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Posts Tagged ‘discernment’

Day Seventy-Five
Exposing Another Gospel
(It’s a Different Apple)

“For [you seem readily to endure it] if a man comes and preaches another Jesus than the One we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the [Spirit] you [once] received or a different gospel from the one you [then] received and welcomed; you tolerate [all that] well enough! 2Cor 11:4 Amp

 

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Would you recognize another gospel, if you heard one? Would you register a note of discord with what you know from the Scriptures? Think about it…
I recently encountered a post on Facebook that stopped me cold. It sounded very savvy, very wise, even soothing to a Christian populous hungry for more. This is what it recommended:
“You need to associate with people that inspire you, people that challenge you to rise higher, people that make you better. Don’t waste your valuable time with people that are not adding to your growth. Your destiny is too important.”
On the surface this seems un-offensive, even sounds like sage advice. But I want to show you how to quickly recognize something when it is actually adversarial to the word of God and the gospel at large. We do this by plugging this vague guidance into a Bible reality to see if it agrees.
This above quote focuses you on the importance of your destiny, and the people who can get you there. So let’s look at a great man of Bible destiny, Joseph, son of Jacob. As you know, Joseph went on to literally save the world from famine and death. He became to the Egyptians, Zephenath-paneah, savior of the world (that’s quite a destiny for us to consider).
The quote is also urging you to carefully choose people of influence in your life – people that make you better. It says people that don’t add to your growth are wasting your time. So in Joseph’s case, let’s take a quick rundown of the people who impacted him. His brothers threw him down a well, plotted to kill him, but ended up selling him to traders bound for Egypt. He is sold as a slave to Potiphar’s house (a prominent officer of Pharaoh). In refusing seduction by Potiphar’s wife, he is imprisoned for rape – wrongly. He languishes in prison only to watch the possibility for restoration and release pass him by through the forgetfulness of Pharaoh’s butler and baker. It is only when Pharaoh himself is plagued with dreams that need interpretation that Joseph is remembered and brought before Pharaoh.

This is the changing point for Joseph, but to put it into perspective think of this: Joseph was 17 when his brothers sold him. He is roughly 30 when he is restored with them (13 years after they sell him), and during the second year of the famine he is roughly 39.
Our reality check with this quote then begs the question, how does the quote’s philosophy of choosing people to make you better — work for Joseph? The people who end up contributing to his destiny are betrayers, liars, cheats… ultimately they are seeking his destruction. They are the very people the quote guidance would encourage him to dump all along – yet he really didn’t have the chance. He became captive – not to their agenda, but to God’s. Out of Joseph’s own mouth he later says to his brothers: “As for you, you thought evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring about that many should be kept alive, as they are this day.” Gen 50:20
The point in this discussion is: like Joseph we don’t know our full destiny. We can’t choose a path of people to include or exclude that can help us to achieve our destiny. We don’t have the wisdom or the intel to do so. God’s destiny for us includes an inner work that only He can inspire in us and draw out of us. No amount of selective saturation or posturing with people who I think can make me better can affect that inner change – God has a plan which I am not privy to!
I want to propose the entire tone of this quote is completely opposite of the Gospel message. Here are just a few Scriptures that clarify that claim:
– Rom 12:16 “… do not be haughty (snobbish, high-minded, exclusive), but readily adjust yourself to [people, things] and give yourselves to humble tasks. Never overestimate yourself or be wise in your own conceits.”
– 1Jn2:6 “Whoever says he abides in Him ought [as a personal debt] to walk and conduct himself in the same way in which He walked and conducted Himself.”
– Phil 2:8 “And after He appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross!”
The quote under examination carries no attitude of humility or sacrifice, obedience, nor love of others. It instead carries a distinct aroma of self-love and self-focus that puts itself and its perceived destiny before all other things. This has no affiliation with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what He has done for us. It has no reliance on the Lord for the fulfillment of His destiny in us. Instead it strokes the ears and hunger of those who want to believe it, and comforts them in their pursuits and posturings as being in agreement with light – when the attitude of the heart in this quote is instead aligned with darkness.

Today more than ever it is time for believers to become savvy of the wiles of the enemy and his intention to distract, deceive, and waylay us on a route not consistent with Bible Truth. It’s time to part company with arguments, and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and to lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), — especially every Facebook thought and offering found there… (or anywhere else for that matter).
Shalom

 

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Day Forty-Eight

Two-Sided Destruction

“For [then] He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.”

Ps 91:3

          Do you know there are two sides to the offensive attacks of the enemy?  One side – brings an attack from the outside.  It is like the fowler’s snare –it presents the attack against your flesh (your body and soul).  These are the kinds of threats we are most aware of — muggers, murderers, even ones who simply desire to mistreat or harm you or speak evil of you – they are the more obvious agents prompted by the enemy.  Yet the Word of God is replete with instances where it shows that as we dwell in the Secret Place of the Most High God, we remain safe.  The need, however, is to abide in the Secret Place; to make the dwelling of God our home. Don’t wait for an attack to present itself before you go there – go there early, daily, and abide there.

Far more dangerous is the enemy’s postured attack that presents to the inside of you.  This is like the deadly pestilence.   It could be in the form of disease or infirmity, but it could easily be a thought or an attitude of your heart (doubt, wavering, fear, or wicked thinking) that will ultimately defile you.  Left unaddressed and unresisted, these thoughts can not only defile you, but if you were to entertain them (accept or share them) they would rise up and defile many.  These are the most dangerous agents, because we don’t often recognize the enemy’s campaign here.  They present their attack to the inside and we think it is our own thought.  We tolerate or worse make room for it by acceptance (“I’m getting sick.” or “I agree with that thought.”). Whether or not it is your thought or one planted by the enemy, the combat strategy is the same.  Confess and repent to the Lord, then resist the enemy and he will flee from you.       Ask the Lord to cleanse you and for destruction by the cross of the very nature in you which embraces and participates in such thinking.

It is failure to perceive the anti-Christ nature of these thoughts, and to address them properly that causes us much harm.  To not recognize them as wrongful, against the nature of Christ, and to not deal with them means they gain an avenue of entrance into us that is welcoming.  That allows for that thought process to grow and expand with other thoughts, equally destructive and harmful.  Soon it is like the Trojan-Horse waiting to distribute an advance team of the enemy’s camp and opening the gates to greater enemy forces.

For both of these attacks (from the inside or outside) the Lord is equally able to render them powerless.  However, we are way more disposed to perceive and register the external threat than the internal.  This is a problem.  It means the enemy will attempt both and see where you are quick to put him off.  Additionally, as part of growing in maturity in the Lord, He desires for us to become “like Him” in standing on His word.  More and more the Lord will require us to use His word by faith to deflect the tactics of the enemy.  This is part of our “yielding” to the Lord, where it really means we stand beside Him.  We must become sensitive to know when He will fight or when we must take up the fray.  This is part of growing in Him.

For now – be quick to discern the two-sided destruction the enemy would hurl your way to ensnare you!  It is already defeated by the blood!  Let us know the enemy’s tactics, but even more so know the provision of our Lord Jesus Christ that has overcome the world, even our faith!

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