"The Dagger In the Cloak"
I have recently added a request to my daily prayers for fellow believers and myself, namely, that the Lord will lead us away from influences that hinder our walk with Him in faith and faithfulness, and lead us to those influences that help.
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try (test) the spirits whether they be of God. For many false prophets are gone out into the world" (I John 4:1).
"Be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises" (Hebrews 6:12).
"False prophets" abound more in our day than when the Apostle John penned his warning. Moreover, they have far more opportunity through electronic media to foist their subtle deceptions on the unsuspecting. If we fail to realize the danger and possibility of deception, we are can sure we are already deceived. I recently discussed this matter with a friend. We agreed that during our younger days, we didn't realize how subtly Satan seeks to deceive believers. Indeed, if a teacher suggests that the Lord Jesus Christ is not God's only way of salvation, all Christians will decisively react against the dark notion. However, when a false prophet references the Savior in more cunning terms, we may not see the murderous dagger hidden in the beautiful cloak. As a friend once said, "the devil will allow ten pounds of Truth if he can slip in one ounce of deception."
Thus, we must pray for one another that we will recognize the real and reject the false. We must also encourage and challenge one another to remember "the good fight of faith" in which we are presently engaged (I Timothy 6:21). It is a fight to the end. Until we leave this planet, our spiritual enemies will seek to mislead us. Thankfully, our Heavenly Father promises His involvement for the duration. "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6). We play a role in the matter, first by filling our hearts and minds with Biblical truth. "Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee" (Psalm 119:11). We also realize the necessity of maintaining our guard, being wary of the possibility of deception. "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life" (Proverbs 4:23). And as mentioned, we seek to help each other by heeding the Apostle Paul's command to watch and pray for each other…
"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints."
Weekly Memory Verse
Help us, o God of our salvation, for the glory of Thy name.