Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Devotional - Test Every Spirit

Good morning everyone. Another rainy morning for my part of the world but there is plenty of joy. We are continuing with 1 Corinthians 10.

Let's face it, there is much more going on in the world than we can possibly fathom. Along with the physical world that we see there is an entire part that we do not see which Paul refers to as the spiritual realm. It seems that superstitious people are more aware of it than Christians are sometimes. They at least acknowledge that there are other things that interact with them and that have an impact on them along with the physical world. However, superstitious people are messed up because they practice rituals without understanding the source.

Paul's warning to the Corinthians today acknowledges that we need to be careful of what we do, especially of what we participate in. Since the dawn of time demons have been interfering with the relationship between man and God. The enemy knew that we longed to worship, that something in us reached out to our Creator, so he set up a bunch of demons to act as false gods to distract man from God. Paul warns the Corinthians:

Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. vv. 19-20

Now I am not a person that looks behind every bush for a demon and I do not excuse my behaviour because of demons. I believe that if you are serving as you need to serve and loving Jesus as we are compelled to love him, then demons have no sway over you. They distract, trip up, annoy, deceive, influence but they only have power if you give them power. The power of Christ in you is more than sufficient to keep them at bay. No, Paul's warning was not against demons but more against participating with demons.

There was no power in the carvings and sculptures that people worshipped but there was in the demons who they represented. For the most part these days we do not have idols. Some religions do but for the most part our society does not. But there are many activities that do involve demons; many of the martial arts and the eatern exercises and meditations are rief with the involvement of demons. There are many philosophies and the aforementioned superstitions that are followed and practiced every day by those calling themselves Christians. These Christians who are invloved in these activities believe they can avoid the spiritual aspects of it. Paul warns:

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord's table and the table of demons. Are we trying to arouse the Lord's jealousy? Are we stronger than he? vv. 21-22

You may laugh at this because you do not participate in these things. Do you check your horoscope when no one is around? There are all kinds of these things and more and more every day that are being introduced to our society. They hold no power over us but neither can we participate. Paul states if Jesus avoided interaction with demons are we stronger that he is? Jesus did not entertain any conversation with demons, not even with Lucifer himself. He spoke to counter the attacks. He told them not to speak. He got rid of them immediately. Are you stronger than Jesus?

We may not understand a lot about the spiritual realms but we can understand warnings. Instead of just plunging into activities because your friends are doing it, ask questions. Investigate. If you have any doubts then avoid it. Remember, the enemy has a plan and it is a plan of separation. The Father's plan is a plan of reconciliation. The Father's plan is out in plain sight for all to see. The enemy's plan is a thing of lies, cloaked in a blanket of deception. Remember today:

"Dear friends, 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. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." (1 John 4:1-4)

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. (Romans 12:9)

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (1 Corinthians 13:6)

And so that you will never forget what we are up against I remind you of this following scripture; take seriously anything in which you get yourself involved:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)

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