Did you ever hear about the man who traded the King of Glory for a piece of Heaven’s pavement? No? Then read on…
By Heather Djunga
The devil will use whoever is willing to be used as his pawn. Sometimes, he uses us without us realising it, which is why Jesus tells us to discern, to test, every spirit. To Peter, it seemed a perfectly reasonable thing to say to the Lord that surely He wouldn’t be crucified and handed over to death! Jesus responded with the well-known hammering words: “Get behind me satan!”
On the surface, Jesus’ words seemed out of line, since this was his mate Peter speaking to him and even defending him. But Jesus could discern who was trying to manipulate Him away from God’s will behind his disciple’s words: “Get behind me satan!” He was speaking to the spirit behind Peter’s words, not his friend.
“Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (Matthew 16:23).
To Saul, persecuting the spirit-filled and spirit-led Christians seemed perfectly good and just. They were after all standing against what he considered the truth. They were proclaiming this Jesus, speaking in tongues, acting strange. Who were they to blaspheme? He would protect his people at all costs. He was blinded to what he was doing until the light stepped into his darkness and spoke:
“As Saul drew near to Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him,“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” “Who are You, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting…” (Acts 9 vs 3-5)
I’ve heard it said when you speak of Jesus to evangelise, not to assume people are not spiritual in some form or another already. We tend to believe that because people are not serving Christ, they are without a spiritual disposition. However, studies show that the majority of people are in fact ‘spiritually aware’. This changes things a little. It means we need to present the undoctored truth of Jesus’ gospel message: Jesus Christ, born of a virgin, crucified and risen again, conquering sin and the grave – the one and only way to Heaven and the unique Son of God.
Our focus can at times be too much on signs and wonders and not enough on giving the truth – even when it offends.
We need to be aware that ‘signs and wonders’ and manipulating the spiritual realm do not in fact indicate power from the Lord Jesus and that Jesus warned us about a time when false prophets and healers would deceive the masses.
The devil can come as an angel of light. He is not referred to in scripture as the anti-god. He is the anti-Christ. He will present a form of godliness. He will speak of the universe and god. He will even back his false religions up with positive affirmations and warm sentiments, and good deeds. But put Jesus in there and mention the blood and the Cross and you will see him squirm.
His agenda is to pull people away from Jesus and to misrepresent Jesus. He wants to sideline Jesus. Many people in other belief systems and in the occult don’t have a problem with Jesus. They justify his existence as some wise and good example of who they can aspire to be. They haven’t made Him Lord and Saviour and have rejected who He truly is, rejecting His sacrifice and milking scripture for its inherent spiritual might, while rejecting Him. It says in the Word of God even the demons believe in Jesus but they aren’t going to Heaven.
Scripture is clear: They overcame the dragon by the blood of the Lamb… (Rev 12)
It is said of the Holy Spirit that He is given to bring the believer into intimacy with Christ and to grow the believer to Christ-likeness, so as to fulfil the Great Commission Christ has given to His Bride, which is for all to be brought to a knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. When I discern, I want to ask, how is this glorifying Jesus? How is this uplifting and giving encouragement and direction to His Bride.
What is the Spirit saying to the church?
The devil will come with lots of variations of ‘god’ but he cannot exalt Jesus. He cannot testify to the power of the blood of Jesus. He will refute and undermine the Holy Spirit and the divinity of God’s Word – ‘Did God really say?’
His main interest is to draw people away from Jesus. He is the anti-Christ.
There’s lots going on in life and spirituality is a choice as is everything else. The Lord especially respects your choice. He placed two trees in the garden. Perfect love gives a choice.
As with everything, be wise and discerning as to whose hands you put your eternity in.
See if I cant bring it into the light and it cannot stand in the light, and it claims to be enlightenment and yet it makes me bow my knee to practices which are degrading and dishonouring to myself and to others – it is not from the Lord. God’s Spirit wont contradict His Word. If it moves me to try and manipulate the spiritual realm to build my own kingdom – at the expense of others – is this enlightenment? By very definition, enlightenment means it can stand in the light.
Truth doesn’t control others. It sets them free.
I need to constantly discern and check my bearings. Am I eating from the Tree of life or from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? Because the ramifications of my choice will echo into eternity.
Jesus is the Tree of Life and I was created for relationship with Him, not dead religion..
See Peter understood this when He saw his Lord across the water. It was Jesus’ beauty and goodness and His love which compelled Peter from the boat. Peter wanted to be closer to Jesus. He wanted more of Him.
His obedience to Jesus wasn’t some religious act. He wanted to know him.
Later in the New Testament we read Saul, the previously deceived persecutor of Christians, cry out (renamed by now as Paul), “…That I may know Him!”
He’s that great and He’s that good. Don’t let the devil sell you some cheapened lie of who Jesus is.
There’s the story of the man who arrives at Heaven’s gates and the angel says to him, “Can I please have your bag before you enter?”
The man clutches onto it. “I cant possibly,” he begins.
The angel is curious now… “Why not? You must put it down before you enter.”
The man opens the bag, and pulls out a piece of gold. It is beautiful. Probably one of the biggest pieces of gold you would ever see on planet earth. He could buy beach houses with it, sports cars, personal fitness trainers…
The angel scratches his head: “Is this why you refuse to come in? For this piece of pavement?”
The man looks to see Heaven beyond the gate. The streets are made of gold.
Don’t believe the enemy’s lies and forsake Jesus for a piece of Heaven’s pavement.
Everyone, whether they want to admit it or not, is bowing their knee – to something or someone. Bow to the one who sets you free and who truly loves you because He is the one who says, “No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends…” (John 15:15)
“Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by its gates. 15But outside are the dogs, the sorcerers (those who practice magic arts), the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.” (Rev 22:15).
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matt 7:21-23)
To read the story behind the Living out Loud blog, visit https://living-out-loud.blog/2017/12/30/the-birth-of-a-new-blog/
©Copyright Heather Djunga 2018.