Wolves come in all manner of disguises…in our relationships, as well as in our places of worship. Sometimes truth gets blurred and manipulated and lines get crossed in our relationships in all walks of life, but, in my opinion, even more so in the body of Christ.
Because we are dangerous to the enemy.
Things once seen as black and white, may start to appear more gray. It may seem harder to recognize what’s true or what’s false. What’s light and what’s dark.
As a Life Coach I see this same thing happening in personal relationships. We can get so needy we ignore the warning signs of a true wolf, and yield to the deceptive manipulations and convince ourselves that what we see right in front of us won’t apply to our lives. So we let them in. And it doesn’t take long for the teeth to come out.
Friends, there is a real enemy who prowls around seeking someone to devour. He’ll stop at nothing to gain new ground. He and his forces have quoted God’s words since the beginning of time, twisting it, trying their best to manipulate truth, and their main goal is to deceive and lead astray.
He knows how to spy out needy women or men who have not learned to let Jesus be their everything and they long to fill those empty places with another person, rather than the One who was met to fill those needs.
There is an invisible V (for victim) on their foreheads that turns into a neon sign when a wolf is near. He sees it and comes in for the kill.
The wolves know who God is and they “shudder” in fear at His name. They know that God alone will be victorious and no matter what traps are used today to try to distract us away from Him, in the end, they will not win. But for us, if we don’t obey those warnings, we will find ourselves in the pit of pain and confusion.
Many times the wolf disguised in sheep’s clothing knows God’s Word better than we thought, crafting and twisting it so much, we might even find ourselves feeling confused over what real truth is anymore. You can always identify this type of wolf as a religious spirit.
So how can we protect ourselves–and discern what is happening when we meet a wolf?
Know the real and you’ll know what is false.
How do you do that?
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. Matt. 7:15
God reminds us in His Word to “watch out,” “beware,” to stay awake. He knows and understands how difficult it can be to fight this spiritual battle. Some days we get weary, or we get so busy and distracted, we’re not watching anymore for ways we might get tripped up. But he tells us, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” 1 Cor. 16:13
He desires the best for us and knows how important it is for us to live aware. He freely gives us his strength and protection to stand strong each day, he will never leave us defenseless on our own.
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR OWN WEAKNESSES AND NEEDINESS.
2. Know What is Real
…and you’ll know the fake too.
God’s Word is clear, it says they’ll be known by their fruits. Not by how charming they are. Not by how much money they have. Not by how many followers they have. Not by how many books they have written or the great things they have done.
They’ll be known by what fruit exists in their lives. Is there love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control? What do they say about who Jesus is? We may have to look more closely than what is on the outside. What is in their heart? How do you discern it? I have learned if something is too good to be true, it usually is. See what I did there? (it usually is deceptive. )
Eventually, the truth of who they are will be brought into the light.
“He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart.” 1 Cor. 4:5
3. Know Jesus Intimately
“For even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.” 2 Cor. 11:14-15
Sometimes deception may be hidden well, but if you have a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus and His words you will know when something isn’t right.
Obey that feeling!!
Press in close to God. Spend time in His presence. Pray, talk with Him, listen to His voice through His word. Staying close to His side, living under the protection of His armor and covering, helps us to know when we’re staring straight into falsehood.
4. Trust Your Counselor, Holy Spirit
God gives us His Spirit to guide us in discernment and wisdom.
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth…”John 16
He tells us “I have told you ahead of time,” so that we will be prepared and watching.
Walking in the Spirit and not in the flesh.
We don’t have to wander through life blindly, unsure of what’s true and what’s not.
When feeling unsettled or sensing something is just not “quite right,” we can press in close to Him, knowing He’s faithful to guide us.
5. Choose Friends You Can Trust
Use caution in who you listen to and choose to take guidance from. Sometimes when we’re in a place where it’s hard to see clearly we need trusted friends to bounce things off of. Learning to listen to one another and take into consideration what the other might be sensing or discerning can often have great power in saving us from a lot of pain and trouble up ahead.
“Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” Prov. 11:14
Standing strong together, on Christ the Solid Rock.
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”