051. What are the Three Enemies of the Believer that Cause us to Misunderstand God’s Will? (Part 2)

19 Jun, 2012

Last time I talked about our own feelings getting in the way of hearing God.  But that’s not all. And I’m not talking about Taco Supremes. While it might distract us, it doesn’t really lead us down the wrong path. Well, actually, it probably does.

So the trap that lots of us Christians fall into is… “God show me your will.  Amen,” and that’s all we do to figure out God’s will, as if God’s just going to speak to us through our feelings and we’re not going to get it confused with other stuff. The first thing we can confuse with God’s will is our own feelings, our own will.  Which I previously went over here.

The second thing of course is Satan.

He’s not just going to sit by and allow you to have direct and clear communication with God.  He’s going to try to jam the signal, throw static in there, so you’re only hearing a little of what God is saying and you’ll have to try to figure out the rest.

But it gets worse, he doesn’t just try to mess with the signal, he puts his own message in there.  Mix that in with your own feelings, now you have three people on the line.

Pretend that God is a friend that’s calling you on the phone to give you advice.  But right after you take the call, two enemies jump in and start talking, trying to mimic the first caller.  The three voices cut in and out of each other, jumbling your friend’s message. Well the call was from your friend, so what you’re hearing must be your friend’s advice right?

You get a call, “Ah, Fred wants to tell me what to do.” “Hi Conrad, it’s Fred.  You must be patient with Billy,” (Static noise) “Billy is an idiot, you should hit him with that Taco Supreme.” (More static) “Billy is a moron, you should take his Nachos Belle Grande, eat them, then hit him with that Taco Supreme.”

You know what we call those alternate messages? Temptations.

So what do we do?

To find the answer all we have to do is see how Christ responded to the time he was being tempted by Satan. Each time, Christ responds to temptation with Scripture.

Temptation is to be defeated by our reliance on Scripture. Don’t trust your feelings.  In humility, understand that you are sinful and your flesh is telling you one thing.  Understand that Satan is tempting you as well.

So test the words that you are hearing against God’s Word and you’ll see which message is from God, from your flesh, or from Satan. But there’s a gazillion verses and a gazillion different situations and I can’t remember where I put my pants much less remember a few thousand verses…

Fortunately, there are a few of what I call ‘umbrella’ verses – verses that sum up a whole ton of other verses. A quick passage to measure up a received message against is Galatians 5:22-23 – the fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, etc.).  If what you are receiving doesn’t line up with those nine fruit of the spirit, then that message isn’t from God.

If it doesn’t line up with the “Love Chapter” (“love is patient, love is kind…”) in 1 Corinthians 13, then the message is not from God. If it doesn’t line up with the greatest commands (Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself, Matt 22: 37-40), the message is not from God.  This passage actually calls itself an ‘umbrella’ verse when it says, “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

So when you are trying to figure out what you’re supposed to do or how you are supposed to react, keep these passages in mind for general things, and do a little digging for more specific things. Then maybe we won’t be using Taco Supremes as weapons.  And we’ll use it for it’s original purpose… dysentery.

MT 4:1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. [2] After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. [3] The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” MT 4:4 Jesus answered, “It is written: `Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” MT 4:5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. [6] “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: ” `He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ” MT 4:7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: `Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” MT 4:8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. [9] “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” MT 4:10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: `Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ” MT 4:11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Today’s Fruit of the Spirit to work on: Faithfulness Take time to pray: Ask God for wisdom as you’re checking His Word against what you’re ‘hearing’.  Also, ask for humility so that you will not trust your own heart, but rather trust Scripture.