December 2, 2012

“Hittites, the Amorites, and the Jebusites, heard of this, they gathered together as one to fight against Joshua and Israel. But when the inhabitants of Gideon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai, they on their part acted with cunning…” Joshua 9:1b-4a

I often work as a consultant to government entities on regulatory issues. The majority of applicants don’t want to do what the code requires. It costs them money. Therefore, they try an assortment of strategies to circumvent the requirements. Their strategies fall into two broad categories – fighters and manipulators.

Fighters will come in with all guns a-blazing. They will assemble their team of experts and attorneys and we’ll have a go at it. I have no problem with fighters. I like and respect them. The system is built for them and they are working it as it was intended.  The manipulators are another story.  They are the soothsayers that will tell you what you want to hear all the while cunningly plotting to do exactly the opposite. They are difficult to spot since they appeal to your sensibilities.  However, their appeal to cronyism can have disastrous long-term consequences.  I would be a fool to think there were only “fighter” adversaries out there.

However, we Christians often make that naïve mistake. We think that we either don’t have any adversaries or that our adversaries are only those who blatantly fight against the Faith. I have been astonished at how some will take at face value the soothing words of a person that they personally know nothing about.

I am reminded of a sister in the Lord whose husband left her and their children through acts of stunning deception. She said that she found out that he was not what he appeared – he was very cunning. She now has to deal with this person for the foreseeable future. I have seen Churches devastated by a Pastor who came in saying all the right words but time revealed that he may not have even been a believer. They are still rebuilding and recovering.

It is so very easy to be deceived when we rely upon our own senses. Some may say, “But I have the gift of discernment.”  Really; Do you have more discernment than Joshua, who was “full of the spirit of wisdom” (Deut. 34:9)?  If Joshua could be deceived, then you and I can be deceived.

There is no decision that will not wait to allow time to seek the Lord in prayer. That was the Israelites error – they did not ask counsel of the Lord (Josh. 9:14).  Any person who will be offended by you seeking the counsel of the Lord is someone that you should reject, summarily.

Our typical response is to accept that which appeals to our senses – “but I love him”, “but he is such a great speaker”, “but it is logical”, “but it just feels right”, “but look at her resume”, “but they come from a great family”, “but they are so consistent in these areas”….but, but, but.

We are foolish to accept the “buts” without prayer. Be careful relying upon your own senses, you may just end up having to live with a “butt”.

PRAYER: Lord, Protect me from my own confidence and pride; Forgive me for acting as if I don’t need you.  Lord, I need your wisdom in all aspects of my life and especially in those areas of discernment. Father, remind me of my need for you; humble me so that I will seek you in all things. Protect me from disception, particularly my own.  Amen

One comment

  1. I love that THE HOLY SPIRIT of GOD is the most trust worthy of all to reveal deceivers to us and HE also knows the future of all. I have been misled in many seemingly good people, but knowing that I can be fooled has made me ask and wait for the real truth before I believe in anyone especially in our church settings of today. I was reminded years ago of the scripture that says “Even the very elect , if not careful can be deceived”. There is much to be careful of especially the of all the buts.

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