Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Tricks And Traps

Proverbs 26:12 Do you see a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

        I have been asked a few times why I had never fallen for any of the money scams and so-called wealth opportunities that sometimes make their way through Christian circles and institutions. My reply is simple, "I did not understand the investment offered so I did not invest in it." Another good reason is that I have a lot of friends in business of whom I can bounce these wayward ideas off of so that I can bring clarity to my mind and heart. 
      Remember, the only one who gets rich quick in a get-rich-quick scheme is the one with the scheme. So, it works out that my friends and acquaintances in the business community are a type of guard-rail in my business life and they help me make sound decisions. Is it not the same in our church life? Shouldn't we have a community that helps protect us from harm? Shouldn't we have controls to help protect our lives as we fulfill our Christian destiny? 
      One of the problems that arise when a believer in Christ is not connected to a church body is a susceptibility to tricks and traps set up by the enemy of all souls. Prov. 11:14  Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.
      I am not saying Christians who do go to church cannot fall. On the contrary, they can utterly self-destruct, but if they do fail they have a connection and a structure that can help them back on their spiritual feet per se. When we are not connected or we are out of fellowship our resistance to deception can start to falter and our spiritual taste buds can lose the flavor of sound doctrine. 
      Oftentimes our resolve begins to wane and we end up existing from a vulnerable place in the heart rather than living in victory. Christa Black Gifford says it this way, "If you are not anchored in the goodness of God you will lower your theology to match your pain." I am not saying "If you do not get to church, all is lost in your Christian walk." However, if we are not connecting with a Bible-believing body led by a submitted leader or an ecclesiastical pastoral team, then we can find it difficult to discern what the Lord is doing in our lives. Tricks and traps are laid out like minefields on the path we are walking on. The walk that was once joy is now a nervous tightrope balancing act with feelings of insecurity thrown in. 
      There is a reason God said in Matt. 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. We are exhorted to continue meeting together regardless of personal insult. Heb. 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. How do we provoke each other to love if we cannot stand each other and run away from church every time something disagreeable happens to us?
      Predators on the hunt use a method of separating a lone caribou, and often a hurt one from the herd, so that the wolf-pack can bring down their prey much easier than dealing with the larger herd. That is exactly what Satan does to Christians and especially wounded ones. He tries to separate them from spiritual leadership and fellowship with one another. The evil one will put a bug in any one's ear that will listen to him as he says things like, "Look at the way she prays. She thinks she is so righteous! This guy has been spreading rumors about you. Why are you putting up with that? The pastor thinks he is so much better than you are!" 
      The devil knows that when two pray it has a compounding affect of destruction to his kingdom. He cannot afford to have us walking in the power of the word with others who are also strong in the body of Christ. These methods the enemy uses are just tricks and traps to keep us unstable and self-absorbed in our walk with Christ.
      After thirty plus years of being involved in different types of ministry, I have noticed those who walk alone because of events or offences that took place in a church or assembly become bitter in heart. They bounce from church to church, judging them like some kind of Nielson-Rating and not hearing the Holy Spirit's leading. They can tell you what is wrong with each church they have attended, but find such difficulty expressing what is good in the particular church body. 
      When I bump into these hurt souls on the street, market, or airport they are all nice and smiles but never talk about what God is doing in their hearts. There seems to be a calculated avoidance of the subject. If they do talk about what God is doing, it is more often than not just a form of conceit and an excuse for leaving the church entirely. Eph. 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.
      My heart is that these saints that have fallen away from the body of Christ would all come home to fellowship in Him who first loved us. If you have found yourself walking your Christian walk alone because of some trick or trap you have fallen into then reach out to the church body you were once a part of and give Christ the opportunity to heal your heart, mind and soul. 
      If it is impossible to return to that church location, then please find a new one and submit your heart to allow the Holy Spirit room to heal you. Will it take some courage to humble yourself? Most likely, yes. However, the grace and healing that awaits you is yours if you want it and more important the body of Christ needs you to be a part of the whole destiny Christ has for us all. Matt. 12:20a A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench.

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