Friday, October 12, 2012

Off-Guard - Lazy, Numb, Blind. Easy Targets

Often, as believers in Jesus, we find ourselves anesthetized,  numb to the facts of life and death, truth and error, God and Satan, heaven and hell. There are multitudes of  other things that crowd into our life and the big issues are set aside, forgotten. It may be our work,-caught up in long hours, projects, reports, administration, personal issues.Or it may be leisure,- including legitimate hobbies, enjoying the peace and beauty of vacations, sports,  retirement, travel, fun with friends. Or it could be boredom, -not knowing what to do, wasting time watching TV playing video/ computer games, talking on the phone, shopping, sleeping. Or the daily grind of life-cleaning house, yard work, caring for children, bill paying, chores, appointments...on and on.  Yet all of these things- good, bad, necessary or not can conspire to lull us into a false sense of security. We forget the Lord who holds all things together by His power. We ignore our relationship with the maker of the universe who has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, and everything pertaining to life and godliness by the TRUE KNOWLEDGE of Him, 
Beware. We Christians live in enemy territory surrounded by evil powers and forces that are against us. Wanting and waiting for  us to stumble. We are to be "On  Guard" against false words from false teachers! 
2 Peter 2 digs into this issue. False teaches from within the church will introduce destructive heresies. These are opinions inconsistent with the revealed truth of God's Word. Often these teachings have truth mixed with lies...maybe not blatant, but  enough to make us doubt. Truth + lies= FALSEHOOD. Always.  Just as the serpent in the garden deceived Eve suggesting, "Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Gen. 3:1  These false teachers are deliberate, setting out to capture those      "Off Guard" individuals. They have a hidden agenda at work and  falsehood and lies are  introduced secretly, deceptively, rather than openly or properly. They are like spiders weaving a cunning and beautiful web out of silk; lovely to look at, but  deadly for the unsuspecting victim entangled in its grip.
The effect of false teachers within the  church can be devastating. Their inspirer Satan, the devil, ‘prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour’ (1 Peter 5:8). When we do not have the true knowledge of God as our weapon, we, like sheep, can be led astray easily. New interesting books, films, sermons, that get rave reviews, have huge followings yet contradict  Biblical teaching may "capture" our attention causing us to doubt the foundations of our faith, and perhaps for some never truly be born again. Tragic. Sometimes we get bogged down in irrelevancies. Therefore,we must know and take the Lord and His Holy Word seriously, because listening to the opinions of men, however clever and persuasive, means that we will listen less to Him  speaking to us. All Scripture is God-breathed, useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that believers  may be thoroughly equipped for every good work- living for Him. 
God's judgment is certain and complete. He is victorious and those who deny Him, teach false doctrine, follow after idols, and lead others astray will be cast into eternal darkness eventually. Our distractions, the wide road, the sandy foundation, secret sin, our depravity apart from God may give us momentary pleasure- but those things make us easy target practice for Satan. Critical injury for some, certain death for others.. 

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace