Monday, November 4, 2013

"Through the Back Door"

       Rarely does the enemy of our souls rap on the front door of our heart with the announcement, "This is Satan, and I'm here to deceive you!"

    The devil rather seeks to slither through the back door unawares, or perhaps more dangerously, he presents himself in the garb of goodness.

I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" (II Corinthians 11:3).
Such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness" (II Corinthians 11:13-15).

    A.W. Tozer once wrote that many Christians seem to think that because we are believers, we must believe everything and everybody.  The opposite is true.  Because we are believers, we must remember the frequent warnings of God's Word concerning enemies more than willing to use the Lord's name and truth to deceive us.  They speak of someone they call "Jesus," or quote Scripture, or perform works that seem to originate in God, but which prepare the unwitting to give credence to devilish deceptions.  "The angel of light" walks to and fro, whether over broadcast airwaves, or in churches and ministries, or along the pathways of our personal lives.  Do we expect such nefarious involvement of our cunning foe?  Or do we tend to give credence to anyone who purports to speak for God?

    If we must answer the last question affirmatively, the sad truth is not that we are going to be deceived.  No, we already are deceived.  We've either left the back door of our hearts unlocked, or we've succumbed to a smiling face, a syrupy voice, or busy hands that seem active in the Lord's service while actually pilfering from us His truth and our genuine experience thereof.  If this is the case, we must fall before our Lord in repentance, and in the earnest request for His "doctrine... reproof... correction... instruction in righteousness" (II Timothy 3:16).  Or, as the Psalmist pleaded, "Search me, o God, and know my heart.  Try me and know my thoughts.  See if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24).

    As we often suggest, the Christian life is not for the lazy of heart and mind.  We rather live our lives on a battleground whereupon a cunning enemy seeks our spiritual and moral destruction.  Rarely does he employ frontal assaults.  He rather feints, or ambushes from secret places, or sneaks up on us from behind.  The Captain of our salvation is more than prepared to counter and overcome the devil's ploys.  However, we must engage ourselves in the battle by recognizing the fact of it, and then by arising to "fight the good fight of faith" in Christ, and in His truth (I Timothy 6:12).  Much prayerful consideration of God's Word prepares us to engage, and engage we must.  Because, again, if we do not, we are not in jeopardy of being deceived.  We already are.

But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."
(II Timothy 3:13-15)

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