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.