Fight Club 102a - Know Your Enemy
If you're going into a conflict with someone you should try to know everything you can about them, right? What weapons do they have? What are their tactics? If you don't, you're potentially walking into a massacre - your own.
Can I start out by saying the devil doesn't have any new tricks? He still works the same way today as he did in the beginning. What did he do to Adam and Eve? He tried to convince them that God was a liar. That His word wasn't true. (Genesis 3:1-4) And that's exactly what he's doing today. It's his go-to. His number one (and just about only) move.
But we know he's the father of lies, right? (2 Corinthians 11:14) So what he's saying is either an outright lie - or twisted truth. That's what he did with Jesus - he tried to twist and manipulate the word. (Matthew 4) Those lies and manipulations may come from people you don't know. But one of his best tactics is to use people you know, love, and trust - which can sometimes make realizing it's not quite right more difficult.
If what you're hearing doesn't line up with the word of God, it comes from - it originates from the enemy. Just like when Peter said Jesus wouldn't go to the cross, Jesus knew it wasn't coming from Peter, but from the enemy (Matthew 16:22-23).
So the question is this: how do you respond to those lies - internally or externally? How do you respond to anything you hear? Yes - even someone teaching or preaching the Word. Dare I say especially then? Test everything against scripture (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Why? Because God's Word is truth (John 17:17). If what you're hearing doesn't line up with the Word, rebuke it - deny it - do away with it - have nothing to do with it because it isn't from God.
And if it's coming from someone you know, love, and trust, do what Jesus did to Peter. Embrace them. (That's the way it was depicted in The Passion of the Christ and I really like that!) Love them. Understand it's not coming from them - it's not originating from them. Jesus told Peter that he was a stumbling block or a snare for Him and then He explained why - Peter wasn't thinking about the things of God, but the things of men. Always be ready to defend what you believe and rebuke anything that goes against the Word (1 Peter 3:15, 2 Corinthians 10:5, Titus 1:9, 2 Timothy 4:2, Philippians 1:16, Ephesians 5:11). Just make sure you're doing it in love. And in doing so you...
Practice the love of God.
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