I was cutting our grass yesterday riding the tractor lawn mower. I love being outside, riding and thinking, enjoying being immersed in the nature around me. At one point a shadow quickly passed over me. I looked up. Oh! An eagle or a hawk! Probably a hawk, I mused as I watched the magnificent creature glide on the thermals, wings outstretched in splendor. My heart was filled with an excited joy just in observing this impressive bird. But, wait! What in the world! That’s not a hawk! That’s a vulture, doing what vultures do, seeking death to satisfy their appetites. I stared long and hard as the bird dipped and soared higher and dipped again. How easily I had been fooled.
Then I thought how easily God’s children can be fooled, too, in our spiritual worlds. Someone comes along, for example, and proclaims himself or herself to be a Bible teacher. They use their words with authority. Something doesn’t seem quite right as we listen, but we don’t want to be judgmental, so we quash our thoughts, chiding ourselves for our distrust in this “brother or sister.”
I’m not talking about making a mistake in Scripture interpretation. We’re all learning throughout our walk on this earth. I’m talking about consistent inner feelings of unease that come whenever we hear the words of a particular someone who is proclaiming God’s words. May I encourage you; don’t forget that the Holy Spirit is residing in you. He is your best teacher as you listen to others teach and as you study the Scriptures for yourselves. When something isn’t quite right, the Holy Spirit will prick your conscience with unease. I urge you, brothers and sisters — investigate! Ask Father to lead you into His peace as you seek truth. Remember, He has promised that if you seek you will find.
You see, Satan is out to conquer and divide. He is the greatest illusionist of all time. The Scripture warns us of him in II Corinthians 11: 13-15, “There are people who are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So, it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.”
These are perilous days. One has only to listen to the national and world news for a few minutes to know that countries everywhere are in political, moral, and spiritual disarray. Therefore, Satan and those who follow him in this world are having a heyday, inserting doubt where truth abides, painting themselves as colors of light on canvases of darkness, fooling the fainthearted, seeking to destroy the faith of all God’s followers.
Do not be one of the fooled ones! Do not accept everything you hear as truth! Importantly, do not quench the nudging of the Holy Spirit when He warns you of danger lurking! Pause, pray, seek truth. You will find it, for that is the promise of the Holy Spirit to all who come searching for Him.
Remember: not every large winged bird is an eagle, and not every man or woman speaking in the name of Christ is a follower of Him. You need not be troubled by this fact; you need only be looking diligently, entreating God with an earnest heart, and He, by His sweet Holy Spirit will lead you into His truth. You may stand alone in your discoveries but do not shrink back in fear of what others think. It only matters what your Father thinks. Stand firm in His truth, and His peace will wrap itself around you all your days.