If a wolf walked up to you and said, “Hi, I’m a wolf as you see, but I’m a friendly wolf. Won’t you play with me?” Would you then go and play with the “friendly wolf”, or would you back away slowly? How about a fuzzy brown bear, would you wrestle with a friendly brown bear or would instinct cause you to run away as fast as you can? How about Satan? He walks in dressed in Polo and introduces himself like this, “Good afternoon, I’m Satan…yes, that old dragon, Beelzebub, the Serpent, you know. That guy. And you are?” Would you kindly shake his hand and make nice, or would you plead the blood of Jesus and rebuke him? Many of us, whether we want to admit it or not, might just shake ole Satan’s hand and believe that we can “all just get along”. But be careful, your enemy is NEVER your friend. Recently I met someone who quickly endeared their self to me. The person almost mirrored who I was, I thought. They were “saved and loved the Lord”, they abhorred all things evil including Halloween and pagan celebrations disguised as holidays. They veered away from the charismatic church movement and prosperity gospel…all “Godly” qualities were on full display. Meeting someone so rare in such an evil day was an anomaly for me so I let my guard down, which is completely unusual for me, especially lately. Instead of leading with discernment I led with my heart and fully embraced this person. Mistake number one. Jeremiah 17:9 says, The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (KJV). Had I used my God-bestowed wisdom I would have seen the trap that the enemy was laying for me.
Friends have never come easily to me because my mindset is not of the world, but of the things of God, and having the husband and family that I do I am always kept on point when it comes to my spirituality. However, the enemy knows our weaknesses, and like Job was tried, he will also try us. 1 John 4:1 states, Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. (ESV). Many of us are lured away because the wolf is good at disguising himself as a sheep or a docile lamb, even in ministries but especially in our everyday lives. So how do we test the spirits?
- Weigh every matter against scripture! In the book of Acts (17) the Bereans examined scriptures after hearing the teachings of Paul and Silas.
- Study the Word! 2 Timothy 2:15 says, Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. The enemy seeks to discredit you and so will parse every word that you speak.
- Examine the love! This may sound simple, but the spirit of God is the spirit of love and Satan can only fake this for so long. (1 John 4:8).
- The Worldliness. It can only be hidden for a time. 1 John 4:5, They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. (ESV) The bible also warns about when all men speak well of you.
- Rotten Fruit! A sure sign. Jesus taught to beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep clothing, and that we would know them by their fruit (Matt. 7:15-16).
There is a very thin line to walk when dealing with “new” people in our lives because we do not want to be over-cautious and judgmental so that we offend, but we also want to use Godly wisdom and discernment in all things so that we are not deceived. Showing love to ALL men is tantamount in this ministry that we are in (and we are all ministers of the Gospel of Christ), but we have to be careful to draw people to light and not allow people to draw us into darkness. Personally I came close; this spirit that I was dealing with was extremely wily, crafty and subtle but I thank God that He drew back the blinds just in time to see exactly what I was dealing with. My new “friend” quickly became an old enemy…the same one who slithered up to Eve in the garden.
“So Pastorswife are you saying that we shouldn’t make friends or that everyone should be considered an enemy until God approves them?” Absolutely not! God said that through loving-kindness has he drawn people (Jeremiah 31:3), and that we are to be the light of the world and to let it shine before all men (Matthew 5:14-16). What I’m saying is to not let those with beguiling words entice you into the things of the flesh. I told my children a few days back that the enemy wants to keep our minds on anything other than God, but God told us to THINK on whatsoever things are true, pure just, honest, kind, lovely, and of good report to think on these things.
I THINK that in the future I will lead with prayer about new “friends” because for me, Jesus is more than enough.