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Wednesday
Aug012018

Devotional Christianity

Matthew 12:43-45

“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it.  Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”

The scriptures can have parallel meanings that can be applied to individuals or to groups of people like a nation. We see that in the parable of the goats and sheep in Matthew 25. There will be a judgment of the nations on how they treated God’s people the Jews. 

But in the case of the unclean spirit leaving a person, Jesus said that it behaves like evil behaves, it never goes away. It retreats for a season to only reappear in another form to influence and deceive. The obvious interpretation of this teaching has to do with resistance. How does a person resist the evil in culture once you are free from its influence?  Evil never retires, it never goes away permanently, and it never retreats. When evil is resisted by the Holy Spirit it chooses to regroup for a time, only to bounce back in ways that are more subtle and seductive. Evil is like the Energizer bunny that never quits, it keeps going and going and going. Perhaps it may be more appropriate to say it keeps coming and coming and coming. 

For example: 

1. Confusion is an example of how evil is able to go undetected. Confusion is not of God,the Word of God is clear and concise about how we are to live out our lives.
 
1 Corinthians 14:33

For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.

Confusion questions God and creates an opportunity to present an alternative understanding that places truth alongside error to make up a new belief structure. (Satan did this in the garden with Eve) This is why there is so much confusion in the Body of Christ today. There are doctrines of demons that have taken over center stage in some churches and no one is the wiser. Signs and wonders do not confirm that God is at work; these demonstrations can be manipulated by evil to appear to be righteous. That is why Jesus told the parable of the wheat and tares, to illustrate there are errors in thought and doctrine that look close enough to be the real truth. Paul the Apostle tells us that Satan masquerades around as an angel of light, meaning that He will use good things that are associated with God to deceive and confuse. 

2. Naïve Christianity is a subtle form of deception. When we are only devotion-oriented in our faith, we lose ground to evil. Evil loves to say, “keep them happy, and satisfied with a nice devotional Christianity so we can work among them without detection.”

Devotional Christianity is like belonging to a country club; we have access to wonderful amenities and it is satisfied. Devotional Christianity loves to debate issues that don’t matter and has little relevance in influencing the culture around them. Discernment Christianity on the other hand, analyzes how evil is working in our day and resists the temptation to accept what everyone else accepts. 

Devotional Christianity reads a portion of scripture or a devotional book and their daily diet of spiritual growth is done. Devotional Christianity loves to sway to worship music, and talk about how wonderful their small group is yet they are unaware of the seven more powerful spirits that have entered the culture around them. Nine out of ten Christians have no clue how delusion has been mixing into their faith lives for years without detention or without concern. 

Devotional Christianity can sweep the house clean, but it is not prepared for what evil brings back into the house. Most Christians do not talk about discernment because they have never been trained to think about it. Yet, the Holy Spirit’s ministry among us is all about discernment. 

In John 16, Jesus tells us that when the comforter comes, He will convict the world of sin, (discernment) He will convince us of righteousness, (discernment) and He will accent on Judgment (discernment).

Nowhere in scripture does the Holy Spirit become devotional with nice platitudes and pithy sayings. He is continually reminding us of what Jesus taught and what He expects from our lives. Devotional Christianity is where we live in a bubble of 'God is good', and Discerning Christianity where God is preparing His people. This difference will determine how the Church will survive the delusion of the last days.  

We live in a day where the seven spirits of Matthew 12:43-45 are everywhere and the culture is worse today than it has ever been. Remember - evil confuses, substitutes, and blends into what you believe. It is subtle and pervasive, and without an emphasis in your life that asks this question, “Is this God’s priority, God’s purpose, and God’s promise?”

The Church may have swept the house in generations past and it was clean, but now it’s a new day of learning how to resist and push back the seven spirits who have showed up to make life even worse. 

Don’t ignore this warning; it is not a day you can afford to just be a devotional Christian. 

Keeping it honest and truthful….K

 

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