Summary: Followers Have Discernment
Lesson 06 of the Follow Me Series
Followers Have Discernment
Compiled and Edited Grady Henley
1 Tim 3:14 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:
1 Tim 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
We often make decisions based on what is observe with the natural eye. We observe a situation, perceive nothing a miss, and then we sometimes rush in where angels fear to tread. If this were not the worst of our actions, we have been known to compound our problems by acting upon what we hear. If we begin to listen and do so long enough, especially from someone with oratory skills, we believe this person is one way when in reality they are someone entirely different. Furthermore, some members of the human race commence following a smooth talker, mimicking their speech, and sending them money as well.
When we hear of those not in church acting as such, we often give it no second thought. The mature in the Lord consider those that send donation and offering to a preacher on TV as being somewhat of a foolish babe in the Lord. However, when one within the local body acts in like manner, we often wonder: “I wonder what they were thinking or were they even thinking! Don’t they know better? How could they be so gullible?””
The truth of the matter is lost people and those that do not follow the Lord as close as they should do not perceive situations and people with the same insights as do those that faithfully follow the Lord. This is not to say that faithful followers do not err. What it means is those that follow the Lord are more apt to see a situation or a person from a biblical perspective. Upon seeing such with the mind of Christ, we ought therefore to act as would the Lord and according to His word.
Why is it that some are easily deceived? Are we just naive enough to believe any and everything thrown at us? The answer may lie in the foe(s) we face. Our arch-enemy is the master illusionist. He can make things appear harmless on the surface. Webster defines illusion as: ‘An unreal image or appearance; a sensory impression which misrepresents the true character of the object perceived; an optical illusion; a false or misleading idea or concept; delusion.’ An illusionist is one that has mastered the technique of deception by way of illusions.
Did you note the word ‘sensory’ in the definition of the word illusion? Sensory refers to the five physical senses. Thus, the illusionist deceives us with fair speech or imagery.
James 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Contemplate on what James said, in that there were people in his time, and ours, that, on the surface they seem to be religious. We find them everywhere talking the talk. However, what gives them away is their tongue. They talk too much and the things they talk about are unbecoming one that professes to be a faithful follower of the Lord. What they say contradicts sound bible doctrine. They seemed to be religious.
Seemed is the past tense of see. See is what we normally do with the physical eye.
The bible has much to say about people that are fooled into thinking something is harmless when in reality death is in the pot, 2 Ki 4:40. This short study is intended to hone our spiritual insight so that we may be aware of the devil, his ministers, and his devices. 2 Cor 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
I. SPIRITUAL BATTLES
There is a story in the Old Testament of Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, 2 Kings 5. Evidently, Gehazi was unaware of the spiritual conflict happening around him. I hope that if he had been cognizant, he would have acted in a different manner.
The story has been told repeatedly how Naaman had just been healed of his leprosy and offered to pay Elisha for the healing. The man of God would not hear of such a thing. However, the servant of the man of God, Gehazi, thought it would not do any harm to take the riches offered from this Syrian captain. Gehazi learned the hard way the error of acting upon his foolish thoughts, 2 Ki 5:27 The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.