By Marni Montanez
Matthew 24:24 New King James Version
24. For false Christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders, to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
This is a verse that we must pay heed to or possibly be led astray. As Christians we need to be diligent in guarding our hearts and minds by carefully choosing what is being allowed in.
It is important for each one of us to develop and nourish our relationship with God through Bible reading, and uninterrupted quality time spent with Him. It is impossible to build a relationship with anyone through another person just as it is impossible to build our own relationship with God through a preacher or another Christian.
Leaning upon the revelations and insights of others and using them as our
own keeps us vulnerable to the enemyís deceptions if too much emphasis is on
what others say instead of relying solely on what God is telling each of us
directly. Relationship with God is an independence from others and a
dependence on Him for identity, direction and purpose. He will use others in
our lives, but He must be our source, our sustenance, and our guide.
Too many leaders have led their followers down a self serving path of destruction. If we are giving more attention to someone on TV or in our church than to God, that person and their views could become an idol in our life. When God puts people in our lives to act as mentors, it is a seasonal time only ordained by Him. Most of our growing and understanding of Him is done in seclusion where we are alone with our tears and pain.
Listening to what others have to say can be a very useful source in helping our growth in Christ but it cannot be the main source. That is a dangerous door to leave open.
God has an individual plan for each of us, but if we are following a personís plan instead of the Holy Spiritís, we may never discover Godís intention for our life. We are designed with specific gifts and a specific purpose which God ordained and it is in our communion with God we will know that purpose.
A strong relationship with God and knowing His plan for your life makes a strong fortress against the enemyís tactics of deception. We must remain filled with the Holy Spirit and know His voice and His leading in our own individual experience of Him and through His Word. God gave us the Bible and His Holy Spirit to guide us and we must trust that these resources will carry us into all we will do and all we must go through.
The purpose of this series is to encourage people to live as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God: Jesus tells us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) God tells us through Micah (6:8), "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God." And we know from Revelation 21:4 that there will be no more mourning, or crying, or pain, or death. Thus, Christian living requires us to set the standards of these conditions here on earth for our fellow human beings, and for the other animals, as a witness to the rest of the world. To do otherwise is not Christian.