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.”
The room was very dark as the movie played on a huge screen right in front of my face. I had never watched the Lord of the Rings series, and since my ankle hurt that day, I decided to ride the bike in the gym’s movie room instead of the treadmill in another area of the gym.
I fumbled in the dark and felt my way to just the right bike for me and because I couldn’t see, just coming out of the bright light, finally was able to punch in the right speed and time for my ride.
I had come in right in the middle of the movie but thought it would give me a good idea of whether I would like it or not and serve to hold my attention while I pumped out the miles.
Unfortunately for me I came in right when these humongous, ravenous demon wolf-type things, with what could only be demons themselves on their backs, were attacking the good army and demolishing them with their ravenous, canine teeth that were bloody and black.
The scene went on and on until I thought that I just wasn’t listening to God by picking this room for my exercise routine that day.
I was dodging and ducking as these demons jumped into the camera with bloody drool dripping. As I sat there peddling, I couldn’t help but be thinking I had to get out of there.
I needed peace–not whatever this was.
But in the midst of this horror and my attempt to leave the room, God spoke to me.
Ever have that happen? In the most unlikely place that you would expect, He speaks.
One time he spoke to me in a bar bathroom (I was there for a talent show my friend took me too, in case you’re wondering if I hang out at bars), and I was shocked at the time….but that is another story.
“I am looking, Lord. I don’t like it.”
“Look at the warriors in the good army.”
So, I watched like He told me to do.
The warriors fought with everything in them. Every time one good guy was attacked by a demon wolf, (I am sure this dark army had a name but it escaped me), he fought back and with great warfare and managed to kill a great number of them. But more would come and render some of the slower guys to pieces. It seems though, that the more the good guys fought the more they were attacked by the demons of hell itself.
In the end the good guys won and the demons were dead…to only return at a later time in the movie. I knew Jesus wanted me to see something about my own life in this illustration He was showing me.
“Dixie, isn’t this what you have been experiencing in your life recently?”
I began to see what He was showing me. First of all, He was reassuring me that He knew exactly what I was experiencing and was with me on the journey, but was teaching me more about extreme spiritual warfare.
Starting about 6 months ago, all hell has broke loose within my personal life and those I love. Just as one thing was fought through and seemingly won, another thing would happen that would literally shock and sweep me off my spiritual feet.
I have literally felt each time like giving up on all that I do. And it seems those wolves are still coming, and the more I battle in the spirit the more they come.
They want to steal my life.
They want to make me feel like a failure.
They want to render me helpless and defeated.
Just as those good guys in the movie used their weapons of warfare I am more determined to use mine. I don’t fight by my own power or I would surely die. The weapons of my warfare are not carnal but are mighty before God for the pulling down of the enemies strongholds that would seek to envelope me and tear me to pieces.
For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds 2 Cor. 10:4
At some point those wolves will get it…they will see they cannot defeat me because I may look “defeatable” but behind me stand mighty warriors of the most high God and they have to get through them first.
In myself I am weak and no different than any of you. But it is in my weakness HE is made strong.
“But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!” 2 Cor. 12:9-11
So, I watched the scene in the Lord of the Rings until the battle played out…and the good guys were plum worn out but were able to ride off, alive, and the enemy was defeated, with carcasses of demons strewn over the mountainside.
“You will win this battle, Dixie, because you have learned your strength lies in me.”
Boy, I wish He would tell me how long it’s going to last and when I can see His total deliverance from this time of attack..but isn’t that what it is all about?
Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategiesandthe deceits of the devil.
12 For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.
13 Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resistandstand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. Eph 6:10-18
It is learning to always be on our guard and decked out in our armor so that we find our true joy and deliverance in Him for always?