Summary: Regardless of how much abuse the world may heap on us or how small we may seem compared to others, we are precious in the sight of God. Because of Christ, we have immeasurable worth.
How the Holy Spirit Protects us From Manipulation
Illustration: One day, educator and comedian Sam Levinson was standing with a group of men who seemed to tower above him. Someone asked, "Sam, don’t you feel strange surrounded by so many tall people?" He replied, "Yes, I do. I feel like a dime among a lot of pennies!"
This reminded me that we who are Christians may not be very "tall" in the eyes of some, and in fact the world often looks down on us. But in God’s sight we are of great worth!
The apostle Paul wrote, "Not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise" (1 Cor. 1:26-27).
We may not hold positions of prestige and power in society, but in Christ we are given a position far superior to those held by the "big shots" of this world. Because of our relationship with Christ, we have great value. Paul said in Romans 8 that "we are children of God . . . and joint heirs with Christ" (vv.16-17).
Regardless of how much abuse the world may heap on us or how small we may seem compared to others, we are precious in the sight of God. Because of Christ, we have immeasurable worth. (Our Daily Bread)
The world may discount you,but in God’s eyes you are priceless.
1. The Holy Spirit protects us from manipulators of the scripture by teaching us to be discerning of truth. Many Pharisaical leaders have learned how to use the scripture as a club to manipulate people for their own selfish gain. The Holy Spirit gives us a discerning mind to help us distinguish between truth and partial truths. Hebrews 5:14 says, "Solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil."
Application: Ask the Lord to help you become more discerning by obeying God rather than what men. Only gullible people fall into the trap of relying on "specially gifted leaders" who would have you rely on them for the "correct interpretation" of the Bible.
2. The Holy Spirit delivers us from selfish manipulators of scripture because He is the Master teacher of truth. Jesus said, "When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth." (John 16:13)
Application: Ask the Lord to deliver you from manipulators of the Bible by allowing the Spirit to directly teach you God’s truth.
3. The Holy Spirit gives us wisdom to see through the manipulative tricks of ambitious leaders. Some leaders claim that they want to keep their members "accountable". Actually, many of these leaders are mainly interested in controlling their people. Do not give into their devious attempts to put you under their control. Jesus said to the Pharisees when they tried to force Him to submit to their laws, "All of the laws of the prophets are summed up in the command, Love the Lord your God and your neighbor as yourself."
Application: Ask the Lord to help you gain greater wisdom in being able to overcome the trickery of ambitious leaders.
4. The Holy Spirit fights the battles for those of us who are not educated as some manipulative leaders. David wrote, "The Lord protects the simple hearted; when I was in great need, he saved me." (Psa. 116:6)
Application: Ask the Lord to fight the intellectual, emotional and spiritual battles for you as He is able to rescue you from any person, organization or situation.
5. The Holy Spirit exposes manipulative leaders of scripture for their proof-texting. Some leaders take their own selfish ideas and plans to the Bible looking for a verse that will loosely support their way of thinking. Spiritually abusive leaders use proof-texting to bolster their own agenda for selfish reasons. Jesus said, "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them." (Matt. 7:15,16)
Application: Ask the Lord to expose leaders who habitually use proof-texting to support their own selfish agendas.
6. The Holy Spirit gives us clear Biblical criteria by which Pharisaical leaders may be evaluated. John wrote, "This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges (Placing their full allegiance, commitment and loyalty to) Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God." (I John 4:2) Ask the Lord to help you use Biblical criteria for helping to evaluate a leader’s spiritual credibility.
7. The Holy Spirit judges Pharisaical leaders in a way that he uses their chastening as warnings for other scriptural manipulators. Paul wrote, "The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains." (Phil. 1:17) "Be not deceived, God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows, that will he also reap." (Gal. 6:7) Ask the Lord to use the chastening of the Spirit to publicly put more of the fear of God in scriptural manipulators.