm
Very good message, Rachel. Jesus said that the truth would set you free yet so many are trying to make their own “truth”. I believe that as the days grow darker, those in the light of Jesus Christ must shine all the more for those who are lost and headed for destruction. Sadly, the enemy has blinded so many by using charlatans posing as Christians!
November 10, 2010 at 9:05 pm
Hi Marianne, I agree the days are growing darker … and you made a good point — for those in Christ – we must abide ever more deeply and closer to Him for then and only then does that light of Him really shine in our lives.