Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Counterfeit Guidance

Counterfeit Guidance – Freedom in Christ Bible

The lure of the occult is almost always based on the desire for knowledge and power. Actually, knowledge is power. For example, imagine the power we would have if we knew what events would happen before they occurred. We could become millionaires just by betting at the race track. We could manipulate world events and have incredible political power. If someone knows something will occur before it happens, it means that person has access to some kind of power that can arrange future events. Satan sometimes appears to have this kind of power because he manipulates people who listen to his deceiving spirits and then act on the suggestions given to them.
Everything Satan does is a counterfeit of Christianity. Clairvoyance, the power to perceive what our normal five senses cannot perceive, is a counterfeit of divine revelation. Precognition, the ability to know something will happen before it occurs, is a counterfeit of prophecy. Telepathy, the ability to communicate from one mind to another by extrasensory means, is a counterfeit of prayer. Psycho kinesis, the manipulation of physical matter without the use of physical means, is a counterfeit of God’s miracles. Spirit guides or deceiving spirits are counterfeits of divine guidance. Why would people want a spirit guide if they could have the Holy Spirit as their guide instead?
Our finite longings for the infinite were intended to be met by the knowledge and power that comes from an intimate relationship with God. However, Satan tries to pass off his counterfeits as the real thing, and he will gain a foothold in our lives if he can lure us into the deceptive world of physic knowledge and power. Moses’ words of warning in Deuteronomy 18:9-13 were as applicable for us today as they were for the Israelites under his leadership. We live in a contemporary Canaan, for in our culture it is socially acceptable to consult spiritists, mediums, palm readers, psychic counselors and horoscopes for guidance and esoteric knowledge.
Since Satan has the capacity to deceive the whole world (see I John 5:19), it is possible for him to manipulate future events, but he never does so perfectly. Only God can prophesy something and guarantee that it will come to pass. This is one way that we can know whether a prophet is true or false. “If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously” (Deuteronomy 18”22). False prophets, psychic counselors and spiritual mediums may have superhuman knowledge, but if they do, they are getting their information from Satan, and it is never completely accurate. Since they seem to know more than what is humanly possible, gullible people may listen to them and be deceived by them.
I thought this was very interesting in light of our recent elections. Satan has the capacity to deceive the whole world, millions and millions of people. The best way to keep Satan’s thoughts out of our minds is to keep Christ’s thoughts in them. Although Satan can fill our hearts if we allow him to do so, how much more can the Lord fill our minds with his thoughts? Satan’s thoughts may be able to penetrate a leaky helmet, but we have the very mind of Christ within us.
Have a great day in the Lord!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cathy’s Corner
I was studying the Armor of God recently. The devotion on the day after the election really hit home with me. I thought I would share it with you.

Luke 18:1-8 – Freedom in Christ Bible - NIV
Paul’s teaching on the armor of God concludes with the following admonition: “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18). We cannot engage in spiritual warfare without praying. Praying “on all occasions” means that we are to pray when we feel like it as well as when we don’t feel like it. People who are devoted to prayer acknowledge their dependence upon God, and they are ready to pray at any time and for any length of time. Their prayers are effective because the Holy Spirit helps them pray. (see Romans 8:26-27).
Prayer has preceded every great movement of God. Pentecost was preceded by prayer (Acts 1:14), as were the great awakenings in America. There has never been an outpouring of the divine Spirit from God without a previous outpouring of the human spirit toward God. The preeminence of prayer needs to be settled in our minds. Prayer not only precedes a great work of God; prayer is a great work of God.
The Holy Spirit will lead us to pray for all the saints all the time. That means that we will be prompted to ask for divine protection for others. Such prompting can come at any time of the day or night. We may never know the trouble another believer is in, but the Holy Spirit knows. When the Lord puts someone on your mind, we are to stop, lift up that person in prayer and ask God to place a hedge of protection around him or her. We are to keep praying until we sense the peace of God.
The Holy Spirit may also prompt us to pray for those who are in trouble. We have the Spiritual authority in Christ to stand against Satan and his attacks. When the disciples were unsuccessful in driving a demon out of a boy, the Lord said, “This kind can come out only by prayer” (Mark 9:29). The disciples may have tried to drive the demon out by copying what they had seen Jesus do, but they probably didn’t have the same degree of dependence on, and faith in, their heavenly Father that Jesus had.
Jesus told the parable of the persistent widow so that the disciple’s would learn to “always pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1). The widow wanted justice against her adversary, and she wasn’t going to stop petitioning the judge until she got it. Her persistence finally won over the judge, who gave her justice. If an uncaring judge can be compelled by persistence to deal justly with a helpless individual, certainly we can expect God to answer our prayers. He will not put us off but will quickly answer our cries for justice concerning our adversaries (see vs. 7-8).
There will be great apostasy in the last days (see Mathew 24:23-24); I Timothy 4:1). In light of that fact, “when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8) Based on the context of this question in Luke 18, Jesus is probably referring to the kind of faith that never wavers under fire. Let us strive to be persevering in prayer so Jesus will find us faithful.
We need to be in prayer for our nation. We need to lift up those in power to turn their hearts to God and that our nation will turn back to God.