What's With You
The road to self-examination begins with the ability to discern what’s with us. Sometimes it’s as simple as taking a look down at our feet and seeing the toilet tissue stuck on our shoe; sometimes it’s a little less obvious, like when you know you keep smelling something that stinks, but until you lift your foot up and look on the bottom of your shoe, you have no idea that the smell is coming from you. We too often fail to recognize what we are carrying with us in spirit, and this can in fact be to our demise. Carrying a spiritual compromise for a prolonged period of time gives it power to exist in your life as something that you believe to be a part of who you are.
Plight of Seducing Spirits
· 1 Tim 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 1 Tim 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 1 Tim 4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
To be attacked by a seducing spirit is to be targeted as a potential victim. When under attack, insane choices can seem logical, even spiritually sound. We understand that enemy spirits prefer to work under cover of darkness, hidden from view, much as termites working to destroy the foundation of a house. They do not want to be identified and will try to keep our attention drawn to the natural and visible realm. We can give all our attention and energy to the natural, visible surface and not see the hidden, spiritual root. In the midst of so much distraction, pressure, change, and challenge of the current times, we need to discern the motivating forces in the spirit realm. Whereas God is moving us towards maturity and Christ likeness and building the kingdom, the enemy is working to sidetrack and deceive, and abort God's purposes. The good news is the Spirit of truth is speaking to the Church, and we are learning from Wisdom.
· 1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Spirits can masquerade as our own thoughts, or even as an angel of light. We don't need to live in fear or suspicion, but we need to be alert and discern the true origin of thoughts, ideas, feelings, voices. The fact that the Scripture warns us to pay attention to these things means that even believers can be led astray.
· 2 Corinthians 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
· Mathew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christ’s, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
A seducing spirit deceives, pulls the wool over one's eyes. The person is led astray from the principles of faith as he has been taught (or maybe even as he has taught others) and may not even realize it. He is gradually pulled through compromise and justification, until he is trapped and deactivated-- no longer a threat to the darkness, but perhaps even an ally. In this way, the believer is effectively neutralized from making any difference in the Kingdom, and may actually find himself opposing it. There are several examples in the Word of this type of behavior-- Balaam or Judas Iscariot, for example. The operation of a seducing spirit:
· Pulls one away from God, even if it promises to bring him closer
· Makes wrong seem right
· Makes excuses
· Feeds personal pride
· Encourages a hidden life -- dishonesty
· Separates one from God-ordained relationships
Seducing spirits will attract those under their power to one another to further pull one astray and to reinforce their work. They will twist teaching and prophecy in the ears of the deceived to fit their seduction. Numbers 16:1-22
Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
29. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
31. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
Sometimes the attacks are blatant -- with people who are spiritual wolves -- rising up to separate individuals from the flock. At other times, the attack is much more subtle, just as the story of Ulysses and the sirens' song: it was so sweet, it lured sailors away from their charted course to destruction on the rocks. If there is no character flaw or wound, these spirits cannot gain an entrance into a heart. They may harass and war from the outside, but will not be able to undermine the work of God in a person's life. Determine not to become a victim, but instead, a powerful voice of truth, and force of love. Keep your forgiveness up to date and allow the Holy Spirit to work on your character. Love one another with a holy devotion.
2Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26. And [that] they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.