Are You on Guard?

“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.” 2 Peter 2:1

For several years I have enjoyed living in an area surrounded by open space and many of God’s amazing creatures. From ground and tree stands I have viewed and filmed many wild animals, attempting to better understand their habits, behavior and characteristics. Some of my sponsors have provided various products to be tested in my “outdoor laboratory”. I’ve experimented with an assortment of game calls, chemical scents, and life-sized decoys, trying to lure these often elusive critters. I’ve been surprised by the gullibility of some animals.

When I combine certain attractants, decoys, and calling techniques, the game are often tempted closer. A single decoy may not lure in a trophy buck; however, several strategically placed 3-D decoys will likely fool him and reward me. I’ve learned that as a big buck stomps its feet and snorts at the small herd, he becomes bold and proud, letting down his guard. His unabashed arrogance over-rules his protective instincts and causes him to take risks that would not otherwise be considered.

Today, we find scores of tarots, sorcerers, fortune-tellers, false prophets, and cultic teachers. Many are very appealing to the gullible and lonely, the lost and weak, the misinformed and un-churched. Their deceit fools people into believing the illusions of man verses the power of God. Those who subscribe to their practices soon find themselves sucked into a vacuum of lies and confusion.

Christ warns His young disciples several times to be aware of the false teachers: “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” Matt. 7:15. The deceivers of our time may come as gentle, bland, expounders of God’s mind, when in fact they are raging wolves threatening to tear apart our sanity, dignity and families. False teaching will lead us away from God’s Word. It will cause us to disobey His teachings and disregard our spiritual convictions. The bogus self-chosen philosophies threaten to lead us into danger, rather than to fulfillment.

Sometimes we are no different than that poor unsuspecting buck. If we are not cautious, on the look out, our greed, passion, lust, or ambitions can distract us, causing us to take risks we wouldn’t otherwise consider. We may let our guard down, forgetting about the temptations and decoys that can lure us away from truth. Once we sacrifice our character and God’s Word, we end up with an arrow of regret in our side. While the wounds can eventually heal, the pain and remorse lingers and fractured relationships suffer.

How can we tell a decoy—false teachings? God’s Word instructs us, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1 God’s Word is the real deal; when we study it and know the voice of our Father, we are more likely to recognize the counterfeit. Equally as important, we must pray for wisdom and protection as King Solomon did: “Keep falsehood and lies far from me…” Prov. 30:8a.

When we know the God’s Word and trust in the Holy Spirit to guide and protect us, we do not need to live in fear. We only need to be on guard.

The Power of Truth:

“And many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.” Matt. 24:11

“But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won your fight with these false prophets, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” 1 John 4:4 (NLT)

Suggestion for Prayer:

Ask God to open your eyes to any false teaching you may have already let into your life. Trust Him to protect you and give you wisdom.