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Continued from above entry "To Protect & Serve"...
Can pastors and whole churches be led stray? If we fail to exercise discernment, then absolutely!
Paul Opposes Peter:
"When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.
When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, "You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?" (Galatians 2:11-14)
Later on in Scripture, we can see the healthy results of this straightforward, Godly rebuke as we read Peter's praise for his "dear brother" Paul in 2nd Peter 3.
We need not fear to exercise discernment or the consequences thereof. Indeed, we welcome those with discerning spirits. Although at times it may make us feel uncomfortable, it helps keep us on the right track so we do not deceive ourselves and fall into the devil's trap.
Remember the Scriptures say, "Resist the devil and he will flee." (James 4:7) "He" will flee! It is the devil who fears the Spirit of God. Exercising discernment shines the light of truth on the darkness of evil.
The Bibles tells us;
“Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” (1 John 3:20)
That is why we are commanded to;
“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.“ (Ephesians 5:11)
What are fruitless deeds of darkness? How about fruitless Bible teaching which twists and/or omits the full word of God and does nothing to prepare and mature the believer? What about fruitless preaching that ‘tickles the ears,” prophesying pleasant illusions of "Peace, Peace! When there is no Peace."? Even worse, what of fruitless sermons that placate sin and gain false converts through a modern castrated gospel? How about fruitless worship and corporate prayer times that are bound by spirits of oppression, arrogance, pride and self-entertainment, whose praise and prayer offerings do not rise above the sanctuary floor?
Why do we tolerate these fruitless deeds of darkness? These will do more to destroy the church from within than all the drugs, sex and violence without. Why do we sit silently? The fact is, if you are confronted with falsehood and do not flee or fight it, then you are a prisoner of evil.
Discernment is as much about obedience as anything else. It is a call to action. Let me leave you with one last example of an appropriate response to discernment. A friend had shared with me a situation involving a young boy who had been abused by what was, frankly, a demonically possessed person. For sometime after the attack, the boy would suffer what could be called continued harassment by unseen spirits with much fear and crying. During this time, the family had hired a new housekeeper but told her nothing about the boy's history. A couple of months later, the parents approached the housekeeper and began to relate the story. The lady interrupted and said "I knew it!” She went on to say that the Lord had led her to quickly gather a group of fellow believing women together to pray regularly for the boy and his family. In fact, they had already been praying for months! This Godly lady was immediately obedient to the discernment God was showing her and acted with courage and faith to confront the evil. It is years later now and the boy is a normal and healthy teenager. This stands as an example of the power of prayer unleashed by the Spirit of Discernment!
I pray that you and I awaken and put into daily practice and not neglect the God-given gift of discernment placed within us. I also pray that we ask the Lord God to awaken discernment within our fellow Christians who are still sleeping. The Lord is returning for His Bride soon. I pray we will have the courage to act on what He is revealing to us through spiritual discernment, so that we might protect and serve those whom He shed His blood for on the cross.
Open our eyes Lord Jesus!
For Christ and His Remnant,
VoiceOfTheRemnant.org © 2011
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