4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.
23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.“
John 10:27 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
In the perilous days to come that will determine who survives the harvest, and who ultimately enters into the Father’s rest, having not been earmarked as an enemy of G-d, we see that our Savior, through time and space in warning the disciples, has in His grace, warned us as well.
It is why the doing of the Father’s will is as important as the hearing of it, and why backsliding, doubt, and compromise are dangerous to the soul. We have all, at one point or another, during one trial or another, felt like giving up. We had unanswered questions, and seemed to be perpetually praying for deliverance that was so long in coming, it seemed it would never happen.
When we refer to such long-suffering, the phrase “…has the patience of Job” used to be a go-to. The fact of the matter is that Job had no say for how long G-d would permit Satan to test him. Neither do we, but we are told to always rejoice, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all things (1 Thess: 5-17), to ask, seek, and knock (Matt 7:7-12), to abide in Jesus (John 15:5-8)
What Job had was not patience. Indeed, what he suffered would have broken lesser men who were not so grounded in the Lord. His wife, who’d suffered the same losses, gave in to her despair and put it on Job to rebuke God, but he didn’t.
What Job did have was faith, up to and including that if he died, he would still have trusted in God’s goodness to redeem his soul. Where he went wrong was to defend his own righteousness. (Job 13:15) In his trials, his pride took over and his anger got the better of him until God questioned him, and he repented in ‘dust and ashes.’ (Job 42:6)
As we watch Jesus’ prophecies come to pass, just as they did with the temple the disciples marveled at (Mark 13:2), we are to discern the times as foolish men with wealth and power vie to control a world they didn’t make and can’t own. We are also to stand for the Truth among the mockers and spiritually confused and blinded, waiting for a sign they won’t receive because their hearts are hard, even as they proclaim to ‘walk in my truth’, which is of this world and therefore leads them astray. Let us remember, as humanity becomes lovers of themselves, that God is not mocked. (Galatians 6:7)
Today, let us till the soil of our own hearts, that we not be deceived, (Matt 13:8) , and let us also encourage one another to endure to the end, that we might be saved. (Matt 24:13)
Therefore I pray:
Lord Jesus, I would not be a fool to proclaim in my anger, pride, or sadness in the midst of my trials, that there is no God. Forgive me for my times of backsliding, breaking fellowship, and going my own way. That is the way of darkness, and will lead to the destruction of my soul, the consumption of my works, and the condemnation of my spirit to the outer darkness, a just decision for my lawlessness.
Help us to realize the world is in crisis, and that self-serving, self-important leaders are vying for control of a world they did not make and can’t own. Let us be sound in our doctrine, and clear in whom we are serving, that their words of worldly comfort and isolation don’t become a tempting snare.
As such, help us be more fruitful workers for the kingdom, not just faithful hearers, that the light in us and the works we perform point to God and give Him all the glory, as You have said. (Matt 5:16)
Today we confess our sins, forgive our brothers and sisters their trespasses, and stay still, that we might know that You, O Lord, are with us, and know us, as we listen for Your voice to guide us out of the worldly wilderness that clamors for our attention, just as the false christs and prophets will in the days to come.
Strengthen us with times of refreshing, heal us, guide us, and restore us, that we may gain a heart of wisdom as we return to our Father through faith in Your sacrifice, and grant that we grow to love each other as You love us.
May Your Word be sealed to my Spirit, now and forever.