VERSE OF THE DAY: ~1 Timothy 4:1-5 “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”
Paul hears from Holy Spirit regarding a deception that will cause people to depart from the faith. It looks to me like this deception will be a deliberate assault originating in the demonic realm. The deceptive part of these kind of things is that they usually come wrapped in the appearance of light or love. This deception will look spiritual with its rules and restrictions under the guise of self denial or sacrifice for the Lord, which are both necessary components of our faith. This however will be a form of rituals and religious behaviors that are focused on the outward man, rather than a transformed heart. This show of self-denial coupled with rules and regulations undermines the loving relationship in Christ that our faith is built on. Nobody can fake a transformed life for any length of time, so people will fall into a form of hypocrisy, learning to play their religious role while maintaining a lifestyle of ‘hidden’ behaviors that may or may not be bad to begin with. This is the early stages of the process that sears ones conscience by slowly dulling our sensitivity to the small still voice that discerns right from wrong. There is good news, God is near to all who call upon Him!
If your Christianity is based upon a lot of rules and regulations, if the focus is on performance and outward appearance, if you often feel that you are expected to ‘measure up’ in order to belong, then I urge you to hear Christ who says “come to me and I will give you rest” and “He who the Son makes free is free indeed.” We are meant to be connected with Holy Spirit in the same way Paul and the early church were. Paul starts off this chapter with the words “the Spirit expressly says…” As believers, we each have the capacity to hear what the Spirit says and to discern it through the written word of scripture. Those who believe and know the truth are free, or at least becoming more free as our relationship with Christ grows. We do not need to live fearful of deception as much as to pursue our relationship with Christ and with Holy Spirit. As we are filled with and led by Holy Spirit He brings us into all truth.
PRAYER: “Jesus You are the way, the truth and the life. I thank You for saving me and for empowering me with grace to walk in Your life and love. Thank You Father because I know that You are pleased to call me your son/daughter, and today I can freely receive Your love. Holy Spirit I seek a more meaningful awareness of You in my life and I love that You lead me into all truth. Increase my sensitivity to Your voice and make me more aware of Your presence and guidance. Amen.”
VERSE FOR FEARLESS LIVING! ~ Psalms 118:6 “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”