When was the last time you felt torn, tested, tempted and deceived? Throughout my walk this has happened many times. Always before a huge breakthrough and a jump to a new level of faith, but at the time it is happening it is extremely tough going, dragging me to the edges of my sanity. My heart pulls one way, my flesh the other, my mind and my spirit also tug in opposite directions. It’s quite hard to focus and be effective when you feel split four ways. It can make you behave in ways that feel foreign and out of character. Scarily, cracks in focus easily lead to deception. My Dad used to say that being deceived was his biggest fear, and even though I too strive desperately for discernment, I recognise that hindsight exposes when deception has occurred. Thankfully Our Gracious Father above can turn our tests into our testimonies!
A faith walk is like walking along a join in the pavement, it’s a balancing act where missed footing doesn’t lead to an instant fall, in fact it can feel much the same as walking that fine line. If we forget to pay attention to each and every precise step, we may not even notice how far from the narrow path we have strayed.
Not only is having an effective faith walk a wobbly balancing act, fulfilling Godly purpose is a journey fraught with potholes. When a believer is determined to exercise their righteous gifts, venturing toward the goal God has placed in their destiny, they are certain to step into enemy territory. These determined ones are top priority foes for the enemy to tempt, to attack, to deceive. A common ruse the enemy uses is the counterfeit, often disguised in such a way as to appear Godly. Counterfeits come in many forms, false prophets, imitation faith, counterfeit gifts, and all are blatant impersonations of God, a subject I have written on previously in this post.
On a personal level, counterfeit gifts have been dancing circles around about me, on and off throughout my life. They attempt to drag my attention away from the true gifts which God placed in my spirit many years ago. New gifts are often exciting, bringing with them enthusiasm, inspiration, motivation, gratification. While gifts that are well worn often appear to have less of the glamour and more of the work. Hell bent on leading us away from our calling, the enemy can strut right up with a bright shiny new counterfeit ‘gift’ and convince us that it is a Godly one. The counterfeit appears so close to the genuine article that it takes some time before the truth becomes clear, the enemy can even mislead us within the very same nature of our genuine gift. Many times we can dive headfirst into the counterfeit because we believe wholeheartedly that God is the designer of it.
The scriptures warn us to be wary of falling for a counterfeit…
1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
2 Corinthians 11:3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
For me, deception is usually closely related to a manic episode, a humbling little quirk God obviously thought my personality could use. A manic episode is like being stuck to the side of a snowball rolling down an avalanche. Starting off small and manageable, perhaps a little bumpy, yet before you know it, it has grown bigger than you can cope with and find yourself hurtling toward the ground at a frightening pace, convinced of your ultimate destruction. It is easy to be misled when your thoughts have taken on a life and speed of their own.
This time of year is always somewhat manic, and discernment is particularly challenging around Christmas time when the enemy is in full force against believers who spread the true message of Christ and reject the Santa myth. Thankfully, true to form God’s word always gives guidance and weapons to wage war against these inner enemies.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 “Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled”
I recognise that in order to ‘bring every thought into captivity’, I need to be willing to pause for thought in the midst of the chaos and listen out for God’s instructions which I need to submit to and obey. I need to slow down my thoughts, I need some quiet time, some mindfulness, some time focused on God’s abundant presence.
I pray fervently, Lord help us focus our thoughts, pulling them into captivity and obedience. Show us the counterfeits and deceptions so we may fulfill the purpose of our true gifts. In Yeshua’s Mighty Name. Amen!
“HONEY!! SHE NEEDS WATER!!” My husband calls to me in a desperate way, from twenty meters behind me.
It’s 3 am, middle of the City on a Sunday night.
A group of us are staggering from our work Christmas Party (insert excess alcohol here) heading towards the nearest open establishment, a nightclub which was about 800 meters or so up the road. We all worked in hospitality, in a club that opened all day everyday, and the Christmas party had been arranged on the quietest night so that only skeleton staff were needed at work. Being a Sunday night, in the middle of the City, not much was open. My husband was helping one of our overly intoxicated friends to stay upright as she tried to put one foot in front of the other without falling back into the bushes that skirted the footpath.
“I don’t have any water” I replied. I should mention here that I am famous for placing full glasses of water into the hands of those around me who are helping themselves to the unlimited Bar-tab without a second thought. “We are heading to the nearest place with water.” I reminded him.
“HONEY!” He called again, in a higher pitch, as he pulled himself and our friend from the bushes for the third time. “She really needs some water, she can’t do this!”
I began looking around me for a tap on the side of the building, or a bus stop or anything. No Luck.
“I’m sorry Babe, there is no water here, we just have to get her to the club.” I insisted.
“She’s not going to make it that far without some water!” He calls back.
I threw my hands in the air, I know he had had too much to drink, we all had, but what on earth did he really expect me to do? At the time I was in front of a large office block, which had a neat grassy area in front of it, but there wasn’t a tap in sight. Yet as I threw my hands into the air, I looked upwards into the dark night sky. I suddenly remembered my faith, I remembered that I have a relationship with the creator of the universe. I prayed….
“Lord, We really need water, I have no idea where you can get us some, but I know you can.”
I took two more steps along the empty street, and all of a sudden irrigation jets rose from the grass next to me and began squirting out water like a drinking fountain!!
“AMEN! WE HAVE WATER! WE HAVE WATER! AMEN!” I screamed, completely amazed by the accurate precision of God’s perfection and timing. Our dehydrated friend, came swaying over to the sprinklers and manages to slur,”Is it safe to drink?”
I filled my hands and gulped it down, laughing hysterically, “IT’S FROM THE LORD!”. Needless to say, that she had her fill of water and made it safely to the club, where we got her some more water and a cab home. 🙂
Our God is SO AWESOME!
This miracle occurred over 10 years ago, which happened to be a few years before that prophet came to my church and gave me the name “The Water Bearer” . I actually didn’t realise at first how many connections I had had with bearing water until sometime later. Needless to say each confirmation is always incredibly powerful, big or small.
Sharing these testimonies is such a pleasure, to be able to share evidence of how abundant and miraculous God’s impact can be in our lives when we believe and reach out to Him. I’d love to hear some of your testimonies. Please share below.