Monday, October 13, 2008

We Must Guard Our Hearts And Minds!

False prophets prophecy untruths. Deception is deceiving. Adding to or taking away from the scriptures is extremely, dangerously against God’s command.

Be careful! Beware of what you are listening to, reading, and participating in. Guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus!

“For false Christ’s and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” Matthew 24:24

This past week, I was asked by a family member about a book written by someone she heard interviewed on the radio. When I went to the author’s website for information, I cannot even begin to tell you how disturbed my spirit became! I immediately felt physically ill and my heart started racing and pounding within. I WAS SCARED! And not because of what was on the site—words or pictures—because I hadn’t even been on there long enough to see or read anything! It happened within seconds of clicking on the link to the site.

I spent little time there, bothered as I was. I then did a search on the author and dug up more of his beliefs and practices. This particular self-professed prophet mixes New Age methods into his own form of christianity. Having out of body experiences are taught and experienced with others that he fellowships with. They add mysticism and spiritualism to their religious routines.

Unfortunately, this man is only one of many...

“Beloved, 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

I must guard my heart, my mind! Please guard your heart....guard your mind!

“Do not be conformed to this world (age), but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable (well-pleasing) and perfect.” Romans 12:2

God’s word, which is God breathed, is what “is good and acceptable and perfect.” We are to renew our minds from what we are taught from the Bible!

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16, 17

Scripture is what is profitable. Scripture is our teacher. Scripture reproves and corrects us. Scripture trains us in righteousness. The man (or woman) of God is adequately equipped by Scripture. This verse also contains one of those important conclusive words—every. Scripture supplies all that is needed for EVERY good work.

Nothing was left out that we are in need of for fulfilling God’s will for our lives while here on earth. Everything that we need to know is in Scripture!

“His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” 2 Peter 1:3

We are taught in the Bible how to pray. We are given examples of prayer. Yet more and more followers are following after these inward, “centering” forms of prayer practice. Why? They are not necessary. The argument is that doing so makes the prayer more focused—contemplative—I believe is a word used to describe it. But this is not how we are taught to pray in the Bible.

“Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it.” Deuteronomy 12:32

We need to be careful what we do! Be careful to not add to what we are taught from Scripture, which is our teacher!

I used to believe that the false prophets spoke of in the Bible would always know that what they were teaching was false. I don't think that way any more. Some, I am sure, do. Others, I believe are people who are (or were) trying to seek after God, but were misled themselves along the way. Misled by others or by self and self's own ideas.

It can be easy to get off God's path. I have learned that a sincere heart that speaks the words of God and the Bible with conviction is susceptible to being led astray and, in turn, take others with them. That is why it is so incredibly important that we take everything that we are hearing or learning back to the Bible. From our pastor or a teacher on Sunday morning, to the radio interview, to the hottest new "christian" book, to what was shared at a weekend conference. If it is from God, it will line up with His scriptures!

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3, 4

I implore you—before you read a book, check out the author. Before you listen to a lecture, check out the speaker. Before you jump on the bandwagon of some sweeping tale, check out the tale-bearer. Before you align your heart with some teaching, see if the teaching lines up with the word of God. Secondary sources can be very helpful, but we must be careful who and what those sources are.

We each will be responsible before God to defend what we allowed into our homes and into our hearts. Teachings and practices contrary to the word of God and contrary to Jesus Christ will not go unnoticed on that day!

Set your heart to seek after God...set your heart to seek Scripture first and foremost. Because...

“Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.” Matthew 24:11