Discernment Or Deception?

 "He replied, 'You know the saying Red sky at night means fair weather tomorrow, red sky in the morning means foul weather all day. You are good at reading the weather signs in the sky, but you can't read the obvious signs of the times." Matthew 16:2-3....."From the tribe of Issachar there were two hundred leaders of the tribe with their relatives. All these men understood the temper of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take." 1 Chronicles 12:32

 

Spiritual discernment and deception. Without the first, we are surely going to fall victim to the second. In many ways we already have. The signs for this are everywhere....if we can discern them.

When Jesus spoke the above words to the Pharisees, He was speaking to the very men who should have been the first to recognize Him....but they didn't. They had spent their lives learning about the promised Messiah but couldn't see Him even when He stood before them. Eventually they saw to His death, all the while thinking they were doing the will of the Father. Even after His rising from the dead, accomplishing all that had been promised, they were still blind to the truth. They continued to go on looking for One who had already come, been before their eyes, yet they couldn't see Him. In these days, the Father is allowing much to pass before our eyes. The question is, can we see? Do our eyes discern Him and what is not Him in the events taking place all around us? Momentous things are taking place within the Church and the surrounding culture. Can we "see" where He is in them? Can we discern what is of Him and what is not? The first century Church invaded the culture surrounding it and turned the world upside down. Now, the surrounding culture has invaded the Church, and is turning it upside down. Instead of being a people led of His Spirit, wisdom and understanding, we're led of our own. We depend upon our own limited intellects, and not His 
infinite wisdom. The anti-Christ spirit is everywhere but we don't really notice that because in many ways, we don't really believe such a spirit even exists. Our young people dabble in games and entertainments that are often linked, sometimes very strongly with occult practices and backgrounds. Yet we say, "I don't see a problem." And that is the problem; we don't see. There is much we don't see. How can we, when we ourselves flirt with so many of the same things?


Be sure. Without His discernment operating in His Church, we will fall prey to deception. We are falling prey to deception. The very Word and authority of God is being challenged on every side, and more and more "blind leaders of the blind" are coming forth each day. The Church in the west is in desperate need of "men of Issachar." And women as well. People who indeed know "the temper of the times" and discern His leading for the course the Church must take. T. Austin Sparks said that "An anti-Christ is anything that tries to assume the place of Christ in our lives, and that they can seem to be so much alike." Only His discernment will reveal the difference. Beth Moore said that only the fullness of His Presence in our lives, homes and fellowships will safeguard us from deception. Do we live and abide in such a Presence of Him?

The need for men and women of Issachar is beyond desperate in the Church. Will we be among those who see all things in the light, understanding, and vision of Christ? Or will we be among the deceived, unable to see Him even when He is there, right before us?

Blessings,
Pastor O

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