Perilous Perception

What is perceived as good and proclaimed as a blessing from God is not always a blessing from God.

Material wealth is no absolute indication the blessing is of God. No. Not at all. God may have only allowed it. (Read Psalm 37:7, 35.) The devil also is able to reward you for being his or to keep you in bondage to him. Not everyone who calls out the name of God is a true Christian. Unless the heart is contrite, God does not even hear the sinner’s prayer. (Read John 9:31; Isaiah 59:2; 57:15; 66:2; Psalm 34:18; 51:17; and Psalm 73, especially verse 12.)

Unless you are living according to God’s Word, then you are living according to Satan’s will. And accordingly, he will give you stuff to keep you distracted, deceived and derailed. You believe you can continue as you are, just because you got this or that.

Your rent was paid in full. Your utilities were paid in advance. You got great financing for a car, or you paid cash. You got preapproved for a low-interest loan on a new home. You own your own prospering business. You got a new and better job or an incredible bonus with a promotion. Your global travel checked list is growing annually. Your savings and investments are all on point. Everything seems bulletproof. You feel nothing can go wrong.

We seem to fail to remember that God allows the sun and rain to shine and fall upon the just and the unjust. We fail to understand that it is because of God’s great mercy that we do not fall dead immediately when we sin. Yet, we know the wages of sin is death. Still, we fail to realize how very subtle are Satan’s deceptions.

We don’t seem to realize that death travels with sin. It begins or proceeds with the sin. You may feel alive. You may feel well. But do not be deceived. Even those of us who are now saved by grace through faith were once dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1, 8).

But all praise be to God that no one has to remain in sin. The Word of God is clear. Those who hear His voice, follow Him and are blessed of Him and kept unto salvation. Those He keeps, He delivers from the power of sin. He gives them eternal life, and they never perish. Neither is anyone able to pluck them from His hand (John 10:27-29).

Examine yourself. Carefully and honestly check yourself—not by anyone else, but only by the Word of God. Look on the inside and the outside. Think about what you allow before your eyes and what you allow in your hearing. Are your thoughts pure (Philippians 4:8)? Are your words kind and true? Is your attitude and countenance humble and meek (Ephesians 4:25-32)? Is your dress modest, professing godliness (1 Timothy 2:9, 10)? Are you careful about what you eat and drink (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20)? What do you do (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10)? How and when do you worship God (Isaiah 58:13, 14; Exodus 20:8-11)?

Examine yourself (2 Corinthians 13:5). If you do not measure up in the least, even in one point, you’ve failed in every point (James 2:10). Then seek God (Deuteronomy 4:29; Hebrews 11:6). Ask for repentance (Luke 5:32; 2 Peter 3:9).

If you love God, you will confess your sins, repent, ask forgiveness, and seek God with all your might. God will impart to you the righteousness of Christ. He will bestow on you His divine power and strength to cleanse you and to keep you in Him (1 John 1:9). This is only at your seeking and asking and knocking (2 Chronicles 7:14). For God will not force you in any way (Psalm 10:4). God and His way has to be your choice (Joshua 24:15). Dying to self is a day-by-day, moment-by-moment process. This is not a onetime thing; there is no such thing as once saved always saved.

Deuteronomy 29:18-20 is clear. ”Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; … And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst: The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven.”


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