8/20/12 – “DON’T BE DECEIVED”

2 Cor. 11:3 However, I’m afraid that as the snake deceived Eve by its tricks, so your minds may somehow be lured away from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

One thing that bothers me is seeing people taken advantage of. It is never good and often can be quite destructive. The devils tricks have never changed. He is using the same tactics he has always used, but it is becoming more apparent in the last days that far too many are, as Eve was, being deceived through his tricks and they are being lured away from their devotion to Christ.

I want to share this week some important truths from the Word of God that can protect us from falling for his deceiving works. Just as Paul writing to the Corinthians in his day was concerned about this happening to them, so am I concerned about this happening to people in the body of Christ today. So let’s begin by looking at Eve as the example that Paul used and what led her astray.

Gen. 3:2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;
Gen. 3:3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”
Gen. 3:4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.

The first thing that satan did to deceive Eve was to exchange the truth of God for a lie. God told Adam that if they ate of that tree they would die, but the devil being the liar that he is of course tells her that she would not die. Who was right? God of course, yet tragically I cannot tell you how many times I have seen this happen in believers lives. You can show them directly from the Word of God what the Bible says, and they will look at you and say, “I know the Bible says that, but….”.

This is a big problem today because people either don’t spend much time in the Word of God, or they are not allowing His Word to govern their lives, instead they are allowing their feelings to do so. Those feelings then lead to people reasoning in their own minds as to what they think the Bible says, or they just ignore it all together. There is a work of a demon in America and the church today, which is a lying demon. We need to be aware of how our enemy can get us focused on our feelings (flesh) and therefore reason things out without looking to God’s Word.

Rom. 8:5 For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit.
Rom. 8:6 Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever].

I hear people saying that the Word of God is not that important. I learned a long time ago as scripture teaches to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. One such man was Smith Wigglesworth who raised the dead, cast out demons, healed the sick, and got people saved. Smith Wigglesworth said that he could not come to know God by experience, nor what others said about Him, but he could only come to know the living Word through His written Word.

Most people that I hear who say the Word is not that important have not raised the dead, healed the sick, nor cast out demons. This is a big part of what Jesus commissioned His church to go do. God’s Word is God speaking to us. If you make that Word a time of fellowship with God and let Him speak to you through that Word you will get to know Him. Where people get deceived and fall prey to the lying demons that get people to trade the truth for a lie is they begin to reason in their minds what they think about something apart from what God’s Word says. Doing so is setting our minds on the things of the flesh.

If you don’t want to fall for a lie you need to know the truth. The truth is the Word and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth. We are not to be controlled by our fleshly feelings as Romans above says; we are to be controlled by the Spirit of God. That won’t happen if we are reasoning things out in our minds and not examining things in the light of God’s Word. This happens far to often in believer’s lives and this leads them to be led by their feelings and emotions. Doing so can and will lead to falling for a lie.

This is what happened to Eve. Satan got her focused on her flesh, for in Genesis 3:6 it goes on to tell us that she saw that the tree was good for food and was pleasant to the eyes. She got her focus on what pleased her and did not examine what she was told in light of what God had said. This is what happens when people are led by their feelings. They are going to do what pleases them. They don’t look at things through God’s Word but their feelings. You can’t find a single scripture in the Bible that says what should lead us in our decisions is our feelings. We are to be led by the Spirit of God, and He being the Spirit of truth is always going to lead us in line with the Word.

Some would say this is not true for we are to be lead by love and love is a feeling. The love of God is not a feeling. God is love. The love of God that has been shed abroad in our hearts is a fruit of the spirit, not a feeling. It will change your feelings. In 1 John 4:8 we are told that those who do not walk in love do not know God. If you walk in love you don’t get offended. You don’t have unforgiveness in your heart. You don’t allow your feelings to be constantly hurt. If you do get your feelings hurt love looks beyond what was done in the natural and you see things from God’s perspective, not your feelings perspective, and you do what the Word says.

More people have left churches, Christian fellowship, etc., because they were offended or got their feelings hurt. That is having your mind set on the things of the flesh. Re-read Romans chapter 8. This is hurting the body and allowing this lying demon to cause us to trade the truth for a lie. I am aware that there are actually people that may want to intentionally harm you, but most do not. We are allowing satan far too much access in our life by being led by our feelings. There is not one human on the planet that has been perfected yet. We all still at times say things or do things we should not have done, but the average believer is not intentionally trying to hurt people. We must grow up spiritually and stop being lead by our fleshly emotions. We need to give people some liberty to grow and realize that we all still make mistakes.

Prov. 12:26 The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray.

I want to acknowledge there are people who don’t have a heart to change, don’t desire to know God and walk with God, and these are people we need to guard against. We should not be building friendships with people who are living ungodly lives and show no desire to change. No matter what you say about this the Bible tells us that such people will even lead the wicked astray. I am not talking about being cut off from the world. There is a difference between having those I am witnessing to as an acquaintance, as opposed to being my friends. Friends are people you spend a lot of time with, and you share much of your life with as well. Jesus went to sinners who had a heart to hear what He had to say, but Jesus did not have close friendship with those who sinned, for if He had He would have gone and done what they were doing. He went to those who desired for Him to change their life, not the other way around.

As our foundation text tells us the way Eve was lured away from her sincere devotion to God happened because she in her mind began to focus on her feelings, what please her, and she did not allow God’s Word to be what made her decision. So we need to recognize are we like Eve basing our decisions on what God said, or our fleshly feelings? Those fleshly feelings will always get us in trouble because then we will begin to reason out our decisions based on those feelings. Doing so will cause us to oppose God’s Word not even realizing that we have not taken His Word into account.

So let’s learn from Eve’s mistake. I, like the apostle Paul, am concerned about how many believers I am seeing being lured away by this lying spirit from their devotion to Christ. They are blaming ministers, church members, etc., and have not even taken into account what Gods’ Word says. We are to be instant forgivers. Never forget, offense is not given it is taken. Stick to the Word of God and make sure you do what it says and stop reasoning things out without looking clearly to the scriptures. Be careful who you fellowship with for the apostle Paul himself said we are to have NO FELLOWSHIP with the unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:11). As a child of God you can live for Him and like Him. He and His Word are one. Stay true to God’s Word and you won’t trade the truth for a lie. The truth will set you free!

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

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